March 6th, 2018 12:00 PM
OPRF junior Charlie Hoehne continued his development as a fine frontline player for the Huskies this season. Next year, he will be counted on heavily to provide scoring, rebounding and defense. (File photo)
I never thought that I would be writing a "Tate's Take" column recapping the Oak Park and River Forest boys basketball season so soon. I felt the Huskies would make it to the Class 4A Riverside-Brookfield Sectional this week.
But I was reminded Friday night that one never counts their chickens before they hatch. In other words, the state playoffs are truly unpredictable and anything can happen. OPRF (23-6), the No. 3 seed in the sectional, suffered a 74-70 overtime loss to Lincoln Park in the Lane Tech Regional title game. Terrence Shannon's 40-foot 3-point shot with three seconds left proved to be the game-winner for the Lions. It was the capper to a phenomenal night for Shannon, who finished with 42 points.
In his final game as a Huskie, Isaiah Fuller had a team-high 25 points. Juniors Anthony Roberts added 16 points and Chase Robinson 15 for OPRF.
I hope the players realize that once the pain and disappointment of losing to Lincoln Park subsides, OPRF has had terrific back-to-back seasons. The Huskies finished 12-0 in the West Suburban Conference Silver Division. OPRF also won the crossover West Suburban title games the last two years. In all, a 23-1 mark and back-to-back conference championships is sure to leave a legacy.
There were several other highlights for this season. The Huskies' 64-59 win over Fenwick at the Chicago Elite Classic marked the first time since 2011 that OPRF had been victorious over the crosstown rival Friars. I went to the game and noticed all the joyous emotion on the players' faces afterwards. Even OPRF head coach Matt Maloney was fist-pumping and showing genuine glee at the end.
OPRF had a strong showing in the Pontiac Holiday Tournament, probably the premier holiday event in the state. The Huskies won their first two games and played an intense semifinal game against Curie that went down to the wire. Unfortunately, Marquise Walker's buzzer-beating trey gave the Condors the win, and OPRF subsequently lost the third-place game. Fuller was named to the All-Tournament team.
This was my first season covering the team, and I want to thank coach Maloney and his players for making my job easier. Maloney was always helpful and willing to talk after every game. He's a good man and I hope to get to work with him again in the future. His players were equally cooperative.
Looking ahead to next season, there's no question that seniors like Fuller, Malachi Ross, Phil Saleh, and Sid Allgood will be missed. They were the foundation of OPRF's recent conference dominance.
However, there is plenty of good talent returning. Robinson and Dashon Enoch could be one of the Chicago area's best guard duos in 2018-19, while Roberts and Charlie Hoehne provide good frontcourt experience.
Can OPRF gain a three-peat in the West Suburban Silver? It's way too early to tell, but another exciting and competitive team under Maloney's guidance is likely.
To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2018 Answer Book, please click here.
Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.
Mike even if one is among those leaving Oak Park, if you have a...
By Bruce Kline
Posted: March 23rd, 2019 5:21 PM
On: Pragmatic Solutions'...
I have seen Christian Harris in action on the Oak Park...
By John Harris
Posted: March 23rd, 2019 4:26 PM
On: Harris is 'all in' for Oak...
I would be curious to see what the goals/objectives of the...
By Edwin Haag
Posted: March 23rd, 2019 3:23 PM
On: Principal's post eliminated at...
@ Michael Nevins: Those last two sentences are very strong....
By Brian Slowiak
Posted: March 23rd, 2019 3:04 PM
On: Pragmatic Solutions'...
I agree Tom. Time to blame everyone else except the guy in the...
By Bruce Kline
Posted: March 23rd, 2019 1:49 PM
On: Prairie Bread Kitchen to close
Dan Lauber, your points are well-taken. In contrast to the...
By Rachel Benoit
Posted: March 23rd, 2019 12:58 PM
On: Golub pulls plans for 28-story...
View All Comments