By Brad Spencer
OPRF boys basketball
The OPRF basketball team made free throw shooting look easy in the fourth quarter of Friday night’s West Suburban (Silver) Conference showdown against Downers Grove North at the Field House in Oak Park.
The Huskies converted 10-of-14 shots from the charity stripe in the fourth to seal a 55-47 win over the Trojans and push their conference record to 5-2 on the season.
OPRF’s Josh Lang, who finished with a team-high 15 points, went 5-for-6 from the free-throw line in the final period. Ka’Darryl Bell scored nine of his 13 points in the second half, while Steve Ramsey chipped in 12 points for the Huskies (8-6 overall).
OPRF girls basketball
The OPRF girls basketball team lost a 55-53 nail-biter to Evanston on Saturday afternoon, but gained another foothold on their quest for a West Suburban (Silver) Conference title by edging Downers Grove North 58-50 on Friday night.
Jumping to a 7-1 lead against Evanston that escalated to 11-1 and then 18-5 by the end of the opening quarter, the Huskies (15-10) looked poised to grab back-to-back victories. But the Wildkits went on a 9-0 run in the second and briefly took a 22-21 lead before OPRF escaped the first half up 28-26.
OPRF’s main scorer Stekara Hall was hit with her fourth foul in the third quarter and forced to the bench with her team holding onto a tenuous 45-42 lead. The junior forward had just three points in the first half.
Led by Leiya English, Evanston took a 51-48 lead late in the fourth. Hall evened the score with a three-point play after being fouled on a made jumper and sinking the free throw. But with seconds left on the clock, two shots by Hall bounced off the back of the rim and Evanston ended up with possession.
With 7.7 seconds left in the game, English dribbled the length of the court and sunk a layup at the buzzer to hand the stunned Huskies the loss.
English finished with a game-high 24 points, while Hall led OPRF with 12 points.
On Friday night against Downers Grove North, Hall scored 20 points, helping push OPRF’s conference mark to 7-2.
Read more about these games in the Feb. 2 print edition of Wednesday Journal.