By Brad Spencer
The OPRF girls basketball team began this week riding a three-game win-streak, a welcomed accomplishment considering the struggles the Huskies have endured this season.
Those struggles, which included a 17-point loss to West Suburban (Silver) Conference foe Downers Grove North back in November, appeared only faded memories when OPRF took on the Trojans for a matinee game on Saturday afternoon. This time the Huskies cruised to an 82-72 victory.
Sophomore Hailey Hoye had her best performance of the season thus far, scoring a career-high 32 points on 10 shot attempts from the field, all of which were beyond the three-point line. Hoye hit six of those 10 from long range, and was clutch at the free-three line. She connected on 14 of 15 attempts at the charity stripe.
"Hailey is really starting to gain some confidence, and I believe she will continue to have monster games like this," said OPRF head coach JP Coughlin.
The Huskies, who with the win pushed their overall record to 8-12 and their conference mark to 4-5, had three other players score in double digits. Cuyla Hall added 14 points to go along with her five rebounds, while Caroline Kelty chipped in 13 points along with six rebounds, four assists and four steals. Emily Vachon provided 11 points and five rebounds for OPRF, and sophomore Emily Schreck quashed two mini-Downers Grove runs by burying two long-range three-pointers.
Defensively, OPRF kept Downers Grove North on its heels by forcing a total of 31 turnovers. Huskies junior Helen Onyenso led the strong effort with seven steals. She also finished with six points and four rebounds.
"It was a great team win," said Coughlin. "This is huge, because I think when we were struggling in December we were so dependent on Kelty, that teams could just pack it in on her, and we were in trouble. In the past month, other players have developed confidence and have allowed her to play more of a distributor role than having to put up 20 to 25 shots a game."
After two nonconference games earlier in the week, the Huskies were scheduled to travel to conference rival Hinsdale Central on Saturday (5 p.m.). They'll return home for a two-game stand on Jan. 30 to take on Lyons Township (7 p.m.). On Feb. 1, the Huskies welcome Proviso West (7:30 p.m.) for their final Silver Division game.