The OPRF boys basketball team made free throw shooting look easy in the fourth quarter of Friday night’s West Suburban (Silver) Conference showdown against Downers Grove North at the Field House in Oak Park.
The Huskies converted 10-of-14 shots from the charity stripe in the fourth to seal a 55-47 win over the Trojans and push their conference record to 5-2 on the season.
OPRF’s Josh Lang, who finished with a team-high 15 points, went 5-for-6 from the free-throw line in the final period. Ka’Darryl Bell scored nine of his 13 points in the second half, while Steve Ramsey chipped in 12 points for the Huskies (9-6 overall). Brian Miller added 11 points, and Ramsey also finished with eight rebounds and two steals.
“I was really pleased with our defensive pressure, especially the play of Josh Lang,” said OPRF head coach Matt Maloney of his senior guard who helped hold Trojans leading scorer Ross Johnson to two points. “It was by far Josh’s best defensive performance of the season thus far.” Lang was also impressive on offense, hitting all five of his field goal attempts.
D.J. Cieniawa scored 17 points to lead the Trojans, who briefly led 50-48 with 5:38 left in the game before OPRF outscored them 15-3 to close out the win. The Huskies held a two-point advantage at halftime and after three quarters of play.
“We stopped relying on the three-pointer and were much more patient with our shot selection,” added Maloney. “That sort of got us into a rhythm, that and our defensive pressure in the fourth quarter really made the difference.” OPRF pocketed eight steals in the game.
The Huskies, who are tied with York for second place in the conference, now turn their attention to Hinsdale Central, a team they toppled by 13 points earlier in the season. OPRF travels to Hinsdale on Friday for a 7:30 p.m. game.
“We are healthy and should again be at full strength this week,” said Maloney. “We need to keep this momentum going.”