Friars, Huskies win playoff openers

Teams will face tough competition in regional finals

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Melvin Tate

Contributing Reporter

The Fenwick and Oak Park and River Forest High School boys basketball teams cruised to victories in regional semifinal action of the Class 4A state playoffs.

The Friars defeated Proviso West 75-58 at the Fenton Regional. Damari Nixon led the Friars with 20 points. Billy Bruce added 16 points and DJ Steward 12 points along with 8 assists. Bruce made a trio of 3-pointers in the first half as Fenwick built a 35-18 lead against the Panthers.

"We had the right mentality going into the Proviso West game," Steward said. "We told ourselves not to take anyone lightly and to always compete our hardest. Even though we beat them earlier this season, it was still going to take our best effort this time around. We played great team defense and did a good job of attacking the rim."

Proviso East beat St. Patrick 43-30 in the other regional semifinal.

The Friars (20-7) face Proviso East in the Fenton Regional championship game on Friday, March 2.

"We have to play with a chip on our shoulder all postseason," Steward said. "We have a target on our backs at all times. Proviso East is going to come at us with their best game. If we limit our turnovers and play our hardest for four quarters, we'll get the win."

At Lane Tech, OPRF blew past Prosser 91-44. Isaiah Fuller had 20 points to lead OPRF. Chase Robinson added 19 points and Dashon Enoch 15. The Huskies limited Prosser offensively with trademark defense. With their athleticism, length and depth, OPRF employs a variety of defenses, including man-to-man, zone, half- and full-court coverage. The commonality among the different looks is high intensity and pressure.

Offensively, OPRF is at its best with multiple contributors. Fuller, Robinson, Enoch, Charlie Hoehne, Anthony Roberts and Malachi Ross are a capable of scoring in double digits any game.

Lincoln Park edged Lane Tech 58-56 in the other regional semifinal.

The Huskies (23-5) take on Lincoln Park in the Lane Tech Regional final on Friday, March 2.

In other regional championship games of the Riverside-Brookfield Sectional, top-seeded Curie hosts RBHS in Chicago, while No. 2 seed Whitney Young squares off against No. 7 seed St. Joseph in Westchester, Both games will be played on Friday, March 2.

All four regional championship games tip-off at 7 p.m.

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