PALATINE, Ill. – In his first start of the season, freshman guard Kevin Walsh (/St. Viator) scored a season-high 30 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lift the Harper men's basketball team to a 79-72 win over Olive-Harvey on Tuesday night at the Wellness & Sports Center.
Walsh made his presence known early and often, hitting two 3-pointers in the first few minutes. His jumper put the Hawks (6-3) ahead 20-10 with 10:06 to play in the first half.
Olive-Harvey (5-2) went on a 13-4 run to close to within one at 24-23, but Walsh answered with his third 3-pointer of the half to stop the run. The Panthers closed the half strong and took a 35-33 lead at the break.
Olive-Harvey took their biggest lead of the game at 50-45 on a Quentin Ruff basket, but Harper responded with a 15-5 run of their own to take control of the game.
Bradley Reibel (/Prospect) played a key role in building and maintaining the lead, scoring 12 points to go with eight rebounds. He also found open teammates for easy scores and finished with a team-high seven assists, including a feed to Eric Porter (Arlington Heights, Ill./Lake Zurich) to put the Hawks ahead for good at 57-55.
The Panthers clawed to within three at 71-68 with 3:22 to play on a Torrey Oliver (20 points, 11 rebounds) basket, but the Hawks closed the game out with strong free throw shooting, especially from Walsh (8-of-8 in game).
"We're really proud of the fact that we've won six in a row since starting 0-3," said head coach Tony Amarino. "That's a testament to the type of kids we have. They never got down after the first three games, and we're just looking forward to the next game."
Harper returns to action tonight at 7 PM to take on the Olivet Nazarene University JV squad at the Wellness & Sports Center.