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Boys Basketball: Oak Forest’s balance too much for Lemont

Lemont's Ethan Chester (left) shoots over Oak Forest's Kyle Flanagan. | Dennis Nelson/For Sun-Times Media

Lemont's Ethan Chester (left) shoots over Oak Forest's Kyle Flanagan. | Dennis Nelson/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 3, 2014 5:02PM



Oak Forest discovered another offensive weapon during its South Suburban Blue road game Thursday night at Lemont.

Balance.

Four different Bengals reached double figures during a 60-51 victory.

Oak Forest improved to 16-3 overall and 9-1 in the Blue. Lemont dropped to 9-10, 5-4.

Tom Shute (14 points), Armon Williams (13), Jason Roland (10) and David Gray (10) all reached double figures for the Bengals, who won for the 14th time in the last 15 tries.

Oak Forest’s leading scorer for the season, 6-foot-8 center Kyle Flanagan, was held to eight points.

“They did a good job defending against Kyle, and teams are going to do that,” Oak Forest coach Matt Manzke said. “But, what did we have, three or four players in double figures? That’s only going to benefit us.”

Leading 10-4, Oak Forest scored the next 10 points to take a 20-4 lead after one quarter. Lemont was no closer than six points the rest of the way.

“You can’t take away any credit from them, but we didn’t play the way we’re capable for a half,” Lemont coach Rick Runaas said. “We’ve had issues with that all year. That’s why we’re a .500 team. We’re inconsistent.”

“We talked about starting early against these guys and we were focused and really aggressive to start the game,” Manzke said. “In the fourth quarter, we were able to hold the ball a little bit and knock down our free throws.”

Trailing 31-14 at halftime, Lemont started the third quarter with a 12-3 surge to slice the lead to 34-26 on a layup by Mike Wisz with five minutes left in the quarter. Wisz scored eight points in the third and assisted on another basket. Oak Forest took a 41-33 lead into the final period.

Another basket by Wisz early in the quarter cut the lead to 41-35.

Leading 47-41, Oak Forest held the ball, forcing Lemont into a man-to-man defense with 4:45 left in the fourth. The Bengals played keepaway for most of the rest of the quarter.

David Gray’s three-point play with 3:03 to play bumped the Bengals’ lead to 52-41. Oak Forest hit 8-of-10 free throws during the final two minutes and 15-of-20 for the game.

Wisz led all scorers with 20 points, with 12 coming in the second half.



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