Rolling Meadows shares the ball, routs Libertyville
Rolling Meadows boys basketball coach calls guard Foster Ogbonna, the glue, and senior forward Tsvet Sotirov, the X-Faxtor.
Both filled their roles in the host Mustangs' 69-43 nonconference win over a talented Libertyville team Saturday night.
"When Tsvet and Foster play like they did tonight, not just shooting but rebounding, being physical and playing defense, we become a dangerous team," said Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich.
Foster led the 24-4 Mustangs with 17 points and 8 rebounds. Sotirov scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half when the Mustangs broke out to a 36-22 halftime lead.
"We have to help Cam (Christie) out with scoring," said Sotirov. "All five of us have to be scoring options. Tonight we took care of business. This was a sound win for us. We played really good defense."
Libertyville coach Brian Zyrkowski could attest to that fact.
"They have length and they play smart defense," said Zyrkowski. "They shot well, moved the ball and made tough shots. We didn't help ourselves by committing turnovers (13). We can learn a lot from a game like this. Our players will bounce back like they always do from a loss."
The Wildcats (21-5) were led by senior Aidyn Boone with 11 points. Kaj Sorensen added 9 points.
Ogbonna started the game with a 3-point basket on the Mustangs' initial 9-0 run. Libertyville closed to 14-11 with 3:00 left in the first quarter.
Ogbonna then started a 9-2 run with a putback basket and Sotirov added a three-pointer and a layup as the buzzer sounded for a 23-13 lead.
Leading 36-22 at halftime, Rolling Meadows used a 13-2 run to start the third quarter to extend the lead to 49-23 before coasting to the win.
"We were locked in tonight," said Ogbonna. "We were unselfish, we shared the ball and we were unstoppable. This win helps us a lot. We've been playing some really tough teams like New Trier, Joliet West and Brother Rice and we hung with them."
"We noticed in some of those losses that we only had 6 or 7 assists rather than our usual 15 plus," said Katovich. "So in the walk through this morning we really stressed sharing better. They players took it to heart. Our guys executed our game plan. They shared and encouraged each other."
Christie scored 13, Ian Miletic had 10 and Mark Nikolich-Wilson scored 6 points to go with 3 steals.
Rolling Meadows shot 23 of 45 from the field which included a dozen 3-point baskets. The Wildcats connected on 15 of 39 shots.