Injury-plagued Huskies shipwrecked by Pirates

? Team unable to fend off 14th-ranked Falcons.

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By DYLAN TRAINOR

For the second week in a row the Oak Park and River Forest boys' basketball team struggled in the second half, resulting in a 66-57 West Suburban crossover loss to Proviso East on Friday night. 

The Huskies (8-8, 2-3) played well in the first half despite again not having guard Evan Hilton (ankle), center Howard Boone (knee), or forward Jason Pontone (shoulder) due to injuries. OPRF had very few turnovers, with only two coming from the starting five.

The Huskies also rebounded well, and mixed up defenses throughout the half in order to stymie the explosive Pirate attack. OPRF kept within four points at the half for a 29-25 tally, which was fairly impressive against the 11th-ranked Pirates. 

However, the third quarter saw an increase in turnovers, which led directly to layups for Proviso East, and the Huskies were outscored 21-11 in the quarter and 21-16 in the final period.

Similar to their loss to Downers Grove North the previous week, the Huskies again had trouble finding an offensive rhythm. Robert Strzemp's  24 points, 12 of which came in the fourth quarter, weren't enough to spark a run. The Huskies did receive some offensive support from Brandon Lathon, who had nine points to go along with 11 rebounds, seven on offense. Lathon also had three assists and three steals. Gabe Sims chipped in 11 points for the Huskies.

Brian Carlwell led Proviso East with 19 points.

The Huskies also fell to 14th-ranked Thornridge 48-36 on Saturday.

OPRF trailed by only four at the end of three quarters, 31-27, but were unable to keep pace with the Falcons, who jumped on a 17-9 run in the final period.

The Huskies had 20 turnovers in the game.

"A team should be happy to hold a team like Thornridge to 48 points, but we just couldn't score," said OPRF head coach Al Allen.

The Huskies were again led by Strzemp, who scored 20 points and pulled down 13 rebounds. Dwight James scored six points for OPRF.

The Huskies host Hinsdale Central Friday at 7:30 p.m.

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