Max Christie heats up, Meadows cools off Hersey
When the legend of Max Christie is discussed years from now, most certainly his game Friday night against Hersey will be near the top of the conversation.
Christie was spectacular, especially in the second half, as he willed the Mustangs back from a 13-point deficit to upend Hersey 74-69 in a boys basketball game at Hersey's Ken Carter Gymnasium Arlington Heights.
The win gave Rolling Meadows (6-0, 3-0), sole possession of first place in the Mid-Suburban East in this shortened season.
Christie finished with 33 points, 26 in the second half, including 17 points in the third quarter.
"I started off slow early in the game," Christie said. "I knew I had to pick it up because I wasn't producing enough. That third quarter happened to be that booster for me. I got that putback dunk and that half-court shot and that kind of boosted me up a bit."
And as legends grow, Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich remembered another time Christie helped bring his team back at Hersey.
"His freshman year, he did the same thing in the second half," Katovich said of the Michigan State recruit. "He is definitely a Hersey second-half guy. He just decided and then willed us to that win."
Christie scored 7 of the Mustangs' 17 points in the final 46 seconds of the third quarter. Those 7 points included a rebound jam off a missed shot, a driving layup past four Huskie players and a half-court 3-pointer at the buzzer as Rolling Meadows closed to 54-48 after three quarters.
Sparked by Christie's play, Rolling Meadows picked up its play. After a basket by Hersey's Griffin Ginder made it 56-49, the Mustangs ran off 12 unanswered points with Christie scoring 6 of those points to make it 61-56 with 4:20 to play.
"The other guys just elevate after what he does," Katovich said. "For whatever reason we needed to be woke up after that first half."
Meadows, which got another strong game from Daniel Sobkowicz (14 points), was able to put the game away down the stretch as Cameron Christie (21 points) and Orlando Thomas (8 points) combined to hit 7-of-8 free throws to clinch the game.
"Our confidence wasn't low, we just needed that energy burst," Cameron Christie said. "Max went crazy at the end of the third quarter and that gave us all the momentum we needed."
Hersey (5-2, 2-1) played nearly perfectly for almost three quarters.
Led by Ethan Roberts (20 points), Ben Randall (15 points, 14 rebounds), Ginder (11 points), Andrew Wagner (10 points) and Jack Muglia (8 points), the Huskies outplayed the Mustangs for the first three quarters.
"We put ourselves into a good position to win," Hersey coach Austin Scott said. "It is just like we did 75 percent of the homework and then disregarded the last page."