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Meadows maintains momentum
By Larry Weindruch | Daily Herald Correspondent
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Published: 2/15/2013 10:58 PM

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Rolling Meadows ran its Mid-Suburban East winning streak to three games on Friday.

The Mustangs finished division play with a 5-5 record after defeating Wheeling 48-42 and spoiling senior night for the host Wildcats.

With consecutive wins over Hersey, Buffalo Grove and Wheeling, the Mustangs (7-15) head into next week’s MSL boys basketball crossover and the regional tournament with some momentum.

“Before (this streak), we lost some games by 2 or 3 points,” said Meadows guard Jack Milas (13 points). “We were right there but weren’t finishing. Now we are and our confidence is up.”

The Mustangs led wire to wire, but the game was never out of hand, thanks to some long-range marksmanship by Wheeling’s Nick Riccardi (13 points).

The senior guard hit three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.

He and junior Jeremy Stephani (game-high 15) combined for 16 of the Wildcats’ 20 fourth-quarter points.

Matt Dolan scored 9 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter, including three strong drives to the basket midway through the quarter.

“Matt stepped up big in the fourth quarter,” Meadows coach Kevin Katovich said. “We’re moving in the right direction. We’re playing our best basketball, which is what you want this time of the year.”

Wheeling (6-19, 1-9) rewarded its seniors with starts and playing time in the first and third quarters.

Riccardi was joined by Nate Majkowski, Kameron Hill, Will Andersen and Jeremiah Levin in the starting five, and Zack Nauert, Scottie Bertrand and Bubba Bendewald saw playing time on their big night.

“Our regular starters did a nice job coming off the bench,” Wheeling coach Tony Como said. “I couldn’t ask for a better group of seniors. They have character and a great work ethic, and I’m super proud of them.”

Mike Dolan scored 12 points for the balanced Mustangs, who face Conant in next week’s MSL crossover.