Robbie Avila stuffs the stat sheet in Oak Forest’s win against Lemont

The Indiana State recruit finished with 23 points, 14 rebounds, six blocks and five assists.

SHARE Robbie Avila stuffs the stat sheet in Oak Forest’s win against Lemont
Oak Forest’s Robbie Avila (21) takes the ball to the rim as the Bengals host Lemont.

Oak Forest’s Robbie Avila (21) takes the ball to the rim as the Bengals host Lemont.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

Statistics are not provided at high school basketball games. It’s up to the reporter to develop a system and somehow keep a running score and individual statistics for all the players.

It’s impossible to keep every stat for all the players by hand without a spotter. Some things are going to slip through the cracks. A player like Oak Forest senior Robbie Avila requires complete concentration because he’s a threat for a triple-double in any four major categories in every game.

The 6-9 Indiana State recruit did it again on Tuesday, compiling an impressive individual stat line in the Bengals’ 65-50 win against No. 19 Lemont.

Avila was 10 of 14 shooting and finished with 23 points, 14 rebounds, six blocks, and five assists. He also forces his teammates to lock, because a pass could be coming at any angle at any moment.

“I’m still getting used to it,” Oak Forest guard Fred Robinson said. “It’s a great learning experience for me because in college I’ll be playing with guys like that. It’s great playing with Robbie.”

The Bengals (18-5, 8-3 South Suburban Blue) led visiting Lemont (17-5, 8-1) by 13 points at halftime.

Highly-regarded sophomore Nojus Indrusaitis and Lemont roared back with a 12-0 run to close the third quarter. A three-pointer from junior Gavin Kelby pulled Lemont within 42-41 early in the fourth quarter.

“We exerted a lot of energy to get to that point and then [Oak Forest] still had something left it turned out,” Lemont coach Rick Runaas said.

Avila scored 11 in the fourth quarter to seal the win for Oak Forest.

“I definitely wanted to leave that game with a statement,” Avila said. “I had to make myself known in the paint.”

Robinson finished with 16 points and seven rebounds and senior Drew Pagnusat added 11 points and nine boards for the Bengals. Oak Forest outrebounded Lemont 37 to 20.

Indrusaitis finished with 13 points and seven rebounds but the Bengals held him scoreless in the fourth quarter. Junior Matas Castillo also scored 13 for Lemont.

“[Lemont] is going to be good for the next few years,” Avila said. “They are young so they have a lot to learn but they play well together.”

Oak Forest is a talented team with a major star that has been dropping some games it probably shouldn’t. The Bengals are a Class 3A team and will play in the Marian Catholic sectional, which is loaded with quality teams including Marian Catholic, Hillcrest, Thornton, Kankakee, Tinley Park, Richards, and Lemont.

“We have these little stretches in games where we haven’t been as consistent as we’d like,” Oak Forest coach Matt Manzke said. “And the fact is we’re not going to hold a great offensive team like Lemont down. Mentally we made some mistakes, we gave them some easy shots and lost some coverages. But we took the punch, came back and calmed ourselves down and made the plays we needed to down the stretch.”

There are very few consistent teams in the area this season. That’s clearly due to the one-month season last year. There were no playoffs at all and most teams are behind where they would be back in normal times.

“It’s crucial that we keep winning games so we can get a top seed,” Robinson said. “It all starts in practice. There can’t be any off days and if we compete in practice we will compete on the floor.”

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