The Oak Park and River Forest High School boys basketball team accomplished its primary goal of winning the West Suburban Conference Silver division Saturday in Elmhurst. The Huskies edged host York 54-52 to claim their third straight conference championship.
OPRF head coach Matt Maloney, who notched his 200th career win the previous night via a 53-45 victory at Glenbard West, credited the Huskies’ maturity as the key to thriving in Saturday’s challenging environment.
“York was one of the toughest games in recent memory,” he said. “The crowd was hostile and York hit many big threes. We were short-handed and in foul trouble. Yet, our grit and resilience shined through in the end.”
OPRF sophomore forward Josh Smith provided a welcomed boost against York. He led the Huskies in scoring with 15 points. Senior Anthony Roberts added 14 points
“Josh was our MVP,” Maloney said. “He texted me Saturday morning and asked when I was arriving at the school as I always come in early and watch film. He beat me to the school more than an hour and a half before everyone had to arrive to get extra shots up. That gave me more than enough confidence to not only start him, but to give him extra looks in the offense. Obviously, he earned that and then some. Josh’s ceiling is sky-high.”
Of course, the Huskies’ “Core Four” of seniors Dashon Enoch, Charlie Hoehne, Chase Robinson and Roberts substantially contributed to the victory as well.
“Our seniors just continue to amaze me,” Maloney said. “Dashon battled through a pulled hamstring and played after not suiting up the night before. Anthony was his usual dominant self. Charlie neutralized York’s big man, who is one of the best in the area. Chase made some of the biggest and most clutch free throws I’ve seen in years by going 4-for-4 in the final 30 seconds.”
In the aforementioned victory against Glenbard West, Robinson (19 points) and Roberts (15 points) led the Huskies in Glen Ellyn.
OPRF (16-8, 10-1 in conference) wraps up conference play at home game against Downers Grove North on Friday, Feb. 15. The game starts at 7:30 p.m.