By Brad Spencer
The high school hoops season in Oak Park and River Forest ended last night with the Fenwick's boys basketball team’s 59-48 loss to Morton. So in the spirit of honoring these teams, I thought why not rank them. Who was the best high school basketball team in the area? Here’s how I would rank the five teams:
Top 5 Rankings
No. 1 Trinity — Very young, not to mention injury plagued for much of the season, and even had a major player leave the team and the school mid-season, yet still managed 28 victories. Also played a rigorous schedule, although, the win over powerhouse Morgan Park was a nice little forfeit.
No. 2 Fenwick girls basketball — If only Fenwick and Trinity met in the sectional championship perhaps this ranking might be a little different, maybe not. We'll never know. It's wasn’t to be as they both fell to Proviso East. The Friars went 26-5 on the season, won most of their tournaments but did not secure a 17th straight East Suburban Catholic Conference title. Losses to Marist and Marian Catholic at the end of the regular season may have led to the Friars' early departure in the playoffs.
No. 3 OPRF girls basketball — They started 2-7, jumped on a nine-game win streak and finished the season 18-13. Team was down 20 in the fourth quarter against York and rallied to win 61-59. The Huskies won a share of the West Suburban (Silver) Conference title for the first time since 2003. Stekara Hall, who scored 30 in that win over York, should be fun to watch next season.
No. 4 Fenwick boys basketball — The upset of De La Salle that left 6-foot-9 Illinois-bound Mike Shaw standing lock-kneed and bewildered under the basket was thrilling.
Tim Gancer scored the game-winner for Fenwick, slipping in a shot under the basket with 35.5 seconds left in the game. "I have never experienced anything like that in my life," said Gancer after the game. "It was surreal. We scored, they missed, and all of a sudden everyone was around us."
Coach John Quinn told his players after the game, "Enjoy it, you're now the No. 1 team in the Catholic League." That moniker didn't last long, but the team did manage to close out the season with a winning record (14-12).
No. 5 OPRF boys basketball — The six-game skid to close out the season didn't help the Huskies in this ranking, but sophomore Jakari Cammon impressed me in the losses to York. Sophomore David Cohn impressed me as well, but he plays for those darn Dukes.