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Meadows finds its groove again in second half
By Ryan O’Gara | Daily Herald Correspondent
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Published: 2/20/2013 12:00 AM

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Offensive ineptitude isn’t something that rattles the Rolling Meadows boys basketball team.

The Mustangs had more turnovers than points in the first half of their Mid-Suburban crossover on Tuesday night.

But it’s a script that has been quite successful of late for Meadows.

The Mustangs found their groove on offense in the second half to top visiting Conant 41-34 for their fifth straight win.

After getting shut out in the first quarter of Saturday’s 52-43 victory over Leyden, shooting 3-for-13 in the first half and leading 8-7 at intermission was nothing to be alarmed about for the Mustangs (10-15).

“It’s like usual for us,” joked Rolling Meadows guard Jack Milas. “We’re comfortable there.”

Kidding aside, Meadows’ offense came to life after halftime, shooting 11-for-15 from the floor and 9-for-13 at the foul line.

Kevin Schimel’s bucket gave Conant (14-13) a 14-12 lead with 5:28 left in the third quarter. But Meadows went on an 8-0 run to take the lead for good.

Brian Sabal, who finished with 6 points and 6 rebounds while helping his team to a 20-16 advantage on the boards, scored twice during the spurt before Milas (game-high 15 points) capped it with his third 3-pointer of the evening.

“We just said that we wanted to look to attack more,” said Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich. “We thought we were being a little passive in the half court, and Conant will do that to you. I thought in the second half we were more aggressive and looking to get the ball inside more. That helped.”

Matt Dolan scored all 10 of his points in the second half, either muscling his way to the basket or converting from the foul line. His 2 free throws put the Mustangs ahead 37-26 with 1:19 left.

With Mike Dolan and senior point guard Austin Reed on top of Meadows’ matchup zone and Milas, Matt Dolan, Adam Pavlakis and Sabal working down low, Conant had trouble generating offense until it was too late.

The Cougars were 5-for-26 from the floor through three quarters.

“I think a lot of teams are thrown off by it because you don’t really see it ever,” Milas said of the matchup zone. “There’s no holes to it, really, unless you have a good jump shooter.”

“I thought we got really good looks and didn’t make them,” said Conant coach Tom McCormack. “We have to break out of that. The Rolling Meadows kids really executed well but I thought we generated enough and we didn’t make shots. That’s been the case of our season.”

Schimel paced Conant with 13 points while point guard Joey Ranallo (6 points, 5 assists) continues to work his way back from a shoulder injury that sidelined him for five weeks.