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Oak Park, 12/14/12 Oak Park River Forest's Darion Tate drives in between Proviso West's Lawrence Moore (3) and Darnell Hamilton during their game in Oak Park December 14, 2012. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
Up by one with only a minute left, the Huskies started to do more of what they hadn’t done earlier in the game.
“Once we started attacking the rim and not settling for the 15, 17-foot jumpers, we got to the line and made some big shots,” Oak Park-River Forest coach Matt Maloney said.
Four different Huskies drew fouls and went to the foul line, knocking down five free throws. That was enough to secure the 49-43 win over the visiting Proviso West Panthers.
Junior Erick Locke made the last free throw and scored a game-high 23 points on Friday night. He was two points off his season-high 25, which he scored the previous weekend in a win over Schaumburg.
“Offensively, I think we can score any time when we run our offense, but defensively, we really dug down, and I think that’s what really led to buckets for us,” Locke said.
After being up 24-19 at the half, the Panthers went on a 9-3 run to open the third and led by a point by the end of the quarter.
Locke got his team going offensively to open the fourth, drawing three Panther fouls, including one from behind the arc.
Senior Lawrence Moore’s team-high 18 points wasn’t enough to grab a win for his Panthers.
Proviso West dropped to 4-4, 0-3 in the West Suburban Conference. Defending conference champion OPRF improved to 6-3, 2-0.
“Some of those tight losses we had, I think we figured out a way to come together and make plays down the stretch and really be more in sync, not only with the guys on the floor, but also with some of the things we call from the sideline,” Maloney said.