The Oak Park and River Forest High School girls basketball team dropped its opening game in pool play at the Morton College Christmas Tournament on Dec. 27 to Evanston Township High School 46-17.
OPRF was competitive for the first three quarters, trailing 25-13. But the Wildkits started the fourth on a 9-0 run to put the game away.
“I thought we played a really good defensive game for the first three quarters, but we just couldn’t put the ball in the basket,” said OPRF coach Carlton Rosemond. “We weren’t aggressive enough to take shots and when you don’t look to try to score, you find yourselves behind.”
Against Evanston, the Huskies shot just 20 percent from the field (7-of-35).
“I told our girls that they’ve got to be shot-takers and shot-makers,” he said. “It starts with your mind, and the rest will follow. Our offense is still a work in progress.”
Lilah Gery led the Huskies with five points and six rebounds against the Wildkits, who were paced by a game-high 23 points from sophomore Zuri Ransom.
A brief shutdown of athletics earlier this month along with final exams has made it hard for OPRF to establish rhythm, but Rosemond said other teams were experiencing the same challenges navigating through the pandemic.
“We can’t make any excuses,” he said. “Ultimately, the girls that are on the court have to produce, and we’ll keep working.”
OPRF (4-7) lost its second game in the Morton tourney on Dec. 27 to Benet Academy 62-27. Gery and Libby Matka each had eight points and Reese Garland added seven points.
The Huskies will end the tournament with single games on Dec. 29 and Dec. 30.
Fenwick advances after opponent withdraws
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an adverse impact on several holiday high school basketball tournaments, causing many teams to withdraw from play.
The Fenwick High School girls basketball team is still participating in the 38th annual Komaromy Charger Classic at Dundee-Crown High School, one of Illinois’ premier girls holiday tournaments. However, the Friars’ scheduled first-round opponent on Dec. 27, Naperville Central, pulled out of the tournament. Fenwick was scheduled to play either Barrington or the host Chargers in the quarterfinals on Dec. 28 after Wednesday Journal’s press time.
“We’re looking forward to it,” said Fenwick coach Dave Power. “This is my last Dundee-Crown tournament, and we hope to go as far as we can.”
Power is concerned about the rhythm his team will have given the lengthy time in between games. Fenwick’s last contest was Dec. 17, when the Friars (8-4) lost the title game of the Marian Catholic Holiday Tournament to the host Spartans 40-30.
“We have still have some pretty good teams in the tournament,” Power said. “It’s day-by-day with everyone.”
With each school guaranteed to play on the final day of the tournament, Fenwick will have two more games regardless. The Friars will meet Buffalo Grove, Lake Park or South Elgin on Dec. 29, and the final game will be on Dec. 30.
COVID sidelines Trinity
Trinity was scheduled to play Lyons Township High School Dec.28 at the Montini Holiday Classic, but head coach Kim Coleman informed the Wednesday Journal on Monday that the Blazers withdrew due to COVID-19.
“We made the decision to pull out and take a break due to the rising numbers of cases on our team,” she said. “At this point, we’re trying to stay safe and play as many games as we can in order to get ready for the playoffs.”