Christie sets Rolling Meadows scoring record, praises sophomore teammate
On a night when he would become the all-time leading scorer in Rolling Meadows boys basketball history, Max Christie was more than willing to step aside to give accolades to someone else.
Sophomore Foster Ogbonna came off the bench to grab 17 rebounds, 11 in the fourth quarter, to help lead Rolling Meadows past a young, talented and tall St. Rita team 66-53 Saturday in Rolling Meadows.
"I was just working hard and trying to do what my coach said," said Ogbonna, who at 6-foot-3 outbattled a St. Rita front line that includes a pair of 6-8 players.
"I just was competing, competing with every single possession."
Christie, whose dad Max Sr., had given advice to Ogbonna to play like Dennis Rodman, loved the way his teammate sparked the Mustangs' play.
"Foster works so hard," said Christie, a Michigan State signee. "It feels real good to see him perform like that. He is capable of that every single game. I know he can do it. It was real good to see that glimpse for himself and hopefully continue that streak."
Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich was impressed as well.
"It's amazing," Katovich said. "He keeps getting better and better. I have been telling him that he can't be nervous and that it is just basketball. The fact that he went out against 6-8 guys and got 17 rebounds. That's a man game."
Christie broke the 20-year old school record of Rob Garnes on the final play of the first quarter. Christie hit a spectacular shot, a 35-footer, just as buzzer sounded. The ball bounced off the front of the rim, then off the backboard and then dropped through the hoop.
"It felt really good," said Christie, who with his 18 points on Saturday now has 1,875 career points.
"That was one of the goals I really wanted. Even as a freshman, I came here and wanted the all-time scoring record."
If there were fans in the stands, they may have been disappointed in the second quarter. Both Christie and St. Rita super freshman James Brown were on the bench during the entire period due to foul trouble.
With Christie on the bench, Rolling Meadows was able to build a 28-21 halftime lead. That lead came from players like Daniel Sobkowicz, who scored 7 of his 16 points in the first half.
"We are just a team, it doesn't matter who is on the court," Sobkowicz said. "I saw Max, he was cheering us on the bench anyways. It just gave us confidence."
St. Rita (1-1) scored on its first 8 possessions of the second half to take a brief 39-38 lead.
Rolling Meadows then stiffened on defense, holding the Mustangs to just 4 points in the next 8 minutes as Meadows went on a 17-4 run to put the game away.
Aidan Holler had 10 points for the Mustangs while Cameron Christie added 9 points.