Owls and Chaparrals Lock Talons; Oakton Narrowly Defeats the College of DuPage

Miguel Contreras III, Sports Editor

The game looked over before it even began. Then it came back to life, twice.

The men’s basketball showdown between Oakton and the College of Dupage ushered in the fresh November month with an electric competition within a roller coaster game.

The first half of the match between the Chaps and the Owls weighed heavily in DuPage’s favor. Crafty individual plays and powerful drives to the hoop fueled early momentum in favor of the Chaps. Meanwhile, the Owls seemed to be dead in the water as they failed to generate almost any offense against the Chaps and allowing COD to open up more than a 10point lead.

Even while struggling, the Owl’s continued to communicate with each other in transition well and continued to battle back despite the early disarray. However, the Chaps punished their faltering. As the first half of the game came to a close, even with only a 37-27 Chaps lead, it seemed that coming out of half time there would be little contest to be had between the two teams with so much momentum in favor of the College of Dupage.

But Oakton refused to be counted out. The team seemed to recenter themselves and returned to the court in the second half with newfound conviction for victory. Turnovers and defensive lapses from the first half were shored up, and the Owls began to generate higher percentage shots through their on-court leaders who made their presence felt as the game continued.

The Chaps seemed to be reeling from the counterattack levied by the Owls for most of the second half. As the game wound down towards the final minutes a seemingly insurmountable lead loomed over them.

Yet, the Chaps refused to quit. Even as the crowd relaxed with the assumed defeat of the Chaps imminent, the Chaps dug in and searched for any opportunity to find a way back into the game. Diving for loose balls, forcing the Owls onto the free throw line, and knocking down clutch shots kept the crowd excitedly glancing between the players and the game clock urging on the Chaps to do was seemed so unlikely.

As the final seconds of the game ticked away, the Chaps inbound the ball down four points to the Owls. Even when victory was no longer feasible, the final shot of the night was made by the Chaps from just over the half court line. It punctuated a battle between the Owls and Chaps that narrowly fell in Oakton’s favor with a 70-69 point victory.