A slow start but a worthy finish led the OPRF girls’ basketball team to a 77-43 wallop of a Curie in the opening round of the Oak Park Regional on Monday night.

The sixth-seeded Huskies (22-7) scored just nine points in the first quarter before Brittney Marshall rattled off 22 points to lead her team to victory.

Ashleen Bracey added 16 points for the Huskies, who will now take on 26-3 Riverside-Brookfield in the final on Friday.

OPRF head coach Adrian Newell said her team will have to play solid defense if the Huskies have a shot at advancing to the Lyons Sectional.

“RB has great three-point shooters; they tend to live and die by the three,” said Newell. “We have to keep the pressure on their guards.”

After recovering from several injuries to start the season, bad luck has struck the Huskies yet again. Marshall is currently playing through extreme pain with a sore ankle, said Newell. The senior forward, who leads OPRF in scoring, has sprained her ankle twice this season.

Senior Jonah Foster, who nailed six 3-pointers in the IHSA 3-point contest, suffered a dislocated shoulder just three minutes into Monday night’s game. Newell said she’ll be evaluated this week, but the shoulder has been burdening Foster most of the season.

Sara Bunch has been out with a shoulder injury since December and isn’t expected back anytime soon.

Friars gear up

The Friars (28-2) began their own playoff regional on Tuesday night (after deadline) against Nazareth, a team Fenwick crushed 67-19 back in January. A win over Nazareth would put the Friars in the regional title game on Friday (7:30 p.m.) against either eighth-seeded IHM or ninth-seeded Argo, who play at Fenwick tonight (Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.).

Fenwick wrapped up yet another impressive regular season last week with a 56-46 win over Regina.

The team’s only senior starter, Brittanny Johnson, finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and six steals. Sophomore Alison Jackson chipped in 12 points.

The Friars were without starting forward Devereaux Peters, who was sidelined with the flu.

Regional schedules

Fenwick Regional

Wed., Feb. 16

Game 2 at 7:30 p.m.: (8) IHM vs. (9) Argo

Fri., Feb. 18

Game 3 at 7:30 p.m.: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2

OPRF Regional

Thur., Feb. 17

Game 3 at 7:30 p.m.: Riverside-
Brookfield vs. OPRF

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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...