Rest was the requirement for the Oak Park and River Forest girls’ basketball team during its five-day hiatus after annihilating West Suburban (Silver) Conference foe York 69-38 in front of a home crowd at the fieldhouse on Friday night.

Head coach Adrian Newell handed down the ultimatum because the team was nursing some minor aches and pains, including bouts with the flu.

“It’s a good time for the team to step off the court and let some of the bumps and bruises heal,” said Newell last week before her team went back to work preparing to play Highland Park at the Mundelein Holiday tournament on Monday (6 p.m.). “We don’t have any major injuries at this point, but it’s good to give the team a break before a big tournament.”

The Huskies proved they deserved the time off by crushing York, where three Huskies ended the night scoring in double-digits. Ashleen Bracey led OPRF with 14 points, while Kate Corkle added 13 and Brittney Marshall 10. The trio also tallied up a significant amount of rebounds and assists. Bracey and Marshall came away with five rebounds apiece, while Corkle dished out five assists.

Amber Slaughter hauled down 12 rebounds to go along with her six points to help OPRF to a 2-3 WSC record and an 8-3 overall mark.

“We have a habit of slow starts, so that’s something we need to work on,” said Newell of her Huskies who held a 28-22 advantage at the break. “We need to put teams away early.”

Last year, OPRF finished runner-up at the Niles North Holiday tournament, which has now been taken over by Mundelein. The Huskies take on the hosts Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. On Dec. 29, OPRF faces Niles West at 3 p.m., followed by a matchup with Glenbrook North on Dec. 30th (6 p.m.).          

Blazers fizzling?

A holiday tournament championship would sit well right now for Trinity, who sputtered a bit against three of the state’s top teams last week.

The Blazers (9-6) were climbing up the rankings at high speed, annihilating mediocre opponents and taking top teams to the wire before the bottom fell out against Loyola on Dec. 13th (61-33), Benet on Dec. 15th (56-30) and Marian Catholic on Friday (52-48). All three opponents are ranked in the top 10.

Trinity, still holding on in the top 20?#34;ranked 16th?#34;will now try and focus on winning its own holiday tournament. The Blazers began the cause with a 61-34 dismantling of Harlan on Saturday. Kelly O’Brien led the charge with 15 points and seven rebounds.

Trinity took on Simeon on Tuesday (after deadline) and was set to play Guerin on Thursday.

Other teams participating in the tourney include Proviso West, Von Steuben, and Marshall, which is coached by Dorothy Gaters who notched an IHSA record 800-career wins when the Commandos defeated Leyden 44-26 at the tournament on Saturday.

O’Brien also led the Blazers in the loss to Marian Catholic with 15 points.

Against Benet, Trinity never got anything going. The Blazers went into halftime trailing 31-10. Lykendra Johnson managed just eight points to lead Trinity.


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Brad Spencer

Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...