The 38-37 win posted by Rolling Meadows' boys basketball team was just what the doctor ordered for the Mustangs.
For Hoffman Estates and coach Luke Yanule, well, it wasn't quite the tonic they were after.
The Mid-Suburban crossover game at Rolling Meadows saw the Mustangs improve to 2-4 and the Hawks fell a game under the .500 mark at 3-4.
"We hadn't been in a close one like this so far this season," said Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich. "We responded well in a lot of situations. Our seniors stepped up and played well when they had to."
It was the other side of the coin for Yanule and Co.
"We always seem to play hard," said Yanule, "but we have to be able to play together. We have to play loose and not make the mistakes like we did tonight. We're struggling and have to find our identity."
The Hawks doubled up the score on the Mustangs after one quarter at 16-8.
Rudra Patel (10 points) scored 7 points, and Philip Ziecina came off the bench to score 5 to help build the lead. Hoffman Estates hit 5 of 6 shots, of which 4 were three-pointers. The Hawks committed only 2 turnovers and held Rolling Meadows to just 3-of-13 shooting from the field.
Things began to change in the second quarter when Rolling Meadows freshman Max Christie began to heat up. He started a 14-2 run that turned a 19-10 deficit into a 24-21 halftime lead for Meadows.
Christie, who scored 17 points to lead Rolling Meadows, scored off of one of 8 Hawks turnovers for a 22-21 lead with 1:19 left in the first half.
Christie scored 5 points and Ryan Carney 4 to give the Mustangs a 33-27 lead with 3:15 left in the third quarter.
James Allen, who had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, cut the lead to 33-29 going into the fourth quarter, when points suddenly became very tough to come by.
The Mustangs' Gio Carrillo connected on a 3-point play for a 36-30 lead with 5:59 left.
Allen scored on a putback and Marquez Woodward scored off of a steal to narrow the gap to 36-34 with 1:04 remaining.
Carney scored on an assist from Carrillo for a 38-34 lead with :48 left.
Patel connected on a 3 with :24 left.
Both teams then missed on one-and-bonus situations before Patel's long-range 3 at the buzzer missed.
Carney, a senior, finished with 6 points and 6 key rebounds.
"Each rebound I had seemed to help the team in a good way," said Carney. "Today was a progression night for us. We played hard for 32 tonight and we got the win. We forced a lot of turnovers (20) because we used our length to get tips that turned into turnovers."
Christie showed onlookers why he will be a special player in the years to come.
"I give my teammates and coaches a lot of the credit," said Christie. "If I made a bad play they were there to pick me up. My teammates and coaches really push me in a positive way to become a good player. You have to love the game.This was some of the best defense we played all year tonight."
"Christie has made such big strides since the start of the season," said Katovich. "He does what he needs to do. He's a very smart player and he has the full backing of his teammates."