Oswego East breaks school record for wins, eyes a trip to Champaign

There’s one team in the area with only one loss: Oswego East.

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Oswego East’s Patrick Robinson, right, drives toward the basket as Minooka’s Cade Ooms defends.

Oswego East’s Patrick Robinson, right, drives toward the basket as Minooka’s Cade Ooms defends.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

Glenbard West’s perfect 25-0 record casts a long shadow. The Hilltoppers have become a local sensation. That will likely get even crazier this weekend with the sold-out event at Wintrust Arena against Sierra Canyon and Bronny James. 

There are a handful of excellent teams with two losses this season (New Trier, Simeon, Glenbrook South, Hillcrest, Wheaton Warrenville South) but there is only one team in the Super 25 and the entire area with just one loss. 

It’s Oswego East.

The Wolves (25-1, 13-0 Southwest Prairie West) have been in the Super 25 the entire season. Their only loss was to Homewood-Flossmoor in the championship game of the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic back in December. 

Tuesday’s 66-53 win at Minooka was Oswego East’s 11th consecutive victory and a new school record for wins in a season. 

“We kind of play with a chip on our shoulder because we feel like at times we don’t get respect,” Wolves coach Ryan Velasquez said. “So we just come out and try to get better every day.”

Promising junior Mehki Lowery had 17 points and eight rebounds. He closed the win with a stylish fastbreak dunk. 

“I have to keep going and keep pushing through,” Lowery said. “It’s nice that some people have been noticing my play lately. It’s been a good season”

Senior guard DeVon Oregon also scored 17 and Patrick Robinson added 10 points and seven rebounds. Robinson, a 6-5 senior, is the leader of the group. 

“He’s a vocal leader,” Lower said. “You probably heard it on the court today. It helps a lot of us young guys out a lot.”

Minooka (15-8, 9-4) didn’t have anyone capable of matching Robinson’s strength and savvy in the post. 

“I’ve definitely worked on my body a lot,” Robinson said. “I’m just getting ready for when we get downstate and are playing bigger teams with bigger and better players.”

The easygoing mention of playing at state may surprise some observers. Oswego East has never won a sectional (it’s only been around for 16 years). But why shouldn’t the Wolves be dreaming big after such a sensational season?

“I like being under the radar, being one of those teams and one of those guys that nobody expects to do much,” Lowery said. “What we are trying to do this season is surprise everybody.”

Minooka, led by senior guard Ricky Hill, didn’t go down easily. A jumper from Trevor Hudak with 4:12 to play cut Oswego East’s lead to 49-44. 

The Wolves countered with a 6-0 run to take control and shot 9 of 10 from the free-throw line in the final 1:29 to seal the win. 

“Ryan Johnson stepped up and made some shots at the end,” Velasquez said. “I’m proud of him coming off the bench and contributing.”

Hill led Minooka with 18 points and Hudak added 17. Hill’s an exciting player to watch and Hudak is shooting 38% from three-point range this season. 

“Teams are giving us their best games now,” Robinson said. “They want to beat us and the student sections are packed at every game we come to.”

Watch the final minute of Oswego East at Minooka:

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