Boy’s basketball’s lost season

The+boys+basketball+team+playing+during+their+last+season%2C+in+January+of+2020

The boys basketball team playing during their last season, in January of 2020

After playing only six games, the OPRF Boys Basketball team had the rest of its season canceled due to a positive COVID-19 test.

While the Huskies were able to play 6 games, they missed out on three to four more games, including the West Suburban Conference tournament. Senior guard Rashad Trice was disappointed to have his senior season cut short. “Senior night is a day that basketball players live for,” Trice said. “To be robbed of that opportunity definitely was unfortunate.”

In their six games, the Huskies, led by first-year head coach Phil Gary, went 3-3 with wins over Morton, Leyden, and, most notably, York. In their Feb. 23 matchup against York, the Huskies found themselves down 14 points in the fourth quarter but fought back and ended up winning the game. “They just fought until the end,” Gary said. “We got down by 12 early, then we came back, then we got down by 14 in the fourth quarter, and we just went on a run. We just started playing the new Oak Park Husky basketball.”

Junior guard Justin Mullins said the York game was his favorite moment of the season. “We made a huge comeback in the second half,” Mullins said. “Our team just had so much energy, and it was great.”

Mullins stepped up in a big way this past season, as he became the team’s leading scorer in his first year on varsity. “He took over as far as being that main guy,” Gary said. “He worked extremely hard.” When asked what helped him elevate his game, Mullins responded, “I always had the mindset that the season could be canceled at any moment, so I made sure to play every game like it was my last one.“

In terms of the season as a whole, Gary thought that it went well, in particular, Gary thought his team passed the ball well. “In every win, we had more than 20 assists,” Gary said. “In our first game we had 11 guys score, so that’s doing a really good job of playing as a collective team.”

On the defensive side, Gary thought his team could have done a better job communicating. “We could always be better talking on defense,” Gary said. “But that’s something that will come with time and knowing each other better.”

While the Huskies were able to play 6 games, they missed out on three to four more games, including the West Suburban Conference tournament. Senior guard Rashad Trice was disappointed to have his senior season cut short. “Senior night is a day that basketball players live for,” Trice said. “To be robbed of that opportunity definitely was unfortunate.” Coach Gary said he hopes to give the seniors some type of proper send-off in the near future.

Despite the season only being six games, Coach Gary feels like he learned a lot about the team in his first season and is excited to continue working with his team. “All these kids are extremely coachable,” Gary said. “I feel like we have a really great bunch of guys that are ready to work, and I think they’ll work more now because they’re all disappointed about having a shortened season.”

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