Glenbrook North edges Rolling Meadows behind Lappin's career night
Glenbrook North's Sam Lappin made sure his Spartans were able to lap Rolling Meadows.
Lappin, who is a junior, scored a career-high 23 points as Glenbrook North dropped the Mustangs 57-54 Tuesday in Northbrook.
The win could elevate Glenbrook North (24-3) to the top seed in the extremely competitive New Trier sectional. The loss also could move the Mustangs down to the third seed with the seeds due out Thursday afternoon.
Lappin's performance was even more needed since the Spartans lost guard Josh Fridman in the first quarter to an apparent knee injury.
"This win means everything especially when Josh went down," said Ryan Cohen, who finished the game with nine points.
"We said at halftime we are doing it for him. It doesn't matter the team we play, it doesn't matter the opponent, this was all for Josh."
Cohen, along with Lappin and Patrick Schaller, (15 points, 6 rebounds) came up big in the second half for the Spartans. Glenbrook North was able to rally from a five-point deficit in the third quarter to post the victory.
"You have to give all the credit to our guys," Glenbrook North coach Quin Hayes said. "They are really special because they are really tight on and off the court. If you don't have that, we don't win games like that."
The Spartans led 44-41 on Lappin's fifth three-pointer early in the fourth quarter.
Rolling Meadows came back to tie it on a three-point play by Tsvet Sotirov with 4:27 left.
Glenbrook North took over from there.
A basket by Schaller on the inside and Cohen's three-pointer sparked a 6-0 run to make it 50-44 with 2:06 left. After a basket by Cameron Christie, Glenbrook North then put the finishing touches on the game with baskets by Schaller and Lappin.
"We fought the whole game," Hayes said. "I am really proud of our guys. I thought Sammy was fantastic. He got hot for us and helped right the ship when we lost Josh."
In the first half, both teams were willing to kick the tires and test each other out.
Glenbrook North went on a 9-0 run and took a 20-16 advantage early in the second quarter.
Rolling Meadows was able to stay within striking distance with the strong inside play by Mark Nikolich-Wilson. The senior had a pair of baskets and two free throws to put the Mustangs back on top 27-25.
Christie heated up in the second quarter.
The senior began to shake free of his shadows, forcing the Spartans to foul him. He converted five consecutive free throws to give his team a 29-27 lead. Christie closed out the half with a three-pointer to give the Mustangs a 32-27 lead at the break.
But Meadows could not sustain that energy in the second half.
Christie finished with 24 points. Nikolich-Wilson had 16 points and 8 rebounds, Ian Miletic six points and Foster Ogbonna five points and 10 rebounds.
"That was a great high school game with a great atmosphere," Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich said. "We are absolutely disappointed. We have to learn from it quick. Hopefully we get a chance to play a team like this again."