HILLSIDE | Homewood-Flossmoor is undefeated no more.
The Vikings were routed by Oswego in Friday's first quarterfinal game of the 52nd Proviso West Holiday Tournament. The score was only as close as it was – if the final accounting of 64-43 can be considered close – because the Vikings held the Panthers off the scoreboard for close to five minutes in the first quarter.
Other than that, H-F was outclassed from start to finish, and dropped its first game of the season.
"We lost this game on December 26," Vikings coach Jim McLaughlin said. "We had a terrible practice the day after Christmas. When you practice bad, you play bad.
"Our practice that day was pathetic, our worst practice of the year. We were lucky to get by Westinghouse (on Thursday morning) on pure grit."
If the players didn't take the importance of the situation to heart on the 26th, they did after the loss to Oswego. McLaughlin didn't exit the locker room until late in the second quarter of the following game, some 40 minutes after H-F's game ended. Only one player left the locker room in the 10 minutes after McLaughlin spoke, the rest of the players holding a team meeting.
Oswego (11-1) conducted a 3-point shooting clinic, with Miles Simelton sinking six, including four in the first quarter. Oswego was 12-of-28 from 3-point range overall.
Simelton finished with 28 points. H-F's defense of him was more concept than reality.
"We had three different plans in place, and none of them worked," McLaughlin said. "It didn't matter who was covering him. I haven't seen a kid shoot the ball that well for a long time."
Elliot McGaughy's steal and scintillating pass to Simelton for a soft-handed dunk at the end of the third quarter that summed up the outcome. No H-F player was within 15 feet of Simelton when he took the pass.
Oswego's 15 steals accounted for nearly two-thirds of H-F's 24 turnovers.
Only forward Maurius Hill (12 points) scored in double-figures for H-F. Jason Scott had eight points.
The Vikings fall into the consolation bracket and face Benet Academy, a 50-46 loser to Proviso East, at 2:15 p.m. today.