Fifth place usually isn’t a finish to relish in, unless of course it’s a fifth-place finish in a tournament that is stocked with high-caliber teams.

The OPRF boys basketball team had reason to celebrate its fifth-place finish in the Pontiac Holiday Tournament last week. The Huskies went 3-1, falling only to Peoria Manual 61-48 in the second round.

Led by Aaron Levin’s 16 points, the Huskies (10-3) clobbered Lockport 56-38 to take fifth. Jeff Dirkin added 15 points and six rebounds in the win, while Andre Godbold, who is fully back from a groin injury, chipped in nine points and nine rebounds. Dirkin was a perfect 7-for-7 from the free-throw line.

The Porters took an 11-8 lead after the first period, but the Huskies outscored them the rest of the way, including a 16-6 run in the third quarter.

In the loss to Peoria Manual, Dirkin was held to just two points. Levin led OPRF with 14. The Huskies, who committed 22 turnovers in the game, cut the deficit to 23-21 at halftime, but were outscored by the Rams 15-8 in the third period.

Isaiah Duncan led Peoria Manual with 19 points, including 6-of-6 from the free-throw line.

OPRF opened the tournament with a 73-43 smashing of Bloomington. Dirkin and Levin combined for 28 points in the win. The Huskies jumped out to a 23-7 lead after just the first quarter and cruised the rest of the way.

Waukegan downed Simeon 59-51 to win the tournament title.

The Huskies resume West Suburban (Silver) Conference competition with a trip to Hinsdale Central on Friday night and Downers Grove North on Saturday night. The team returns home Jan. 15 to take on Proviso West. All games tip off at 7:30 p.m.

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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...