Oak Park River Forest High School senior Angelina Sunardio guards a Downers Grove North opponent during the Huskies’ 60-31 loss on Dec. 9 in Oak Park. The Huskies have struggled out of the gate, falling to 0-9 overall. | April Alonso/Contributor

With just one returning starter from last season, things figured to be challenging for the Oak Park and River Forest High School girls basketball team.

The Huskies under second-year coach Carlton Rosemond have yet to get into the win column, and the season-long struggles continued Dec. 9 as OPRF fell 60-31 to visiting Downers Grove North and on Dec. 12 to Mother McAuley by a score of 59-23.

“They executed a lot better than we did,” said Rosemond of thenHuskies’ gam,e against Downers Grove North. “At the beginning of the game, we followed the game plan and gave them a hard time defensively, but we’ve got to do that for the entire 32 minutes and not just for three to four minutes in a quarter.”

OPRF (0-9, 0-3 in the West Suburban Silver) had some offensive troubles as well. The Huskies passed up a few good open looks and shot 31 percent (11-of-35 field goals) for the evening, including just two field goals in the first half.

“As a coach, I tell every girl, ‘If you’re open, take the shot whether you’re a great shooter or not,’” Rosemond said. “To pass up an open shot is an empty possession, because there’s a good chance we’ll turn the ball over or have a tougher shot. It’s very frustrating.”

Junior Taylor Smith was OPRF’s sole player to reach double digits in scoring against DGN, tallying 11 points. Senior Angela Sunardio had six points and senior Libby Majka five points, while senior Teshell O’Neal grabbed six rebounds.

The Huskies have a young roster and Rosemond recently added two freshmen (Gabriella Chesney and Leia Hammerschmidt) and a sophomore (Anna Breuer) to the roster in hopes of providing a boost. But he cautioned that while the newcomers have talent, they’ve got a tough transition to the varsity level.

“It’s a big task for them,” he said. “They’ve been thrown into the fire a little bit and they’re not used to the game going this fast. All I’m asking them to do is to play and keep developing.”

Rosemond admits it’s not easy for OPRF to remain positive given its rough start. But he remains optimistic the Huskies will eventually turn the corner and see tangible progress.

“It’s difficult, I can’t lie and say it’s not,” he said. “One of the things I’m trying to get them to understand is that we have to trust that if we continue with the process of trying to develop, we’ll see some more ability out of us. The only way to build up confidence is to keep working, and I’m confident that the team we have can start competing better.”

OPRF has back-to-back home games with Hinsdale Central on Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. followed by neighborhood rival Trinity on Dec. 17 at 6:30 p.m.

During a time out, players of the Oak Park River Forest High School varsity basketball team prepare to resume the game on Dec. 9. Junior, Taylor Smith awaits to join the game. | April Alonso/Contributor

Fenwick fells Oak Forest

Grace Kapsch had 14 points to lead Fenwick High School to a 50-37 victory over Oak Forest on Dec. 10 at the Marian Catholic Holiday Tournament. 

Allie Heyer scored 13 points and Cam Brusca added 11 points for the Friars (4-6), who play Neuqua Valley on Dec. 14. Fenwick has its final tournament game Dec. 16 with its opponent to be determined.

Trinity drops a pair

Poor free-throw shooting doomed Trinity High School in a 50-46 Girls Catholic Athletic Conference Red Division home loss Dec. 6 to St. Ignatius. The Blazers (5-3, 1-1 GCAC Red) went just 9-of-22 from the charity stripe.

Lauren Miller posted another double-double for Trinity with 18 points and 13 rebounds with three steals. Cierra Richardson had 12 points and eight rebounds while Maeve Lundt added seven points and five rebounds.

After falling at Waukesha (Wisconsin) West 68-38 on Dec. 10, the Blazers faced visiting Rosary on Dec. 13, after the Wednesday Journal’s press time. They’ll then go to neighboring OPRF on Dec. 17.

Join the discussion on social media!