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Homewood-Flossmoor knocks off undefeated Oswego East to win Hinsdale Central championship

Nashawn Holmes scored a game-high 21 points for the Vikings.

Homewood-Flossmoor celebrates winning the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic against Oswego East.
Homewood-Flossmoor celebrates winning the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic against Oswego East.
Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

Thanksgiving seems like a long time ago for Homewood-Flossmoor.

With a bunch of new players in the mix, the Vikings started 1-2 with losses to Hyde Park and Marian Catholic at the Chicago Heights Classic.

But with 6-6 senior Christian Meeks leading the way, H-F has ripped off seven straight wins. The latest was 62-44 over previously unbeaten Oswego East in Wednesday night’s championship game of the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic.

Nashawn Holmes scored a game-high 21 points for the Vikings. Tourney MVP Meeks had 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, capped by an emphatic dunk with 1:42 remaining.

Lee Marks III also reached double figures for the Vikings, scoring 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting to go along with eight rebounds and four blocks.

Meeks knew his points would come eventually.

“Coach [Marc Condotti] told us coming in we need to run our offense,” Meeks said. “I didn’t want to force anything. I knew that coming into the paint there would have been two, three, maybe even a fourth body ready to take a charge, ready to step up.

“So [I] had to get everyone else involved. We have some really, really good scorers on this team. Everyone can do a little bit of something on the offensive end.”

The Vikings (8-2) can get the job done on the other end as well. Oswego East (14-1) had just 20 points in the paint, scored only six second-chance points and was 3 of 21 from three-point range.

“Before the game ... coach was telling us how many points in the paint they average and it’s a lot,” Meeks said. “So I knew a lot of it was going to be on me to protect that paint.”

“He’s always been willing to take a charge, he’s always been willing to play good, solid perimeter and post defense,” Condotti said of Meeks.

Oswego East never led and trailed by as many as 12 in the first half. The Wolves got within 33-28 midway through the third quarter before H-F went on a 12-0 run to pull away.

The Vikings just needed a little time to sort things out, Holmes said, and now they have.

“Before the Thanksgiving tournament, we only had like four practices,” he said. “It was a brand new team so we developed a lot, practiced more, got more chemistry.”

That’s noticeable between Meeks and Holmes, a 6-3 junior.

“Batman and Robin,” Holmes said. “I’ll be his Robin, I’m cool with that.”

“He gives us a real steady presence, especially against pressure,” Condotti said of Holmes. “He’s long and he knows how to use his body. So it kind of gives everybody a little bit of a comfort level when he’s got the ball in his hands that he’s going to get through and make the right play.”

DeVon Oregon, who scored 16, was the only Oswego East player in double figures.