Rolling Meadows nips Hersey
Rolling Meadows' Sean Nolan made his biggest plays with the game on the line at Hersey Friday night.
The 6-foot-1 junior took a pass from teammate Max Christie and drove to the basket with 1:57 left in the game. Nolan made the layup to break a 49-all tie.
With 56 seconds left Nolan found himself alone in the right corner. He connected on a 3-pointer for a 54-49 lead.
That was just enough as Rolling Meadows pulled out a 55-52 win at the Huskies' Ken Carter Gym to start the Mid-Suburban East boys basketball season.
The Mustangs are 4-1 and 1-0 while Hersey dropped its second straight game and fell to 3-2, 0-1.
"Sean's one of our football players (outside linebacker) and he brings that winner's mentality to the game," said Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich. "Max made a great decision in getting him the ball on the layup. He was triple-teamed and he found him open."
"A play like that," said Nolan, "shows why Christie is a leader on this team. He means a lot to this team with everything he does on the floor. "
Christie connected for 31 points and 12 rebounds, both season highs, in the game and Rolling Meadows needed every one of them against a gritty Hersey team.
"We came out slow tonight," said Hersey guard Matt Hanushewsky, who scored 8 points and handed out 9 assists. "We've been through this before. But we steadied ourselves after they made a run to start the third quarter."
After missing his first four shots Christie began to heat up, scoring his team's last 9 points of the quarter to take a 16-6 lead.
But Christie picked up his second foul 30 seconds into the second quarter and sat the rest of the first half.
Hersey went on a 16-0 run over the next six minutes to take a 22-16 lead. Rolling Meadows shot 0-for-8 before sophomore Daniel Sobkowicz hit a 3-pointer and followed with 2 free throws as the Mustangs trailed 22-21 when the first half ended.
Christie came alive in the third quarter scoring 13 of his team's points as RM led 40-33 after three quarters.
Christie, who scored 18 straight points between the third and fourth quarters, broke a 47-all tie on his own putback basket with 3:09 left.
Jacob Kluczewski (13 points, 10 rebounds) tied the score on a hook shot before Nolan's 5 points.
Hanushewsky hit a 3-pointer with 38 seconds left to pull Hersey within 54-52.
Matt Schoessling hit a free throw for a 55-52 lead for Rolling Meadows with 11 seconds left.
Three-point attempts by Rocco Ranzio and Hanushewsky fell short.
"This was a big win for us here," said Christie. "A lot of people picked Hersey to win the conference but we wanted to show we could beat them. I give a lot of credit to my teammates for their play. I couldn't have done what I did without them."
"It was a game of runs," said Hersey coach Austin Scott. " I think both teams learned a lot about themselves. Fifty-fifty balls were a big part of the fourth quarter and I think they got a few more than we did. It was a dogfight with both teams scratching and clawing. That's what it's going to be like in the conference all year."