Stevenson's Kari Mofat (right) shoots as she is being guarded by Rolling Meadows' Alexis Glasgow during their sectional basketball game at Libertyville. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 20, 2013 6:19AM
When you’ve lost three times in four months, there’s no room for the word “struggling” in a story.
But Rolling Meadows was so off the charts the first two-thirds of what is now a 28-3 season, that the plateau it hit in late January felt like a downhill run on a ski slope in the Alps.
Not to worry. The Mustangs are back on top of the mountain.
Monday in the semifinals of the Class 4A Libertyville Sectional, Rolling Meadows controlled a red-hot Stevenson squad 58-47 to earn a spot in Thursday’s championship game.
The Mustangs led 7-0 out of the gate, 17-4 after one quarter, 23-18 at at the half, then pulled away steadily right after intermission.
Jackie Kemph, a guard who can penetrate into the paint, led the winners with 23 points and Alexis Glasgow added 16.
Kari Moffat had 18 points and Sophia Way 10 as Stevenson finished 20-9 and had its seven-game winning streak and season ended.
“Obviously, everybody left at this point is a very good team,” said Rolling Meadows Ryan Kirkorsky. “You have to come ready to play. When we make the commitment defensively, we’re very difficult to beat.”
“We had a stretch (in the second quarter) when we didn’t defend very well. We didn’t more our feet or stay in front of them. That’s what we talked about at halftime. If you want to win a sectional championship, it’s about getting stops and rebounding.”
On the Stevenson side, Hall of Fame coach Tom Dineen said goodbye to four-year varsity players Moffat and Alex Elzinga, who came into the program the same time Dineen did after a great coaching career at Buffalo Grove.
“I thought Kari and Alex went out on a positive note. They came in with me four years ago and won 85 games. That’s an awesome accomplishment for those kid,” Dineen said. “Them, and our other two seniors have been a great example for our younger players.”
The coach also praised Rolling Meadows, which will play Thursday for the sectional title at Libertyville.
“They have a lot of weapons, both inside and out,” he said. “They can shoot it well. You can’t say ‘If you stop one player, you’re stopping Rolling Meadows.’ They have too many weapons.”