Friday, February 8, 2013

Meadows makes statement against Hersey

After losing its last three games by a combined seven points, the Rolling Meadows boys basketball team made a statement on Friday night.
Led by a core group of seniors, the Mustangs upended the Hersey Huskies 49-35 in Rolling Meadows.
Powered by seniors Matt Dolan (game-high 14 points, 10 rebounds), Austin Reed (12 points), and Jack Milas (7 points), the Mustangs avenged a 38-32 loss at Hersey on Nov. 30 with a convincing win over the Huskies, who beat Prospect a week ago to end the Knights’ unbeaten run in Mid-Suburban East play.
“It feels good to get this win,” Mustangs coach Kevin Katovich said after his team snapped a five-game losing skid. “We told the guys we needed to keep sticking with the plan.”
The Mustangs (6-15, 3-5) took an early 7-0 lead and led 11-5 after one quarter. Hersey guard Alex Mueller (team-high 13 points) cut the deficit to 13-11 with a basket with 4:30 left in the first half, but Meadows responded with an 8-0 run, capped off by Tim Smith’s 3-pointer to make it 21-11. Mueller closed the half strong with two baskets to make it 21-16 at the break.
The Mustangs came out strong in the second half with a 6-0 run to push the lead to double digits.
Hersey (6-13, 3-5) closed to 27-21 with two Quinn Orlandi baskets but Matt Dolan scored 7 of his 14 points in the third quarter to give Meadows a 37-26 edge after three quarters.
“Our seniors made a statement to start the third quarter,” Katovich said. “We challenged him (Matt Dolan) at half, and he certainly responded.”
Playing a matchup zone throughout the game, the Mustangs pressured the ball and varied their looks on the Huskies, who only made 13-of-45 shots while Meadows connected on 19-of-49 of its attempts.
The home team pulled away in the fourth quarter.
Mike Dolan’s steal and basket gave the Mustangs their biggest lead of the game at 45-28 with 5:30 left in the game.
“We came out with a lot of energy and this should give us a lot more confidence for the rest of the season,” Reed said. “If we play like this, we can beat anyone.”

Thursday, February 7, 2013

DePaul frustration

After watching the Blue Demons lose at AllState Arena to Villanova the other night, my frustration reached a breaking point. It looks like this program is never going to turn around. I hate to say it, but it's true. It seems like this team can never get over the hump. If head coach Oliver Purnell wants to keep his job past this year, the Blue Demons are going to have to win some more Big East games late in the season.

The overtime losses to Saint John's in Notre Dame were rough, but this loss to Villanova was flat out embarrassing. Sure, Villanova has beaten some good teams lately, but they also lost to Providence and haven't been consistent on offense this year. The two were tied at halftime and it seemed like DePaul could stick around, but the Wildcats shot 60 percent from the field in this game. Call it bad defense or great shooting, but either way it was another letdown for Oliver Purnell's bunch.

Something has to change going forward. I still think Purnell can't keep running this press without the right personnel. He also must recruit legitimate big men who can rebound the basketball and actually score a little bit. Melvin and Young are good players, but there is no consistent third scoring option on this squad.

There is some talent on this team. I thought they would be middle of the pack in the Big East this year, with a chance to surprise a higher-seeded team in the Big East tournament this year. I was severely mistaken.