Meadows stands tall before alums
Past Rolling Meadows players who helped steer the Mustangs girls basketball into one of the top programs in the area were in the stands for Monday's nonconference game against visiting McHenry.
They got to see first hand that the current players are doing a fine job of sustaining the success.
Led by sophomore Kyra Spiwak (12 points, 4 assists) and junior Hannah Mickey (11 rebounds, 6 points), the Mustangs improved to 12-4 with a 57-32 triumph over the Warriors (8-9).
All the current Mustangs took the floor prior to the game and stood alongside the eight alumni (Maddie Conlin, Josie Suchecki, Ann Marie Lynch, Jessica Laing, Morgan Keller, Elizabeth Vasilogambros, Katie Shewmon and Sami Kay) who were introduced to the crowd.
"It was nice that they came back and cheered us on," said Roling Meadows senior Jamie Berry. "They definitely started things for us and we are trying to continue what they started."
Meadows started with a flourish on Monday, opening up a 11-0 lead less than four minutes into the game.
Berry's free throw with 10.3 seconds left in the first quarter gave Meadows a 20-4 lead going into the second period.
A 3-pointer by junior Megan King (8 points, two 3-pointers) and 2 free throws by Spiwak made it 27-4 midway through the second quarter.
Sophomore Katherine Nolan's 16-footer at the halftime buzzer sent the Mustangs into intermission leading 33-11.
Nolan was also 5-of-6 at the free throw line to finish with 7 points and the 6-foot forward grabbed 2 rebounds.
"Katherine played one of her most complete game of the season," said Mustangs coach Ryan Kirkorsky. "I thought she was a great one-two punch with Hannah (Mickey)."
Mickey scored all 6 of her points in the first 10 minutes.
"I feel Hannah has really set the tone for us the last few weeks with how hard she is playing and the intensity she is bringing," Kirkorsky said.
Berry chipped in 6 points with 3 assists and 2 rebounds while sophomore Kelsey Nallon had 7 points and 5 rebounds.
"We are trying to prove people wrong," Berry said about the Mustangs' impressive 12-4 start. "Everyone is working real hard, concentrating on our work ethic and trying to keep up the legacy the past girls have started."
In all, nine Mustangs scored including sophomore Morgan Camagna (6 points), junior Meghan Slowik (3) and sophomore Clare Preissing (2).
"We've talked about our kids' level of competitiveness," Kirkorsky said. "That's just been passed down from the players before them. We talk to the kids about legacy of the program, the players before them and the players after them."
Those future players were also on display Monday. At halftime, the seventh grade feeder team had a five-minute scrimmage on the main floor.
Kirkorsky is the only Mid-Suburban League coach to direct a team in two state title games. The Mustangs were second the last two seasons.
"The fact that these kids had to compete every day in practice with the kids on those last two teams got them used to that level of competition," Kirkorsky said. "These are competitive kids and they waited for their opportunities and they're showing well for it so far."