Christie brothers lead Rolling Meadows past Von Steuben
With the Christie brothers as the bookends, Rolling Meadows is continuing to build its legacy of quality boys basketball and showed it Saturday afternoon, winning for the second time in 36 hours, 75-45, over visiting Von Steuben from Chicago.
"I think this program is definitely going in the right direction," said the elder Christie, Max, the 6-foot-6 superstar junior, after pouring in 37 points in what his coach Kevin Katovich called perhaps, "one of his best shooting games" this season.
Younger brother Cameron Christie had 7 points but along with fellow underclassmen Danny Sobkowicz, Ryan Stubitsch, Orlando Thomas, Luke Duffer, Alex LeBeau and Foster Ogbonna, played the kind of floor game and defense that the Mustangs will need going forward the rest of this season and into next year and beyond.
Which is not to discount the contributions of seniors Jonah Ogunsanya and Sean Nolan, whose shooting and defense help spearhead the fast-paced floor game Meadows likes to play.
"It's so fun much to coach this team," Katovich said after the Mustangs improved to 18-7 with the virtually racehorse-paced game in which they built a 30-point lead after three quarters.
Max Christie had 29 points in the first half, hitting 5 in a row in the second quarter as the Mustangs broke it open as he hit a pullup jumper, a 3 in transition, other pullup and a free throw, and after an "and-one" by his brother on a nice feed from Sobkowicz, added two more buckets off Von Steuben turnovers as the Christies combined for 14 straight Mustang points.
It was 47-24 at the half against a shellshocked Von Steuben team that rebounded well and showed shooting prowess from Chijioke Nwosu (24 points) but couldn't get out of its own way in the face of Meadows' full-court pressure defense.
"I love playing with my brother," said the elder Christie. "It's a lot of fun and I get to help him on his journey."
And the way the Mustangs are playing now, the fun may continue.
"Max set the tone," said Katovich. "We wanted to start fast and come out and play fast." And despite the short turnaround after beating Wheeling on Friday night, the Mustangs showed no tired legs, outrebounding the visitors 43-27, shooting 26 of 49 from the floor and limiting Von Steuben to 17 of 61 from the floor, 2 of 11 beyond the arc.
To keep this up, "We've got to make sure we stay focused," said Max Christie.
But 37 points aside, "I'm just happy we got the win, and last night against Wheeling," he said.