By Brad Spencer
The OPRF basketball team returned to the scene of the crime on Saturday — the scene being Schaumburg High School, the crime last season's 64-60 loss to the Saxons in the Class 4A Sectional semifinals — and the result was much different.
This time around, the Huskies (5-3) came away with a 50-40 victory.
Trailing 33-31 to start the final period, OPRF outscored Schaumburg 19-7 to take home the win. Alex Gustafson led the Huskies with 13 points to go along with five steals and numerous deflections. Erick Lock added 12 points for the Huskies, who threw an unyielding 1-3-1 zone at the Saxons.
OPRF, which also edged Hinsdale Central 47-45 the night before, was coming off a disappointing loss to Fenwick that resulted in a tough week of practice.
"I realized the Sunday after the Fenwick defeat that I needed to create a more competitive and intense practice gym," said OPRF head coach Matt Maloney. "I reflected the entire day and the coaching staff and I devised an entirely different week than we had previously done in our practices. We had some team-building exercises throughout the week that helped the healing process and brought us closer together.
"These last two wins were against two strong ball clubs," added Maloney. "We played together and with a different mentality than we had the weekend before. You could really see the chemistry forming in the locker room after the two games."
Against Hinsdale Central, Lock took the reins, scoring 21 of his 25 points in the second half. He hit two free throws with 1.6 seconds remaining to put the Huskies up by two.
"His performance in the second half inspired our defensive efforts as well," said Maloney of his junior guard.
The Huskies host Proviso West on Friday (7:30 p.m.).
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