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The saying goes ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going.'
Rolling Meadows' girls basketball team has certainly lived up to that adage in the state tournament.
That's why the Mustangs find themselves playing in the Elite Eight for the second straight time after 36 seasons without a sectional title.
The state-ranked Mid-Suburban East champs (27-4) came back from halftime deficits in their two sectional wins to advance to Monday's Class 4A Hoffman Estates supersectional against New Trier (27-4) at 8 p.m.
At the Barrington sectional, Meadows trailed Hersey by 16 points late in the first half before rallying for a 63-56 win.
The Mustangs then edged Fremd 57-53 in overtime after trailing 21-20 at intermission.
"I don't know if we are playing our best basketball, but we are definitely showing the most toughness we've had in the last few weeks," said Meadows coach Ryan Kirkorsky, who coached the Mustangs to a win over Evanston in the Niles West supersectional a year ago.
He has the same starting five back in quest of a repeat against a New Trier team that defeated Evanston 53-43 for the Maine East sectional crown.
The Trevians are led by 6-foot-3 Jeanne Boehm, who collected 11 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals against the Wildkits (22-8).
Boehm also had 22 points in the Trevians' 59-34 win over Maine West in the sectional semifinal.
"I think everything starts with their post (Boehm)," Kirkorsky said. "But she is surrounded by a lot of really good basketball players."
Trevians coach Teri Rodgers, who starred at Libertyville High School and earned a scholarship to Duke, has one of her deepest teams in her 16th season directing the program.
"I really like how unselfish my team is and how hard they play." she said. "I'm not really in to comparing teams. I have enjoyed all my teams and I appreciate when they work hard and want to grow as players and people."
Meadows' only losses this season are to state-ranked Whitney Young, Montini, Marian Catholic and Fremd.
"At this point of the season, I think it comes down to defensive stops and execution for all four quarters," Kirkorsky said.
The Mustangs went four quarters and four minutes to defeat MSL rival Fremd (27-4) in last week's sectional final.
Northwestern recruit Alexis Glasgow scored 7 of the Mustangs' 9 point in the extra session. She now has 1,519 point for her career.
Teammates Jackie Kemph and Jenny Vliet, both St. Louis recruits, have 2,104 and 1,315 career points, respectively.
Seniors Ashley Montanez (University of Indianapolis recruit) and Sami Kay complete the Mustangs all-senior starting lineup.
"The key to stopping Rolling Meadows like any team is simply to play good fundamental team defense," Rodgers said. "They are a talented team with many scoring options so you just have to play good defense. I expect both teams to play hard."