Montini turns it on against Rolling Meadows
It must have seemed to Rolling Meadows as if Montini had seven players on the basketball court Monday afternoon.
Montini scored the first 11 points in Villa Park and rolled to a 64-42 victory at Coach Kipp's Hoopsfest.
"Just their start, their length, their speed and when you combine that with them shooting it at whatever percentage they shot it tonight, that's obviously one of the best teams in the state," Mustangs coach Ryan Kirkorsky said of Montini.
Montini made 24 of 50 shots, including 8 of 26 from 3-point range.
Sophomore forward Tatiana Thomas scored 9 of the Broncos' first 11 points and finished with 11.
"Our coach (Jason Nichols) just wanted us to come out strong and I really wanted to do that for him," Thomas said. "He's been wanting us to keep working hard and I just want to do what the game plan is, so I tried to do that coming out to the game."
The Broncos often got to the basket in transition after forcing a turnover with their smothering defense.
"They like to play with pace, so we felt like if we sped them up even more we'd get them out of their comfort zone, and it did. It turned them over," Nichols said of the Mustangs.
The Broncos led 27-10 after one quarter, 47-14 after two.
Still, Nichols sees room for improvement in his Broncos.
"The second quarter was outstanding," Nichols said. "I thought the first quarter at times early was good. Fall asleep when we starting subbing, get a little rhythm back, go up 17, then we kind of put the game out of reach at the halftime.
"And then we talk because this is how we're practicing. We'll really look good for 40 minutes in practice and then we'll just stop playing because we don't care."
Nichols believes the Broncos, No. 3 in Daily Herald rankings and No. 2 in the AP Class 3A poll, are ripe to be upset.
"Right now we lack a little bit of leadership and fire and that kind of bothers me," Nichols said.
Sophomore Sophie Sullivan also had 11 points for Montini, and sophomore Taylor Charles scored 10.
Sophomore Madi Niedbala led Rolling Meadows (11-8) with 14 points, and senior Susannah Holifield scored a dozen.