Christie hits for 51 as Rolling Meadows tops Elk Grove in OT
Max Christie's 51 points and Davonte Warrener's total hijacking of the third quarter Friday for Rolling Meadows' boys basketball team still almost wasn't enough for a win at Elk Grove Friday night in Mid-Suburban League East action.
But hitting 25 of 28 free throws, including 12 of 13 in overtime, proved decisive as the Mustangs (6-3, 2-1) emerged from a physically bruising 78-76 win over an Elk Grove team that appeared to have the game won.
Meadows erased a 7-point deficit and then a 6-point disadvantage in the final moments of the fourth quarter to force overtime on Christie's long-range 3-pointer with only seconds left to tie the score at 66-66.
"Fifty-one is amazing, but it was a total team effort," said Meadows coach Kevin Katovich. "Warrener was 0-for-the-first half. We challenged him at halftime."
And he responded by scoring 10 third-quarter points or Elk Grove might have run away, despite 6-foot-6 sophomore Christie's double-digit quarter as well.
"Warrener was a force in the third quarter," Christie said. "But everybody was into the game. I have to give my teammates credit, getting me the ball and setting all the screens they did."
That included the gritty efforts of Jace O'Hara, sophomore Dan Sobkowicz and junior Sean Nolan, who did what they could but couldn't contain 6-9 Ryne Singsank (27 points), who was unstoppable inside, and Ryley Rathman, whose outside bombing kept Meadows' zone honest.
But after Christie hit his third and fourth free throws of overtime, Elk Grove's last chance disappeared when Christie fronted Singsank and an attempted lob to him on the last play to tie the game turned into an overthrown turnover.
"They read it from the start," Singsank said.
"We're still learning how to win," said first-year coach Nick Oraham. "We knew Max was going to get his, but that No. 10 (Warrener) killed us in the third quarter."
"We are still learning how to win," Singsank said. "We're competing. We'll be there."
"I've got to give Elk Grove (2-8, 0-3) a lot of credit," said Katovich. "But I'm really proud of our kids. They really battle hard."
"We need to close out a little better at the end," Christie said. "I need to make more shots."
Elk Grove would politely disagree.