The push for Peoria

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The push for Peoria

Isaiah Adeleke, Sports Writer

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The H-F boys basketball team is having a very successful season. They’re currently sitting at 17-2 overall and ranked eighth in the state, ahead of powerhouses like Simeon and Morgan Park. Their only two losses came against Marian Catholic and Thorton, both on the road. 

This is one of the best teams the Vikings have had in a long time. They were ranked just 23rd in the state last year. The last time the H-F vikings basketball team was this good was back in the 2007-2008 season when they were ranked 11th in the state. 

The team right now is a lot better than the 2007-2008 season team that was #208 in the nation while this year’s team is ranked at #85 in the nation according to MaxPreps. 

However, the Vikings feel no pressure being a top-ten team in state. A lot of that can be credited to senior forward R.J Ogom, who averages the most points and rebounds on the team and actually embraces the pressure.

“I like it. It keeps us motivated even more because it feels we have a target on our back,” Ogom said.

Along with the Charleston commit in Ogom, senior guard Joel Watts, who transferred from St. Rita to H-F last year, has been a major contribution and changed this team a lot from last year to this year.

 “I had a lesser role [at St. Rita] and I have a lot more leadership playing for H-F,” Watts said.

Senior Brandon Brewer, the team’s pass-first point guard, also helps by moving the ball around and makes sure everyone receives their fair amount of touches.

“You have to really watch a lot of film and know the defenses,” Brewer said.

The Vikings are getting their fair amount of recognition. Ogom will play in the All-Star Game and compete in the dunk contest at the United Center on March 17.

“I am excited about some of the things I can do. It was an honor to be selected and asked to participate,” Ogom said.

This team is well-rounded and a lot closer from last year, and Ogom points to the team’s unselfishness as a reason why the team is better this year.

“We are a lot closer than last year. We all play for each other; we aren’t really playing for stats,” Ogom said.

It hasn’t always been easy for H-F. Senior guard Josiah Palmer stated how silencing the doubters was the biggest challenge the team had to overcome this year. 

“Everyone doubted us. We had too much doubt coming into the season. Now we’re just trying to overcome that,” Palmer said.

However, Head Coach Marc Condotti thinks there has been a different challenge.

“There really has not been one challenge except maintaining the high-level all play all year,” Condotti said.

Some of H-F successes included big wins over Simeon and winning the Hinsdale Central Classic Tournament, including a victory over DePaul Prep in the championship game.

“We worked hard, they show up to practice everyday and put in work. I’m happy where we are at right now, but we still have a lot of work to do,” Condotti said.