Oak Park and River Forest seniors Ahsha Spencer and Anthony Roberts did it all for the Huskies on the hardwood this season. Both are akin to five-tool baseball players except their proven abilities are scoring, passing, rebounding, defending, and most importantly, leading a team. Based on those criteria, Player of the Year picks Spencer and Roberts headline the Wednesday Journal All-Star teams.
Spencer, a UIC recruit, averaged 18.8 points, 10.2 rebounds, 4.5 assists plus a team-high 42 blocks this season in her do-it-all role with OPRF.
“In addition to her leadership, Ahsha knows when to slow down and when to explode and take over,” OPRF coach J.P. Coughlin said during the regular season. “She’s growing as a person and a player. I’m pretty lucky to have her because she’s one of the better point guards in the state.”
Roberts, who will play basketball at St. Cloud State, emerged as a key contributor for the Huskies last year. The 6-foot-4 forward raised his level even more this season, averaging 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists while leading OPRF to its third straight West Suburban Conference Silver Division championship and 18 wins overall.
OPRF teammate Darse Sanchez (15.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 93 steals) joins Spencer on the first-team girls squad, along with Fenwick stars Maggie Van Ermen and Elise Heneghan. Super sophomore Makiyah Williams from Trinity caps off an impressive starting five.
“Williams is a fantastic player,” Coughlin said. “She can do everything. And she’s only a sophomore which is scary.”
Promising underclassmen Lauren Hall and Audrey Hinrichs, along with savvy senior guard Gianna Ortiz, infuse the second team with a decidedly Fenwick flavor. Guards Faith Smith and Zee Stafford, from OPRF and Trinity respectively, also earned second-team recognition.
Fellow OPRF seniors Chase Robinson (14.5 ppg, 5 rpg) and Charlie Hoehne (9 ppg, 6.5 rpg) join Roberts as first-teamers, while Fenwick sophomore forward Bryce Hopkins (22 ppg, 6.5 rpg) and senior guard Solomon Oraegbu (17 rpg) also made the cut. The 6-5 Hopkins, a Division I prospect, earned All-Chicago Catholic League honors and First-Team recognition at the Proviso West Holiday Tournament.
The second team features an infusion of underclassmen. Fenwick freshmen Trey Pettigrew and Kaden Cobb and OPRF sophomore Josh Smith (7 ppg) all made an impact this year.
“We are a young team, but I believe in our guys,” Hopkins said. “I know what we can do and we are not backing down from any challenge.”
OPRF senior guard Dashon Enoch (7 ppg, 1.5 spg) and Fenwick senior forward Lucas Kolovitz (7 ppg, 6.2 rpg) stabilized their teams with their experience and grit.
“Lucas will be a big loss for this team next year,” Fenwick coach Staunton Peck said. “He is one of the toughest kids I have ever coached.”
OPRF coach Matt Maloney will miss his core four of All-Star picks.
“It’s a very tight-knit group. I’m going to miss those guys,” Maloney said. “Dashon is a four-year varsity guy, Charlie three years, and Anthony two and a half. Chase grew up in our basketball camps, going back to fifth grade. So when he joined us (after transferring from Marist prior to his junior year), it was like he’d been with us all the time. Those four have been tremendous in practices and games.”
Player of the Year: Ahsha Spencer, OPRF guard
Maggie Van Ermen, Fenwick guard
Elise Heneghan, Fenwick forward
Darse Sanchez, OPRF guard
Makiyah Williams, Trinity forward
Lauren Hall, Fenwick forward
Audrey Hinrichs, Fenwick forward
Gianna Ortiz, Fenwick guard
Faith Smith, OPRF guard
Zee Stafford, Trinity guard
Player of the Year: Anthony Roberts, OPRF forward
Charlie Hoehne, OPRF forward
Bryce Hopkins, Fenwick forward
Solomon Oraegbu, Fenwick guard
Chase Robinson, OPRF guard
Kaden Cobb, Fenwick guard
Dashon Enoch, OPRF guard
Lucas Kolovitz, Fenwick forward
Trey Pettigrew, Fenwick guard
Josh Smith, OPRF sophomore
-Marty Farmer contributed to this story.