This is Dashon Enoch’s third season on the Oak Park varsity. He’s well aware of the dangers of mid-February basketball.
“These are the dog days of the season,” Enoch said. “You have to make sure to stay focused and keep your intensity up.”
The Huskies have already clinched the West Suburban Silver title and they know their path in the Class 4A state playoffs. Oak Park coach Matt Maloney was able to come up with another goal to keep his team focused.
“Since the West Suburban went to Gold and Silver divisions we haven’t had a team that went 12-0,” Maloney said. “There have been a lot of 11-1’s.”
No. 18 Oak Park beat visiting York 62-51 on Thursday. That puts the Huskies just one win away from a perfect conference record. They play at Proviso West on Saturday.
“We are trying to make history,” Oak Park junior Chase Robinson said. “We want that 12-0.”
The Huskies (20-5, 11-0) are one of the area’s deepest teams, which has helped them weather some injury problems. Enoch, senior Malachi Ross, junior Charlie Hoehne and senior Phil Saleh have each missed a handful of games this season.
“We haven’t been at full strength until the last couple of games,” Maloney said. “Now we’ve figured out the rotation and as the season has progressed some guys have become more comfortable. Hoehne over the past week or two has played his best basketball.”
Enoch, a junior, led Oak Park with 20 points and Robinson added 15. Senior Isaiah Fuller added 10 points.
“[Enoch] been tremendous the last few games,” Maloney said. “He’s been shooting it better and what I really like is he’s playing great off the ball defense. He’s taking charges and getting fifty/fifty balls. You saw the energy he’s playing with, he dove over the bench for a loose ball. He’s getting in passing lanes and that is contagious. When he is doing that everyone else picks up their intensity on defense.”
The Huskies were 21 for 33 from the field. Enoch drained a three-pointer just before halftime to give Oak Park a five-point lead. The Huskies forced three consecutive turnovers early in the third quarter and jumped out to a 38-28 and the Dukes weren’t ever able to mount a serious challenge after that.
“I feel like I can guard anyone in the state actually,” Enoch said. “I just make sure I play hard on defense. The offense flows when I do that.”
Senior Angelo Martucci led York (17-9, 7-4) with 10 points and junior Sam Walsh added six points and seven rebounds.
The Dukes have a promising future. Freshman Jeff Grace was impressive, he scored nine points off the bench and was very assertive. Sophomore Nate Shockey scored five. Junior Erik Cohn added seven points and junior John Milling scored nine.Tags: oak park, York