RJ Ogom and Homewood-Flossmoor take down St. Charles East

RJ Ogom had four dunks and scored an efficient 22 points as the No. 10 Vikings routed St. Charles East 83-54 in the quarterfinals of the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic.

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Homewood-Flossmoor’s RJ Ogom (23) dunks the basketball against Saint Charles East’s Zack Clodi.

Homewood-Flossmoor’s RJ Ogom (23) dunks the basketball against Saint Charles East’s Zack Clodi.

Quinn Harris/For the Sun-Times

It’s no secret what job one is for Homewood-Flossmoor’s opponents this season: Stop RJ Ogom.

The6-6 Charleston recruit is the focal point of the Vikings’ offense, and every game he gets swarmed in the post.

Ogom still gets his points, but he also gets his teammates involved enough to have H-F off to a 10-1 start.

On Thursday, Ogom had four dunks and scored an efficient 22 pointsas the No. 10 Vikings routed St. Charles East 83-54 in the quarterfinals of the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic. Guards Josiah Palmer and Joel Watts added 18 and 13 points respectively for H-F, which shot 61 percentfrom the floor -- including 53 percent from three-point range.

Thomas Ditsworth scored 13 to lead St. Charles East (6-4), which was 8-for-33 from three.

The balance between H-F’s perimeter game and Ogom’s inside presence didn’t happen by accident.

”We worked a lot over the summer on him drawing that double- and sometimes triple-team,” H-F coach Marc Condotti said. “He knows he’s got about a second or two in the post before that double-team or triple-team comes. He knows he has to use that time to make the move or make the read and he’s done a nice job this year of just being a selfless player.”

There was a learning curve for Ogom to decide when to shoot and when to pass.

”At the beginning of the season, it was a little rough,” he said. “We were trying to figure out what to do with teams collapsing (inside).

”But as the season progressed, we’ve been knocking down a whole lot more shots.”

Palmer, who was behind some seniors on the depth chart last season, is capitalizing on his increased playing time.

”My whole team helped me get the shots,” said Palmer, who was 4-for-7 from beyond the arc and 7-for-10 overall.

”It makes my job easier when he makes shots and he makes shots pretty often,” Condotti said.

Many of the shots are both far beyond the three-point line and also wide open, thanks to Ogom’s unselfishness.

”If (opponents) double down, you know I’m going to kick it right back out and they’re going to hit the three,” Ogom said.

The Vikings led by eight early before St. Charles East used a 10-2 run to pull even at 17-all early in the second quarter. But H-F ended the first half on a 20-5 run and then ripped off the first 10 points of the third quarter to blow the game open at 47-22.

Also contributing were guards Kenton Pryor (seven points, six assists off the bench) and Brandon Brewer (six points, six assists).

”He doesn’t really get the same attention as Josiah because he doesn’t score as much,” Condotti said of Brewer. “(But) he’s done a really nice job of taking care of the basketball (and) being our defensive stopper.”

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