New Trier rallies from 17 down, hands Rolling Meadows 1st loss
No matter what month of the basketball season when it takes place, big boy basketball is big boy basketball.
Two giants in the North and Northwest suburbs, once beaten New Trier and unbeaten Rolling Meadows, went head-to-head in the South Elgin Shootout Saturday afternoon.
New Trier fought back from a 39-22 deficit to beat the Mustangs 65-64.
The Trevians' Ian Brown, a 6-foot-5 junior, hit 12 of 15 three-pointers for 36 points in pinning the first loss on Rolling Meadows.
"He was on fire and just couldn't miss," said Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich.
Jack Fiegan (Cornell), who would score 12 points, drove the baseline and scored from underneath for New Trier with: 14 left for the lead.
"I don't think that we lost the game as much as they won the game," said Katovich. "We have nothing to hang our heads about. We really battled. It will be a good learning experience for us."
"This was just a great game," said New Trier coach Steve Fricke. "Our kids just didn't quit. We played hard. Rolling Meadows is a very good team and they are going to win a ton of games. We would cut the lead and they would build it right back."
Cam Christie led the Mustangs with 28 points. Sophomore Jack Duffer scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half.
Duffer, who sandwiched two 3-point baskets between two Christie baskets, saw Rolling Meadows lead 62-57 with 2:17 left in the game.
Brown was not to be denied as his teammates found him open for two 3-point baskets and a 63-62 lead with 1:42 left.
A turnover by the 8-1 Trevians led to Christie's short-lived lane shot for a 64-63 lead with: 24 left.
After Fiegan's basket, New Trier committed their sixth foul keeping Christie from driving the lane. After a timeout, the Mustangs inbounded the ball from the sideline with: 04 left.
Mark Nikolich-Wilson (9 points, 7 rebounds) inbounded to Christie who passed back to Wilson whose last-second jump shot bounced off the rim.
"I credit Evan Kanello's defense on Christie in the fourth quarter," said Fricke. "That was a difference. This game could have ended either way."
"Duffer did a great job as a spot starter for us," said Katovich. "He and Jacob Repak played well."
Tsvet Sotirov missed the game for the Mustangs with a sprained left ankle suffered in the Hersey game Friday night. He is expected back next Friday.
"We knew we would all have to pick it up today with Tsvet going down Friday," said Duffer. "I wanted to do what I could to help us today. If you lose a game in December it's all right but you want to win these games in March. We're in the same sectional and we could play each other again. That would mean a lot more."
Ian Miletic (8 points) and Foster Ogbonna (6 points) helped keep the Mustangs in the game until the end.
Brown, who had a previous high last year against Evanston, felt comfortable early.
"We knew Rolling Meadows was a very tough team," said Brown. "It was a big test. I felt like I was in my zone early in the game. My teammates just did a great job setting screens to free me up."