Dominant Max Christie leads Rolling Meadows past Buffalo Grove

Max Christie finished with 25 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks to lead the Mustangs in a season-opening win against Buffalo Grove.

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Rolling Meadows’ Max Christie (12) delivers the ball to the basket during the game against Buffalo Grove.

Rolling Meadows’ Max Christie (12) delivers the ball to the basket during the game against Buffalo Grove.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

So much of high school basketball is about potential. College coaches, recruiting analysts and media spend four years sizing up a player, debating and arguing about his future.

It can get old. Sometimes the importance of high school basketball seems lost amidst all the talk about what a player may achieve at the next level.

Rolling Meadows senior Max Christie is going to a college that you’ve definitely heard about. He’s living up to all the potential the scouts saw and all the praise that has been heaped upon him the past four years.

But what that means for actual high school basketball is immense. Christie led the Mustangs to a 68-63 win against visiting Buffalo Grove on Saturday. He has always been an impact player, but he’s completely dominant as a senior.

“This year it is just his team,” Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich said. “I don’t have to say much anymore. He takes care of it all.”

Christie finished with 25 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks. At least half of the blocks were the type that your dad or older brother used to pull off in the driveway. He blocks the shot and just takes the ball away.

“It really means a lot to be out here playing my senior year,” Christie said. “I’m trying to show all the work that I put in and put it all out on the floor and I feel like I did a decent job of that in the first game.”

Rolling Meadows’ Max Christie (12) and Cameron Christie (24) cover Buffalo Groves’ Kam Craft (12).

Rolling Meadows’ Max Christie (12) and Cameron Christie (24) cover Buffalo Groves’ Kam Craft (12).

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

Rolling Meadows led throughout the game but Buffalo Grove made a late run. A three-point play by Kam Craft cut the Mustangs’ lead to 64-63 with 12 seconds to play.

Christie made four free throws in the final ten seconds to seal the win for Rolling Meadows.

The Mustangs spent all week preparing to stop Craft, who set a Buffalo Grove school record for points in a season last year—when he was only a sophomore.

Craft finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds, he scored 11 in the fourth quarter.

Rolling Meadows senior Daniel Sobkowicz took the majority of the responsibility to contain Craft.

“My teammates actually helped a lot,” Sobkowicz said. “We were basically doubling him every time he got the ball and I was just trying my best not to let him catch the ball.”

Sophomore Cameron Christie and Sobkowicz each scored 14 and Orlando Thomas added 11 points and five rebounds for the Mustangs.

Christie is clearly on another level this season, but so are his teammates. There have been doubters around the area about just how good Rolling Meadows might be this season. It’s just the first game and some questions have already been answered.

“The biggest thing is the seniors have been talking about this since fifth, sixth grade,” Max Christie said. “We played as seniors together all through middle school and that stuff. We know each other really well. The bond we’ve created is showing on the court. And we have a lot more weapons this year offensively.”

Watch the final minute of Buffalo Grove at Rolling Meadows:

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