These Vikings hoopin’!


Senior guard Damen Trice Jr. drives to the basket for a lay-up in a win against conference-rival Lincoln-Way East Griffins. The Vikings have won two games in a row after an overtime loss against Bloom.

Jotham Israel, Sports Writer

Coming into the season, the H-F boys varsity basketball team has been locked in on one goal: getting back to the IHSA Playoffs.

So far, H-F has gotten off to a great start this season. They won their first three games against TF South, Rich Central and Marian Catholic.

After a 60-58 loss at Bloom that saw the Vikings miss 17 free throws, they bounced back to blow out Lincoln-Way Central 57-25. Currently, they are 4-1.

Senior guard Damen Trice Jr. credits their hot start to the team’s positive morale.

“This year, my teammates are smarter, more focused and more confident, so I feel real good about our team,” Trice said.

This year’s team has plenty of seniors on it. Nine of the 14 players on the roster are seniors and Head Coach Marc Condotti is grateful for their playing experience.

“[The seniors] already know what’s expected and what we want as their coaches. It’s always nice to have a group of players that want to get better like that,” Condotti said.

The team’s success is mainly because of focus and hard work, but junior guard Collin Fields thinks highly of the senior leadership.

“Playing with the seniors is great for me because they make sure I’m the best player I could possibly be. This is a special team and I feel like we could go to State,” Fields said.

For the nine seniors on the team, having a special team is just what they wanted in their last year at H-F. Trice thinks it is very important for them to have a successful season before he graduates this year.

“I want to win. I don’t care how bad I play, I want to win because it’s my last year to try and go make a run to State,” Trice said.

With an upcoming home game against rival Bloom, the Vikings look to continue their winning ways and improve on their 2017 campaign that ended with a loss in Sectionals.

“We’re working hard every single day. The goal is to win and take that morale and energy into the playoffs,” Fields said.

In January, the Chicago Tribune wrote a story on Trice when dropped 17 points off the bench in a win against Sandburg.

“When I first saw that article, I was so happy. It was the first article I [was in]. I read it a thousand times. Yeah, I was pretty happy that night,” Trice said.

The media is paying more attention to the team, but Condotti makes sure his players aren’t phased by media coverage.

“Obviously when you’re in the spotlight, you have to be able to handle it, stay focused and understand what’s important,” Condotti said. “It’s not about one guy, it’s about 14 guys.”

H-F will be participating in the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic from Dec. 26 to Dec. 29. They also host Thornton on “Pack the Gym Night” on Jan. 8.

The Vikings are now in a position to compete in the IHSA Playoffs. Right now, only time can tell how the varsity boys will respond to the hype.