It was the Trinity basketball team that handed OPRF a 63-33 loss in the season opener and it was the Blazers who officially ended their area rival’s season with a 67-38 win in the Class 4A River Forest Regional at Sister Michele Germanson Athletic Facility on Thursday night.

The Blazers (26-1) were scheduled to take on Fenwick in the Lyons Sectional on Tuesday (Feb. 21, after print deadline).

Trinity dominated the first half against the Huskies as senior forward Alyssa Dengler put up a three-pointer to end the opening quarter and begin a 15-2 run, giving Trinity a 23-point lead. The Blazers continued their explosive offense and took a 42-17 lead into the locker room at the half.

“We really got into it right away,” said Blazers senior Megan Podkowa. “We were fast-breaking and we played good defense. Our team morale has been really good lately, so we’re really all playing together.”

Podkowa now leads the Blazers in career scoring (2,045 points), rebounds (1,161), and block shots (309). The DePaul-bound forward added 22 points, nine rebounds and five blocks to her total in Thursday’s game. Junior guard Mikayla Leyden put up 10 points for the Blazers in the victory, while junior forward Shannon McGinnis notched eight.

Junior guard Caroline Kelty led the Huskies with 17 points, while senior guard Stekara Hall tallied eight. The Huskies closed out the season with an overall record of 13-18.

Trinity kept things going in the second half, taking a 10-0 run into the fourth, capped off by a basket from Leyden. Huskies senior guard Diamond Hearn nailed a three-pointer with just over a minute to go, and senior guard Biz Mullins followed with another basket. But it was already too late for OPRF.

Hall, who will play for Illinois State next season, said she was sad to have her high school career come to an end, but she has plenty of fond memories to draw on from her four years on varsity.

“I can’t pinpoint any one thing,” she said. “Weekend bonding, late night practices, early practices, three-hour practices … this season was fun. I had a fun senior year.”

As for the Blazers, it’s not over yet; and Podkowa is proud of how her team keeps improving to get ready for the next challenge.

“It feels great,” she said. “Just knowing how much better we keep getting every day, it’s a great feeling. I think (the sectional game) will be a good game. Fenwick is a good team, and we’re excited to play them.”

Hall had 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Hailey Hoye added nine points.

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