Thomas helps Meadows get by Prospect to stay undefeated
On a night after he was snubbed for the all conference team, Rolling Meadows' Orlando Thomas showed that he belonged.
The junior knocked down a career-high 23 points and helped rescue his team to a 50-42 victory over a pesky Prospect squad Thursday in a Mid-Suburban East boys basketball game in Mount Prospect.
"We don't win tonight without Orlando, " Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich said. "We don't win all season without Orlando. In my opinion, and I'm biased, Orlando Thomas should have been an all-conference player. And he wasn't. And he showed tonight why he is an all-conference player."
Thomas was disappointed by not being named to the team. But he was happy that the Mustangs (14-0, 10-0) remained unbeaten.
"I was a little upset," Thomas said. "But it's all fine. We came out here and executed our game plan. What we really wanted to do was go 10-0 in the conference. That was our main goal and stay undefeated."
With the rest of his team struggling on the offensive end, Thomas came out firing. He sparked the Mustangs to an 11-0 lead and hit his first 5 field goals including a pair of 3-pointers as Meadows led 22-12 after the first quarter.
"It was good to see him play," said Mustangs senior Max Christie, who was limited to 7 points but had 12 rebounds. "He is an all-conference player in my book. My goal was to keep feeding him the ball and getting him the looks and he did a good job of connecting on them."
Prospect (4-9, 3-7), which gave Meadows fits in a 2-point loss to the Mustangs in their first meeting, did not just go away Thursday. The Knights scored the first 10 points of the third quarter on their way to a 14-3 run and 26-25 lead on a free throw by Alex Georgakas.
The Knights would lead 31-30 at the break, but the Rolling Meadows defense came up huge. The Mustangs kept Prospect away from the basket and then rebounded the missed shots. Prospect would hit just 2-of-14 until late in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile Meadows would spread the floor with the ball. Cameron Christie (11 points) knocked down a pair of baskets and Thomas had a basket as the Mustangs built a 45-36 with 2:37 to play on a pair of free throws from Thomas.
Prospect found the range, with Georgakas and Marco Shaw each knocking down a 3 as the Knights pulled to within 46-42 with 1:12 to play. Thomas and Max Christie each canned a pair of free throws and the defense came up with a pair of stops to put the game away.
"If we get a couple shots to fall here, well, that's what happens," Prospect coach John Camardella said. "I was worried when we fell down 11-0, but huge credit to our guys for battling."
Chase Larsen led Prospect with 12 points and 7 rebounds while Owen Schneider had 10 points.