Maine West came into Saturday afternoon's boys basketball contest at Buffalo Grove hoping to get its mojo back.
After starting 1-4 following Friday night's Central Suburban North loss at Highland Park, one of the team captains -- 6-foot-5 senior center Jack Collins -- called a team meeting at breakfast.
"We had to turn things around," said Collins. "We had to get the team together to be on the same page. Coming to play Buffalo Grove, we knew we would be playing a good team."
Things turned out well for the Warriors, although it took overtime to come away with a 60-54 nonconference win."
"It was a good thing to have to come back the next day after our loss to Highland Park," said Maine West coach Tom Prokopij. "Coming away with this win can only help our confidence as a team."
Maine West (2-4) stayed close early with the help of Milos Dugalic, who scored 12 of his 15 points in the first half.
The Warriors were able to keep Buffalo Grove (4-2) in check with a 1-3-1 defense.
"We saw Rolling Meadows use a 1-2-2 defense Friday night," said Bison coach Keith Peterson. "We just didn't adjust to it and it slowed down our offense. With Collins and (Matt) Kentgen collapsing on Mac Camardo, it was hard to get anything going inside."
"We used the 1-3-1 tonight as a spark to help get things going for us," said Prokopij.
Camardo led the Bison with 13 hard-earned points and 10 rebounds.
Collins scored 15 points and had 15 rebounds. He scored 12 of his points in the crucial second half.
"I've played against Camardo several times -- he's a real good player," said Collins. "We had to control their inside game. Our 1-3-1 defense played a big part of that. We have good length and that helped, keeping them outside."
Buffalo Grove shot 39 percent from the field on 20-of-51. Maine West fared slightly better with 21-for-49.
Tom Trieb battled foul trouble most of the night but still managed to score 11 points and pull down 5 rebounds for BG before fouling out of the game..
Trieb forced the overtime with a mid-court drive to the basket with :54 left, tying it at 48.
Julian Dones drove the lane with seconds left in regulation, but his shot was blocked by Camardo as time expired.
Dones (13 points) and Trieb exchanged 3s to start the overtime but then Maine West went on a 7-0 run.
Collins scored on an assist from Dones to give Maine West a 53-51 lead with 1:38 left in overtime. Kentgen hit for 2 free throws and Collins hit the second of two foul shots. Dones connected for 2 more free throws following a turnover by the Bison to give Maine West a 58-51 lead with :18 left.
Nathan Cole, who finished with 12 points off the bench for the Bison, hit a 3-pointer with :06 left to close the gap to 58-54.
Dones was fouled on the in bounds pass and closed the scoring by making 2 free throws.
"This was just a huge win for us," said Dones. "We had real good energy coming into this game today. Collins called for the breakfast meeting, and we talked things out. We had to play for the name that is on our chest. We had to hold ourselves accountable for how the season started. I think this win will be our turning point."