By Brad Spencer
The OPRF girls basketball team received a big ol' bracket of steep competition for Christmas.
The Huskies enter into the stacked Montini Holiday Tournament with a record of 4-8. The top five seeds in the tourney are all undefeated, including sixth-ranked Plainfield East (10-0), who OPRF opens against on Dec. 26 (9:45 a.m.). But first-year head coach J.P. Coughlin said he's not worried about his Huskies, who won the consolation championship last year.
"I'm not sweating our win and loss record right now, though, it would be awful nice to get a few wins," he said. "We are playing really well against top flight competition. Unfortunately, in our three loses last week, we had one bad quarter each game; we need to develop more consistency to avoid the bad quarter. That being said, the teams we played last week had a combined three losses and we were in all three games."
A loss against Plainfield East would pit the Huskies against either Romeoville or Hinsdale South on Dec. 27 (9:45 a.m.).
As of this writing, Coughlin was hoping for the return of starters Hailey Hoye and Cuyla Hall, whom he called "warriors" plagued with injuries recently. He expected them back for the tournament.
No matter how his team does against such tough competition, Coughlin said the Huskies will look to get faster on the court and more accurate with their shooting in the second half of the season.
"We love the fast-paced style and it suits our personnel the best. Our bench is getting more comfortable out there, which will allow us to go deeper and press and trap more than we have in the first half of the season," he said. "The players respond well to playing fast and grow more and more comfortable with it as the season goes along.
"To have a good second half we have to continue to finishing our shots, clean up the glass, and stay positive," he added. "This group thrives on competition. I think it is important that they continue to see positive results for all of their efforts."
Following the Montini Tournament, the Huskies jump right back into West Suburban (Silver) Conference competition with a trip to Lyons Township on Jan. 4 (7:30 p.m.). They'll host Glenbard West on Jan. 5 at 4 p.m.