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Oak Park-River Forest 6-foot-9 center Virgil Allen surprised everybody on his team in the third quarter against visiting Lyons on Friday.
With 2:41 left in the quarter, Allen made a running steal and went right into his dribble. He continued going coast-to-coast, made a slick crossover move and finished the play with a layup.
The play received the biggest cheer of the night and helped his team to a 56-42 West Suburban Silver win.
“I want to give credit to the guards,” Allen said of his teammates when asked about the play.
After Allen was told the guards never touched the ball on the play he replied with a grin: “Yeah, I know. I just wanted to give them some credit.”
Allen finished with 10 points, five rebounds, and two steals, while those guards — Jakari Cammon and Erick Locke — finished with 13 and 12 points, respectively for the Huskies (7-3, 3-0). Christopher O’Reilly had 13 points to lead the Lions (4-5, 1-3).
Leading 22-17 early in the second quarter, the Huskies went on a 7-0 run to take control of the game for good. Oak Park started the third quarter with another 7-0 run and increased their lead to 44-27 by the end of the quarter, in which Allen posted six of his points.
“Virgil has been in and out of the line-up,” Oak Park coach Matt Maloney said. “He was late for the shoot-around today so that’s one of the reasons he didn’t start. That was the best game he has had in his career. He’s a good kid and I think this is the type of game that can propel him.”
The Lions went on an 8-2 run to start the fourth to pull within 46-35, but The Huskies responded by running off the next six points to secure the win.
“We had a lot of open shots we didn’t make tonight and gave up too many second-chance points,” Lyons coach Tom Sloan said. “You can’t keep giving a team like Oak Park chances like that.
“They are a good team and we gave them too many easy opportunities.”