The OPRF boys basketball team jumped off to a favorable start to the 2010-’11 season by going 3-0 at the St. Patrick Thanksgiving Tournament last week.
The Huskies had an eight-point lead going into the fourth quarter and held on for a 48-44 win over the host in the title game on Saturday. Josh Lang led the way for OPRF, scoring 17 points and pocketing four steals. Gabe Levin and Brian Miller finished with eight points apiece for the Huskies, who also downed Senn, 86-41, and Prospect, 80-73, in the first two rounds.
“Josh Lang stepped up for us when we had some guys in foul trouble early, and that’s what we need to happen to be successful,” said OPRF head coach Matt Maloney. “I felt we got the same effort from [Steve] Ramsey and Levin against St. Patrick. They stepped up when we needed them to.”
Highly-touted Ka’Darryl Bell spent most of the St. Patrick game on the bench in foul trouble — he picked up his fourth with six minutes to go in the game. But the junior led the way in the first two victories, scoring 19 points against Senn and 17 against Prospect. Bell, who along with Steve Ramsey, Lang and Levin was named to the All-Tournament Team, also had five rebounds, five assists and two steals against Prospect. Ramsey held Prospect’s main scorer Mike LaTulip to just 14 points. The senior small forward also kept St. Patrick’s Jacob Williams in check, yielding just 12 points to the Shamrocks’ leading scorer.
“It was a great defensive effort on our part in this tournament and that’s the kind of intensity we want to continue with all season,” said Maloney. “Steve played outstanding defense, as did the rest of the guys.”
Maloney added that the OPRF basketball program also saw success over the weekend at all levels. “For the first time in a long while the program won its Thanksgiving tournaments at every level,” he said. “That’s very encouraging for the future.”
The Huskies, who were treated to a road trip on Tuesday night out to Evanston to watch OPRF alum Iman Shumpert and his Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets take on Northwestern, open West Suburban (Silver) Conference play at Downers Grove North on Thursday (7:30 p.m.). They travel to Downers Grove South for a conference cross-over game on Saturday (7:30 p.m.).