Friday's Class 4A regional championship at Rolling Meadows turned out to be a big night for the St. Viator Lions.
The second-seeded Lions toppled the host Mustangs 78-54 to advance to Wednesday's sectional semifinal at Barrington, where they will play Mundelein at 7:30 p.m.
St. Viator also set a school record for wins with its 25th against just 3 losses. One of the main reasons for the historic win was sophomore Ore Arogundade.
Arogundade scored a career-high 29 points on 14-of-15 shooting from the field to go along with 10 rebounds.
"I could not have scored the 29 points without my teammates," said a jubilant Arogundade. "I wanted to come out tonight and bring it to another level.
"It wasn't easy to get the points, they made me work for it. We had to get a fast start out of the gate."
The Lions, who won 24 games two years ago, did that as they never trailed in the contest against the 10th-seeded Mustangs (17-11).
St. Viator built a 20-11 lead with 29 seconds left in the first quarter, and by that time Arogundade already had 11 points.
The Mustangs' Tyler Gaedele (14 points) scored with 18 seconds left and then banked in a 3-pointer at the quarter's end to narrow the gap to 20-16.
That's as close as Rolling Meadows got for the rest of the game.
"Coach stresses defense in practice," said Arogundade. "Defense is where it starts for us defensive intensity."
St. Viator senior center Chris Myjak (13 points, 15 rebounds) scored 8 points in the second quarter as the Lions finished the period on a 6-0 run to lead 32-20 at the break.
"We knew we had to shut Gaedele down," said Myjak. "I think we did a good job of it. Our ball pressure has been great all season and it has helped win a lot of games."
Arogundade keyed a 7-0 run to start the third quarter for a 39-20 lead at the 6:07 mark.
"They played great defense," said Mustangs coach Kevin Katovich about St. Viator. "They moved the ball well and 'D' the heck out of you. Arogundade is such a tough matchup. He takes you inside and outside. He does everything the right way."
"I talked to our seniors about responding better to our first-round game," said St. Viator coach Mike Howland. "I thought that they responded and we had a great sophomore to go with that. He made a lot of great plays tonight. Our defense separates us from other teams. We had to make a great offensive team work for every point.
"As far as the record goes, I told the players before the game that they had won the right to go out and set the record."
The Lions also received a solid performance from Kevin Walsh (13 points) and 6 first-quarter points from reserve Patrick Martin, who spelled Walsh when he picked up two fouls. They also overcame the absence of two-year starting point guard D.J. Morris because of a sprained ankle.
Four-year starting point guard and Meadows career assist leader Brian Nelms finished with a team-high 18 points.
Rolling Meadows High School
St. Viator High School
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