The OPRF girls basketball team played “sick” in every sense of the word during its 65-53 victory over West Suburban (Silver) Conference foe Glenbard West on Saturday afternoon in Oak Park.

Not only did the Huskies play “crazy, cool or insane” — the slang definition of the word — several players were battling illnesses. Caroline Kelty scored 11 points and hauled down nine rebounds while fighting off a bout with strep throat, an illness that kept Maeve Connelly out of Saturday’s match up. Kayla Nelson shrugged off flu-like symptoms before the game to help the Huskies off the bench.

Kelty and Stekara Hall, who led with 21 points and 12 rebounds, helped the Huskies (8-14, 4-4) stay with the Hilltoppers in the second half. The duo cut a five-point deficit at halftime to one by the start of the final period. Hall, who is headed to Illinois State next fall, connected on 10-of-12 free throws and dished out six assists. But the star of the final period was OPRF’s Biz Mullins. The senior co-captain hit back-to-back three-pointers and scored all 13 of her points in the final period to push OPRF over the hump down the stretch.

“This was a solid team victory for us as the girls truly played together on both ends of the floor,” said OPRF head coach Bob Biggins. “Contributions came from everyone and the bench was into the game in a big way. We’re happy with this game as it was won by the entire team and the [players] are showing a lot of trust and belief in each other.”

Biggins said he’s pleased with the progress the team has made since opening the season with a seven-game losing streak. It was a 45-43 victory over Glenbard West in early December that snapped the skid.

“Hailey Hoye’s role is growing and she’s been very solid. Jasmin Walker and Emily Vachon have become a nice tandem for us at the post as we are always undersized and have to battle,” he said. “Hoye and Connelly have been very steady, especially defensively and both have shown the ability to score. Cuyla Hall, Mullins, Nelson and Diamond Hearn all have been contributing. We hope to continue to play well and finish the season strong as we head into the playoffs.”

Walker finished with 10 points and nine rebounds, while Hoye chipped in seven points and pocketed five steals.

Also last week, OPRF downed Chicago Academy 65-53. Hoye led the Huskies with 14 points, while Connelly added 11. Liana Gissendanner scored seven points for the Huskies, who travel to York on Saturday.

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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...