The Trinity High School basketball team continued its solid start to the season with a 52-17 victory over host Oak Park and River Forest High School on Dec. 17. The Blazers (8-3) scored the game’s first 11 points and ended the first half on a 9-0 run to take a commanding 28-8 halftime lead.

“I thought we did a good job of playing our game and playing smart,” said Trinity junior forward Lauren Miller, who had another double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. “We moved the ball well.”

Miller said it’s important for Trinity to build up as much momentum as possible heading into the Montini Holiday Classic and the Grow the Game tournaments over the holidays. They feature several of the Chicago area’s top programs.

“We need wins for our confidence because we’re going to be playing some tough competition,” she said.

Against OPRF, Cierra Richardson had 10 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals; Chloe Santos had 10 points, five rebounds, and two steals; and Sophia Rodriguez added eight points, three rebounds, four assists, and three steals for the Blazers.

“I thought we could’ve played a lot better,” said Trinity coach Kim Coleman said. “But we’ll take it, a win is a win.”

Genevieve Simkowski and Libby Majka each had four points for OPRF (0-11), who made eight baskets for the game. The Huskies struggled from the free-throw line, connecting on just 1 of 10 attempts.

“We keep shooting ourselves in the foot,” said OPRF coach Carlton Rosemond. “We missed so many layups and free throws. It’s not a good feeling.”

Coleman can sympathize. She went through a similar situation when she took over Trinity a few seasons ago and had to build things up gradually.

“When you’re trying to change the culture of an entire program, it takes time. I’ve been there,” Coleman said. “I think highly of Carlton’s passion and work ethic, and he’ll be all right.”

Rosemond says he needs to build up OPRF’s feeder system as West Suburban Silver rivals such as Downers Grove North, Lyons Township and York have done. To that end, he’s starting basketball clinics for local girls in third through eighth grades.

“Part of building up the culture is trying to create opportunities for younger girls to play basketball and develop their skills,” Rosemond said. “I’m excited for what’s to come, but it doesn’t take away from the sting of the struggles we have now. It’s hard to go into every game thinking you have a chance with a great game plan but then not going out and executing it.”

After taking this week off due to finals, OPRF will participate in the Morton College Christmas Tournament. The Huskies’ first game is Dec. 27 against Fremd.

On Dec. 19, Trinity rolled to a 57-17 home victory over Jones College Prep. Miller had 13 points and four rebounds, Rodriguez 10 points, six rebounds, and four steals, and Richardson six points, six assists, and seven steals.

The Blazers will be at Payton Prep on Dec. 21, then have a first-round game against Plainfield Central in the Montini Holiday Classic on Dec. 27.

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