RJ Ogom knew exactly what he was walking into on Wednesday at Marian Catholic, but he never let it get to him.
Ogom scored 15 points to lead the No. 13 Vikings to a 59-56 win against No. 17 Marian Catholic in the Chicago Heights Classic, despite chants of “RJ sucks” raining down from the student section.
“I just kept my head and didn’t listen to them,” Ogom said. “They were on me all night.
The senior transferred from Marian to Homewood-Flossmoor two years ago.
The Spartans were without star guard Ahron Ulis, who picked up two technical fouls in a win against TF South on Tuesday so was unable to play.
“That’s my close friend, I wanted to play him real bad,” Ogom said. “The outcome still would have been the same. I was looking forward to playing him.”
The Spartans turned the ball over 28 times without Ulis, their point guard. Despite that, they had a chance to tie the game or take the lead after an H-F technical foul with nine seconds left.
Marian Catholic only made one of three free throws, sealing the win for the Vikings.
Maurion Scott scored 12 for Homewood-Flossmoor and Issac Stanback added nine points and six rebounds. The Vikings (3-0) are stacked with strong leapers.
“We are a big problem because it is multiple levels,” Ogom said. “They can’t just game plan for one of us because the next guy steps up. We are real deep, that is what teams fear.”
Junior Jordan Green scored 21 and grabbed seven rebounds for the Spartans (2-1). Yemi Elutillo added 13 points and Chris White added 10 points and nine rebounds.
Homewood-Flossmoor will face Bloom in the title game on Friday.
Rich Central beat TF South 84-79 in overtime in the first game of the night.
The Olympians (1-2) had two major standouts, senior Dion Washington and sophomore Semaj Greer. Washington, a 6-4 forward, had 19 points and 15 rebounds.
“This is Washington’s third year on varsity,” Rich Central coach Cornelius Crossley said. “He’s the catalyst. He has a lot of athleticism. He a great football player too. He found his basketball legs tonight and really established himself.”
Greer, a small heady guard, had a breakout performance with 17 points.
“Semaj is fierce, tough as nails,” Crossley said. “He doesn’t back down. We have really been missing that in the backcourt. I challenged him when I brought him up to varsity and tonight he responded.”
Senior Quarnell Johnson added 12 points and 10 rebounds for Rich Central, which trailed by 14 points late in the third quarter. Johnson also had a key block in overtime.
“We have a good senior core and I’m proud of how resilient they were,” Crossley said. “We stayed together and rode the wave.”
Elijah Stewart led the Rebels (0-3) with 21 points, his brother Andrew scored 17 and Elijah Watson added 15.