Rolling Meadows wins, will meet Lake Forest in Tosh quarterfinals

 
By Greg Swiderski
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/28/2021 8:46 PM

Rolling Meadows threw a triple whammy at Lemont Tuesday afternoon at the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic boys basketball tournament at York High School in Elmhurst.

The scoring of Cameron Christie and Orlando Thomas, and the inside scoring and the board play by Mark Nikolich-Wlson lifted the Mustangs to a 67-59 win over Lemont.

 

The win puts Rolling Meadows (11-1) into the quarterfinals against Lake Forest Wednesday afternoon at 3:30 pm.

"Lake Forest is experienced and well-coached," said Mustangs coach Kevin Katovich. "We have a lot of work to do tonight and tomorrow."

Christie hit for a game-high 27 points Tuesday, Thomas funneled in 25 and Nikolich-Wilson added 10 points and 9 rebounds.

"Mark played really well today," said Thomas. "He didn't play as big yesterday as he did today. He's growth from yesterday to today stood out to me. He's a big dude and when he get's into the post he can show some good moves."

Thomas scored 13 points in the first quarter to help build a 16-7 lead before picking up his second foul, sending him to the bench.

Lemont then showed off its long range shooting ability, hitting 6 of 10 3-pointers.

The Castillo brothers, Matas and Rokas, combined for 17 of Lemont's 23 points in the second quarter to take a 34-32 lead at halftime.

With Thomas back in the lineup, the Mustangs started to roll again.

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"It was a nice start for us in the (third) quarter," said Katovich. "Cameron continued to hit the mid-range jumpers, Orlando got us some points and Mark was aggressive rebounding.

Lemont (8-3) tied the game twice at 43 and 45 late in the quarter.

Christie's 3-pointer and Nikolich-Wilson's basket from an assist by Thomas gave Meadows a lead it would not relinquish.

Matas Castillo did his best to try to bring his team back, scoring 8 of his team-high 17 points in the fourth quarter.

Rolling Meadows hit 11 of 13 shots in the final quarter to keep 5 to 7 point leads down the stretch.

Rokas Castillo and high-scoring Nojus Indrusaitis each had13 points for Lemont.

"It was a good game with a lot of good players," said Lemont coach Rick Runaas. "Their players were just a little bit better today. Our effort was there but some of our late game executions was not enough. In a close game like this it's the little things."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Niikolich- Wilson was happy with the win and his performance.

"It was the little things that helped us win today," he said. "Scoring, rebounding and defense did it. We came out in the second half and had a big third quarter which seems to be something we do a lot. We just made things happen."

"We have to figure out more ways to get him the ball," said Katovich. "He's a dangerous weapon under the basket."

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