Oak Lawn junior Sam Osmani was involved in a minor scuffle at the end of the Spartans’ 60-47 upset of No. 24 Lindblom on Friday. Emotions were high. Oak Lawn was amped up to grab a statement win and the Eagles were watching their 18-game winning streak come to an end.
The officials called the game with 16 seconds left play and Osmani, who scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, ran over to the Oak Lawn student section to scream and celebrate his school’s first win against a ranked team in recent memory.
“This win is so important,” Osmani said. “We lost to Hillcrest by one point a couple weeks ago. We wanted a hard-fought win and that is what we got.”
Osmani finished with 20 points and six rebounds.
“We wanted to be composed,” Osmani said. “We saw the rankings and we wanted to make it hard to re-rank [Lindblom]. We wanted that win.”
Junior point guard Trey Ward had 19 points and six assists. His ball handling and composure were a key to the upset, along with junior David Reyes’ defense on Lindblom guard Shamar Pumphrey.
“Reyes is just a tough kid, he’s about as tough as they come in our program,” Oak Lawn coach Jason Rhodes said. “He’s been doing that type of thing all year long for our team. I thought it was kind of advantageous matchup for us because Pumphrey doesn’t have a ton of size. David just made it tough on him all night long.”
Oak Lawn led by eight early in the third quarter. The Eagles (21-3) cut the lead to one, but Osmani responded with a bucket and Lindblom never got closer than three points the rest of the way.
“Freshman and sophomore year I was a three-point shooter,” Osmani, who scored 42 points against TF South this season, said. “Now I’m doing a little bit of everything, anything for the team to win.”
Osmani and Ward have both played on varsity since freshman year. The Spartans (13-11) won 19 games last season.
“Ward started last year as a sophomore so he knows how to play in a game like this, in this environment with that type of pressure,” Rhodes said. “He had a couple miscues but overall he did a great job.”
Kevin Swatek had nine points and eight rebounds for Oak Lawn and Reyes scored eight.
Pumphrey drained two three-pointers in the final minute to finish with eight points. Junior Myles Twyman led the Eagles with 12 points and 6-5 junior Marshun Williams added 10.
“No excuses, everyone was in the same boat [with the lack of practices this week],” Lindblom coach Zack Linderman said. “We’ve seen teams try and take [Pumphrey] away like that all season, that isn’t new. We just didn’t share the ball well enough and settled for a lot of jump shots.”
The Eagles won the White-Central with a perfect 9-0 record and will be promoted to the Red-South/Central next season and play in the city playoffs next week.
“We have to bounce back tomorrow against Glenbrook North,” Linderman said. “We are going to see what kind of character we have tomorrow.”