Lyons, OPRF streaking in opposite directions
Oak Park's Jakari Cammon get to the basket against Lyons Township's Chris Hester (left) and Matt Mrazek during the game on Friday, February 8, 2013. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 12, 2013 3:47PM
LA GRANGE — Oak Park-River Forest won its first five West Suburban Silver games of the season, but the hopes of a repeat for the defending conference champions were dashed Friday night at Lyons.
Slumping OPRF couldn’t get out of its funk as Lyons picked up its biggest win of the season, 61-52. Lyons’ only previous conference wins came against Downers Grove North, but three 3-pointers from Chris O’Reilly late in the third quarter and a bushel of free throws in the fourth quarter carried Lyons (11-12, 3-7) to the upset.
“Oak Park is a really, really good team,” Lyons coach Tom Sloan said. “I can’t think of a team (we’ve beat) that I think is better than this one. They are the No. 3 seed in our sectional.”
O’Reilly, one of Lyons’ top tennis players in the spring, didn’t score in the first half, but finished with 14 points and five rebounds. His three consecutive 3s padded a 28-24 Lyons lead to 37-26 with 53 seconds remaining in the third quarter. OPRF leading scorer Erick Locke (team-high 17 points) made a pair of 3s to end the third quarter, but Lyons maintained its advantage while converting 14-of-17 free throws in the fourth quarter.
“When your shots do not fall, you do anything you can to get the guys involved,” said O’Reilly, who missed all five of his shot attempts in the first half. “Hopefully we can carry this momentum into the state playoffs in two weeks or so. There was not a better way to go out in my senior year than winning our biggest game at home.”
Turnovers and poor shooting doomed the Huskies (14-8, 5-4), who have lost four of their last five games. Alex Gustafson added 15 points on five 3-pointers. OPRF made 8-of-25 of its 3s.
“I thought we played hard, but we didn’t play smart,” OPRF coach Matt Maloney said.
Lyons sophomore Harrison Niego scored a game-high 20 points by making 11-of-12 free throws in the second half. Sam Cybulski scored 12 of his 16 points in the first half for Lyons.
“We’ve won three in a row for our first three-game win streak of the year,” Sloan said. “We’re making a lot of progress. A win like this is so big for the kids.”