Evan Hilton's much anticipated return to the OPRF basketball team came with a definative 51-35 rout of West Suburban (Silver) Conference foe York on Friday night, although it was mostly the star senior's presence that factored into the win.
For the first time since breaking his ankle during a game in November, Hilton played sparingly in what ended up a lopsided victory. Hilton finished the night with just six points, going 0-for-2 from the free-throw line and the 3-point arc before fouling out in the second half.
"He's obviously still adjusting," said OPRF head coach Al Allen of Hilton, who also had five assists. "The conditioning, the timing, these are things he has to re-program, but it will come."
The Huskies didn't disappoint nonetheless. They used a 17-0 run in the second quarter and a swarming defense throughout the game to bury the Dukes. OPRF outrebounded York 49-22 and led 43-15 at the end of three peroids.
Robert Strzemp led the Huskies with 19 points (9-of-13 from the field) and 11 rebounds. Gabe Sims finished with nine points, seven rebounds, and three assists.
Brandon Lathon chipped in five points, eight rebounds, and five assists.
Allen said he wasn't too pleased with his subs being outscored 20-8 in the fourth.
"I wasn't happy with that fourth quarter, but that's just me. It was a wonderful game, but that left a bad taste in my mouth. You have to step up and play when you get your shot, and didn't see that out there."
Hilton, who didn't start against York, was scheduled to start on Tuesday night (after deadline) when the Huskies took on West Aurora.
The Huskies received another blow to their inside game on Friday. Howard Boone has been nursing a knee injury all season, and was only able to play the first two minutes of the game against York. He was expected to be evaluated by a doctor this week.
OPRF hosts Downers Grove North on Friday at 7:30 p.m.