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Hinsdale, IL - Friday, December 7, 2012: Oak Park's Erick Locke (23) drives on Hinsdale Central's Chase Hamilton (30). | Steve Johnston~for Sun-Times Media
Erick Locke scored only four points in the first half, but the second half was a different story in the West Suburban Silver opener for Oak Park-River Forest Friday night.
Locke’s game-winning free throws ended the scoring with 1.6 seconds left in the game, but turnovers by each side crammed plenty of more basketball in the final seconds as Locke led the Huskies to a 47-45 victory at Hinsdale Central.
The junior guard and transfer from Brooks scored a career-high 25 points in a sizzling second-half performance as Locke scored 11 points in the third quarter and 10 points in the fourth quarter. He scored eight points in a span of one minute to begin the second half, which gave the Huskies an improbable 37-35 lead after trailing by 13 points.
“I was in a zone,” Locke said. “It’s an incredible feeling when everything you shoot goes in.”
Hinsdale Central (3-2, 1-1) still had a chance to tie the game, but sophomore Matt Rafferty missed a pair of free throws after Locke’s go-ahead foul shots. After an OPRF turnover, the Devils had one more chance with 1.2 seconds to go, but Chase Hamilton’s full-court toss was intercepted by the Huskies.
Locke, who previously scored a career-high 23 points against St. Patrick Nov. 24, shot 9 of 14 from the field and 5 of 7 at the free-throw line.
“That was a big difference,” Hinsdale coach Nick Latorre said. “He had it going. I thought that we defended him pretty well.”
The Huskies (4-3, 1-0) ended a three-game losing streak, but the streak looked like it would continue after the Devils went on a 14-2 run in the second quarter to open a 19-8 lead. Alec Hutcherson’s steal and 3-pointer at the buzzer gave Hinsdale a 24-14 lead at the half.
Hamilton’s 3-pointer to open the second half gave the Devils their biggest lead.
“At halftime, we scored 14 points,” OPRF coach Matt Maloney said. “It looked like we didn’t want to be here. We went to old school man-to-man and grinded it out.”
The game was tied at 41 with 3:49 remaining. The teams traded baskets until the Devils’ Brian Owens (team-high 13 points) tied the game at 45 on a pair of free throws with 1:21 remaining. After Owens’ foul shots, the Huskies ran the clock down to 10.6 seconds.
After a timeout, the Huskies inbounded the ball to Locke for the final shot, but he was fouled by Hamilton on a spin move and went to the line with 1.6 seconds.
“Locke put us on his back,” Maloney said. “I have to say this, the other guys went after every loose ball and rebound in the second half. That was huge.”
The low-scoring game was partly due to shooting woes in the first quarter. Both teams combined to score six points (OPRF led 4-2) in the first quarter. The teams missed their first 11 shots to start the game and combined for 11 turnovers in the first quarter.
Both teams play Saturday with OPRF at Schaumburg at 6 p.m. and Hinsdale at Naperville Central at 7:30 p.m.