The most glaring stat in the high school boys basketball game between host Lyons Township and Oak Park and River Forest occurred in the second quarter. The Huskies outscored the Lions 18-0.
After that inauspicious eight minutes of play, LTHS never recovered en route to a 57-48 loss on Saturday, Jan. 27.
The Lions actually held leads of 6-1 and 16-9 in the first quarter as junior guard Tyrese Shines scored nine points early in the game However, OPRF senior guard Isaiah Fuller’s 3-point basket in the closing seconds of the opening quarter proved to be a momentum-changer. It cut the OPRF deficit to 16-12 after one quarter. Then the Huskies shut out the Lions in the aforementioned second quarter to take a 30-16 halftime lead.
During its eight minutes of near perfection in the second quarter, OPRF employed its defensive system of “Huskie Havoc” on to create easy scoring opportunities and an up-tempo game. Fittingly, the Huskies ended the half with a sweet alley-oop dunk by Anthony Roberts.
“The second quarter was the best quarter we’ve played all year,” OPRF coach Matt Maloney said. “That was tremendous.”
In the third quarter, LTHS junior guard Nolan Niego scored seven of his 12 points as the Lions outscored the Huskies 17-12 to trim their deficit to 42-33.
In the fourth, junior guard Josh Berry came off the bench to score all 10 of his points as LTHS – which was without junior guard Lazarius Williams – attempted to continue its rally.
Antony Roberts (game-high 21 points), Fuller (12 points) and Chase Robinson (11 points) scored timely baskets, however, to keep OPRF comfortably ahead.
Shines led the Lions with a team-high 13 points against the Huskies. The 6-foot-3 senior guard has been a bright spot offensively all season. He scored 29 points on 11-for-18 shooting in a 60-52 loss against Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn on Jan. 19.
The Lions earned a split over the weekend by beating host Downers Grove North 73-60 on Friday, Jan. 26.
LTHS (10-11, 2-6) visits rival Hinsdale Central on Friday, Feb. 2 in a West Suburban Conference Silver Division matchup. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m.