Entering Saturday night’s high school girls basketball game, Trinity had defeated visiting Oak Park and River Forest approximately 20 straight seasons.
The local matchup has been called a rivalry by title rather than reality.
“This is known as a rivalry game, but it really hasn’t been a rivalry because we don’t win,” OPRF coach J.P. Coughlin said. “It might have been close to 20 years since we last defeated them.”
At least for this season, the narrative has finally changed in the Huskies’ favor after their 52-37 victory over the Blazers in River Forest.
OPRF senior Ahsha Spencer, one of the best players in the West Suburban Conference, turned in a stat-sheet stuffing performance with a game-high 21 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. Darse Sanchez contributed 16 points for the Huskies, while junior center Karly Cantrell (8 points, 8 rebounds), and senior guard Faith Smith (7 points) contributed off the bench.
Although Trinity’s new coach Kim Coleman praised the Huskies for setting the tempo, she was not pleased with her team’s abysmal shooting.
“(OPRF) did a good job of pushing the pace,” Coleman said. “Our kids fought and played hard the entire game, which is always nice. But we shot 21 percent from the field. I don’t think the Golden State Warriors could win a game shooting like that. We’re going to learn from this and keep it moving.”
Trinity also struggled with turnovers and foul trouble. Highly touted sophomore forward Makiyah Williams was called for three fouls in the first half. Playing limited minutes, she finished with a team-high 10 points.
Junior forward Lauren Saleh had eight points, while sophomore guard Savannah Childress added six points for Trinity.
On a positive note, the Blazers dominated the glass. Saleh and Williams had 10 rebounds apiece.
“We learned a few games back that we had to rebound,” Coleman said. “Moving forward, that’s the number one responsibility. Everyone needs to rebound. You can’t win games if you don’t. I was proud with how we handled ourselves on the boards, and I’m sure we’ll continue to do that as the season goes along.”
Under Coleman’s guidance, the Blazers are looking to develop an identity. With only two seniors, Trinity has several young players still finding their way.
“We have a lot of kids who are hungry and ready to fill roles,” Coleman said. “It’s all about putting the pieces together and trusting each other. We’re heading in the right direction.”