Christie, Rolling Meadows down Barrington
Not even a cold and Barrington's triple-team could slow down Rolling Meadows' Max Christie.
With Broncos bucking him at every opportunity, Christie still managed to score 25 points to lead the Mustangs past host Barrington 60-56 Tuesday in a Mid-Suburban League crossover boys basketball game.
"He is really battling being sick," Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich said of Christie. "Tonight he just showed why he is, in my opinion, the best player in the conference. He does so much. He rebounds, he sees the floor well. You saw that they were triple-teaming him and he still put up great numbers."
Christie, in his typical modest fashion, downplayed his illness.
"I have just been battling a cold since Sunday," said Christie, who also had 6 rebounds, 5 blocks, 4 assists and a steal.
"I want to do as much as I can. When people are triple-teaming me, I got a lot of guys open. So I am looking to pass them the ball and I know they can knock down their shots."
One of those guys knocking them down was Orlando Thomas. A sophomore, Thomas drilled four 3-pointers, three of which came in the third quarter as he helped rally the Mustangs.
"When they focus on Max and try to triple-team on the top, one of us has to step up to take the pressure off him," said Thomas, who finished with 15 points. "That's what I have been trying to do for the past couple of games. He has been looking up and finding me in the corner and making it easy for me."
Rolling Meadows (20-8) will meet Maine West next week in the opening round of the state playoffs. On Tuesday, the Mustangs became the first Rolling Meadows team since the 1990-91 season to win 20 games in a season.
Barrington (20-7), which will meet Prospect in the state playoffs next week, gave the Mustangs all they could handle. With their huge size advantage and their ability to crash the boards, the Broncos had a 33-15 rebounding advantage.
Cameron Christie, who finished with 13 points for Rolling Meadows, got the Mustangs off to a nice start. But Barrington began to bang the boards hard, creating second-chance points as it took a 27-24 halftime lead.
With the scored tied at 27, Barrington scored 7 unanswered points and took a 34-27 lead on a triple by Damian Zivak.
Thomas counted with a pair of 3s to keep the Mustangs close. Trailing 38-34, Meadows scored the final 8 points of the quarter to lead 42-38 and never trailed from there.
Barrington did cut it to 57-56 with 28.2 seconds left on a basket by Aaron Sarkar. Max Christie, who was 11-of-14 from the free-throw line, drilled a pair of free throws and Thomas added another for the victory.
"Overall rebounding we did a great job," Barrington coach Bryan Tucker said. "Our kids, across the board, great effort. We rebounded like we hadn't all season and we can continue that."
Barrington was led by Dylan Keenan, who had 17 points. Zivak and Will Grudzinski each had 9 points while Sarkar had 8 points.