OPRF zone defense stifles Glenbard West
Glen Ellyn, 01/11/13--Oak Park River Forest's Jakari Cammon scoops up a basket as Glenbard West's Nathan Marcus tries to block. Glenbard West High School hosted Oak Park River Forest High School in boys basketball Friday evening. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 14, 2013 8:11PM
GLEN ELLYN — In the past few weeks, Oak Park-River Forest has changed its lineup while using a 1-3-1 zone.
With 6-foot-8 senior Thomas Ross now at the top playing the point, the zone was effective Friday night in a 55-48 West Suburban Silver victory over host Glenbard West.
The defending conference champion Huskies (14-4, 5-0) kept their stranglehold on first place in the conference with help from an eight-point run in the second quarter and a zone defense that limited Glenbard West’s leading scorer, Keith Hayes, to 14 points on 4-of-12 shooting.
Hayes, a sophomore transfer from Little Rock, Ark, scored 30 points against Bolingbrook Dec. 20, but was held to one second-half basket — a 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter.
“It wasn’t their scheme, but their size,” Hilltoppers coach Tim Hoder said. “It was hard to move the ball quickly against that zone.”
Hayes had one point in the third quarter after scoring 10 points in the first half.
OPRF won its fifth consecutive game behind Erick Locke’s game-high 20 points. Locke (seven rebounds) could have had more, but missed his first six free-throw attempts in the second half. Locke scored 29 points in his previous game, a 66-40 win over Evanston Jan. 8.
The modified 1-3-1 zone went through some tinkering during OPRF’s annual trip to the Pontiac Holiday tournament. Instead of using guard Alex Gustafson up high, Ross (10 points, nine rebounds) moved to the point and Gustafson went to a wing position.
“Thomas has bought into that,” OPRF coach Matt Maloney said. “We’ve never had a guy that big (there). He’s doing a nice job on the point.”
Jakari Cammon added 14 points for the Huskies, who take on another second place team in the conference when they face York Jan. 18.
Corey Davis scored 13 points and had six rebounds for Glenbard (9-5, 2-2) and Nathan Marcus added 10 points and six rebounds off the bench.
The Hilltoppers received some good news when senior guard Jeff Levesque (six points) played for the first time since re-injuring his left foot in the second game of the season. Levesque played for only the second time this season after recovering from a broken left foot. Levesque is the lone returning starter for Glenbard.
“It’s OK, but I’m still sore. I’m still a little rusty,” Levesque said. “I was rested for this game, but in the next game (at Hinsdale Central), I should be a lot better.”