Glenbrook South nips Rolling Meadows
It has been a while since a high school basketball game has been as entertaining on Tuesday night as the one on Tuesday night between Glenbrook South and Rolling Meadows.
With a large crowd on hand, buoyed by a huge Rolling Meadows student section, Glenbrook South pulled away in the second half to beat the host Mustangs 89-82 in a nonconference boys game.
The game had a state sectional feeling to it. And with good measure, since both teams should end up in the top four seeds of the Glenbrook South sectional, which begins in two weeks.
The Titans (26-2), who are currently ranked second in the state in Class 4A, came into the game with their only losses being to state power Glenbard West by 3 points, and to conference rival, New Trier by 4 points.
"I don't know if any team has played as tough as schedule as we have," Glenbrook South coach Phil Ralston said. "We played three city powerhouses. We have beat more Top 20 teams than any team in our sectional."
Glenbrook South got a huge game from its two Division-I recruits in Nick Martinelli, who finished with 33 points, and Cooper Noard, who tallied 20 points.
But it was the rest of the team that was the unsung stars Tuesday night for the Titans as Glenbrook South had five players in double figures. RJ Davis had 11 points while Spencer Brown and Gaven Marr each had 10 points.
Martinelli, whose 18 second-half points, helped erase a 42-41 halftime deficit, said he feels that the Titans are a complete team.
"It is just a full team thing," Martinelli said. "A lot of people say there are superstars and role players. I say that every player on our team is a superstar."
Rolling Meadows (24-4) has now lost only to state-ranked teams. The Mustangs' losses have come to Glenbard West, Wheaton Warrenville South, New Trier and now Glenbrook South.
"We battled all the way to the very end," Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich said. "This game is going to help us in the long run. And hopefully we can play these guys again in the sectional. But we still have a long way to go to get there."
The Mustangs also had difficulty with Glenbrook South's hot shooting from outside the arc. The Titans converted 11-of-16 from 3-point range while Meadows was 11-of-21 with Cameron Christie knocking down six of those to finish with 32 points.
Meadows led 48-46 early in the third quarter. Glenbrook South then scored the next 7 points and the Titans never trailed from there.
"I felt like at times like I was watching the movie Pleasantville," Katovich said. "Every shot they took, went in. They are the real deal. They are a real good basketball team. We have played a lot of good teams this year. I don't know if anyone is better than them."
Meadows did get a huge game from Mark Nikolich-Wilson. The 6-foot-7 junior had a career-high 20 points and added 7 rebounds. His inside play, especially in the first quarter when he scored 10 of his points, opened up the floor for Christie and Orlando Thomas (19 points).
"If I'm playing well inside, you have to respect it," Nikolich-Wilson said. "So it helps us hit outside shots too. It gets everyone going."