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The addition of Erick Locke has jump-started Oak Park-River Forest’s offense, but the Huskies are winning with defense.
OPRF kept its third consecutive opponent to start the season under 47 points while former Brooks guard Erick Locke scored a game-high 16 points to lead the Huskies to a 64-37 victory over Phillips Friday night at St. Patrick’s Kurland Thanksgiving tournament.
The win set up Saturday’s final at 7:30 p.m. between OPRF (3-0) and the host Shamrocks. A victory would clinch a third consecutive tournament title for the Huskies.
“The defense is a lot farther ahead than what I thought it would be,” OPRF coach Matt Maloney said. “Tuesday we were off (beating Hyde Park 61-47), but I thought we still did some great things.”
Locke, who played at OPRF as a freshman before transferring for one year, has returned to lead the Huskies in scoring in two of their first three games of the season.
The junior guard scored 10 points in the first half as OPRF led 31-10 at the break. The Huskies went on a 15-2 run midway through the game and never trailed against the Wildcats (1-3), who were playing without leading scorer Greg Jones (ankle injury). Jones is expected to return for the Wildcats’ next game Tuesday at Rich East.
“We are a young team,” Phillips coach Lawrence Briggs Sr. said. “It’s our fourth game into the season. We are working out the kinks.”
OPRF’s mid-game run put the Huskies ahead 36-12. After Tyre Washington (12 points, 10 rebounds) scored twice, OPRF scored 10 consecutive points in the third quarter.
Virgil Allen and Darrius Williams scored eight points each for OPRF off the bench.
Lawrence Briggs Jr. had nine points and 10 rebounds for Phillips.
The Huskies scored the game’s first 10 points and led 17-4 at the end of the first quarter.