Schaumburg played in the land of the giants Saturday. And the Saxons came op a bit short on the giant-killing, dropping a 50-40 decision to Oak Park on Saturday in Schaumburg.
The Saxons needed to plot a route around the Oak Park front line that averaged 6-foot-8. Schaumburg patiently found its course on offense.
"I thought we played real hard tonight," Schaumburg coach Matt Walsh said. "They are a talented team with great guards and their bigs are long and athletic."
Oak Park got off to quick start thanks to the play of Erick Locke, who scored the Huskies' first 7 points. Schaumburg then slowed the pace as the Saxons tried to navigate Oak Park's man-to-man defense and the long arms of the Huskies defenders.
"We did a very good job of moving the ball around tonight," Walsh said. "Especially in the second half."
Oak Park (5-3) opened a 19-12 lead with 4:10 left in the first half. Schaumburg (4-5) was able to close to trail 21-20 at the half thanks to 3-pointers by Jimmy Lundquist and Kyle Bolger.
Oak Park opened up a 28-22 lead, but again patience paid dividends for the Saxons. Now playing against a 1-3-1 zone defense, Schaumburg moved the ball around the perimeter, looking for the open three. Kevin Curnow then delivered a pair of treys as the Saxons pulled even at 30-30 with 2:55 left in the third quarter.
"We were moving the ball well," Curnow said. "My teammates were making the extra passes and I was able to hit a couple of shots."
Ryan Kase then nailed another 3 as the Saxons had their first lead at 33-31 heading into the fourth quarter.
Trailing 34-31, Oak Park scored the next 7 points on their way to an 11-2 run as the Huskies built a 42-36 lead with 3:44 to play. Schaumburg, which was 0-5 from outside the arc in the final quarter, was never able to get closer than 4 the rest of the way.
"We spent time this morning working against their defenses," said Bolger, who led he Saxons with 11 points. "We knew they were going to come with the traps and the 1-3-1 defense. We just made sure we got it to the open spaces and moved the ball.
"We are going to keep our heads high. Things just didn't go our way at the end of the game. "
"We just didn't make plays at the end of the game," Walsh said. "That has been something hat has been plaguing us this year."
The game had a moment of silence prior to the start in the honor of Schaumburg senior Mikias Tibedu, who was struck and killed Friday night in Schaumburg. Tibedu, who was an honor student at Schaumburg, was a member of the cross country and track teams.