Rolling Meadows has complete team effort in win over Buffalo Grove
When asked what he feared most about Rolling Meadows boys basketball team, Buffalo Grove coach Keith Peterson had no doubts.
"Their press is something that I worry about," said Peterson.
It came to be. The host Mustangs forced 16 turnovers in the first three quarters, scoring 15 points off those Bison miscues. That was enough of a difference to lift Rolling Meadows to a one-sided 68-36 Mid-Suburban East win.
Orlando Thomas and Cameron Christie led the offensive outburst for the Mustangs (6-1, 2-0).
Thomas scored 21 points and grabbed 7 rebounds to go with 3 steals, while Christie tallied 16 points as both players only played three quarters.
"I give a lot of credit to my teammates for finding me open," said Thomas. "They set screens for me and were able to get me the ball. Our press with our length has been effective for us. We're able to get some tip passes because of that length just like Glenbard West does. It's good to get a conference win like this. We're hoping to go unbeaten in the conference."
"Tonight I really liked our hustle," said Mustangs coach Kevin Katovich. "We got to some loose balls. Guys were diving all over the place and I was glad to see that."
The Bison (3-3, 1-1) led 11-10 with 4:33 left in the first quarter after Aidas Davis (9 points) hit 2 free throws.
Rolling Meadows closed out the quarter with a 8-0 run to lead 18-11. Christie scored the last two baskets of the quarter.
A basket by Christie to start the second quarter off an assist from Thomas kept the Mustangs rolling. Thomas then stole the ball and scored to double the score at 22-11.
Thomas and Christie each would have 7 points in the quarter and Meadows led 36-19 at halftime.
Rolling Meadows outscored the Bison 27-10 in the third quarter. Thomas scored 10 points in the period.
"Those two are real good friends," said Katovich. "They played well for us and helped force a lot of turnovers. Our defense played very well and I have seen improvement in each game. Their play helps set up the tone of the game."
Mark Nikolch-Wilson scored 9 points and freshman Ian Miletic added 8 points for the Mustangs.
"Buffalo Grove, no matter who's on it, always plays us super hard and physical," said Christie. "We were ready to play and ready to go. We wanted to make a statement tonight that we're a team you don't want to mess with in the MSL. We want to be in the front seat. Everyone can play and this team takes their roles seriously."
George Shiakollis had 6 points for the Bison and Jacob Heinrich scored 5 points.
Peterson was impressed with the Mustangs' play.
"That team has a lot of talent," said Peterson. "We knew their length would be a problem for us. It was hard to be physical with a team that is so talented and moves so well. Our passing has to tighten up a little bit better."