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Oak Park-River Forest's Erick Locke, sporting bright orange shoes, preps for a free throw Tuesday against Evanston. | Rob Valentin~For Sun-Times Media
Maybe it was the kicks.
Sporting a pair of bright orange sneakers for just the fourth game this season, Oak Park-River Forest junior Erick Locke was simply unstoppable against Evanston on Tuesday night.
The 6-1 guard dropped 29 on the Wildkits — 20 coming in the first half — as the Huskies rolled to a 65-40 nonconference win in Oak Park.
“My shoes tore and I had these laying around and asked Coach [Matt Maloney] if I could wear them,” Locke said. “I think this is probably the best I’ve shot all year. I think we just moved the ball really well. I got it in transition and made baskets.”
Locke shot 11-for-16 from the floor and was 2-for-4 from three-point range.
“I thought we could have done a lot better job on him,” said Evanston senior forward Pete Winslow, who led his team with seven points. “It’s really about having the determination and people saying ‘We’re not going to let him score.’ ’’
Oak Park (12-4) completely dominated from the get-go, leading 15-7 after the first quarter and 31-19 at halftime. The Huskies were 12-for-18 from the floor in the first half, while the Wildkits (7-10) shot 8-for-23.
Oak Park extended the lead to 43-29 after three quarters and held a 48-29 advantage after a three by Locke and a field goal from 6-8 senior forward T.K. Mattox (13 points) early in the fourth.
Locke, who played last season at Brooks, left the game midway through the fourth with 29 points and the Huskies holding a 53-31 lead.
Oak Park’s length gave Evanston fits all night long. The Wildkits finished the game shooting 14-for-42 while the Huskies were 27-for-48.
“We’re really big on defense,” Mattox said. “We have three 6-8 guys and were able to get a lot of deflections and kicked balls. That really disrupts their offense.”
Winslow and his Evanston teammates were definitely frustrated on offense.
“Their length was a problem but it was also a lack of us ball faking,” Winslow said. “It’s definitely something we could have coped with but it didn’t happen the way we wanted.”
6-8 senior Virgil Allen came off the bench to score eight points for Oak Park, all in the fourth quarter. Chris Rudnicki and Elijah Henry had six points apiece for the Wildkits.