Meadows storms back to beat Elk Grove
With 2:16 left in the first quarter at Rolling Meadows Friday night Elk Grove led the Mustangs 17-1 in the Mid-Suburban East boys basketball contest.
The Mustangs didn't panic. Instead they turned up the defensive pressure, slowly chipping away at the Grenadiers' lead to eventually pull out a 61-55 win.
"Elk Grove came out fast and we came out slow, which has happened to us," said Rolling Meadows senior guard Matt Schoessling. "The seniors got together and told the players that we had to start playing better defense. When we started getting some steals things turned around."
Junior guard Jonah Ogunsanya came off the bench and had his best game of the season scoring 19 points and grabbing 5 rebounds for Meadows.
"Jonah's a player who has improved and improved," said Mustangs coach Kevin Katovich. "He had the type of game that happens when you keep your nose to the grindstone and keep working."
"Jonah really contributed for us. His work in practice paid off," said guard Javonte Warrener, who scored 15 points. "He really stepped it up for us tonight. With Max (Christie, injured) still out it's given other players confidence to play well."
The third quarter was the difference-maker for the Mustangs, now 11-8 and 4-3.
Trailing Elk Grove (5-16, 0-7) 36-30 Warrener scored 6 straight points to tie the game at 36 with 2:23 left in the quarter.
Schoessling hit 2 free throws for a 38-36 lead. Ogunsanya scored 9 straight points for a 47-36 lead before Sean Nolan finished the 19-0 run with 2 free throws.
The Grens pulled to within 51-48 following Sean Cherry's 3 pointer with 4:08 left.
Schoessling (9 points) hit a 3-pointer then 1 of 2 free throws for a 57-50 lead with 2:16 left in the game.
A trey and then 2 free throws by Brandon Burns (9 points) cut the lead to 57-55 with 1:04 left.
Warrener hit 2 free throws with 59 seconds then a costly stepping out of bounds turnover gave the Mustangs back the ball. Ogunsanya converted 2 free throws with 13 seconds left.
"Our seniors really kept things together for us," said Katovich. "It was good win for our guys."
Elk Grove coach Nick Oraham was looking to pick up the pieces.
"We didn't put 32 minutes together and that's been our problem," he said. "You can't allow runs like we did tonight. We had a lot of young mistakes but we had trouble handling the pressure. There were too many unforced turnovers that hurt us. We have to learn to take care of the ball and we'll work on that in practice tomorrow."
Ryne Singsank and Tim Varga (8 rebounds) led the Grenadiers in scoring with 11 points each. Ryley Rathman added 7 points.