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Fuller Brothers work Together in OPRF 2 OT Win over Hinsdale Central

Fuller brothers work together in OPRF win over Hinsdale Central

By Patrick Kelly Pioneer Press

When Oak Park-River Forest defeated Hinsdale Central 64-61 in double-overtime on Friday, Jan. 29, the Huskies needed crucial baskets by both Connor and Isaiah Fuller to seal the victory.

Connor Fuller, a senior, scored the opening basket for Oak Park-River Forest in the first overtime, while his younger brother, Isaiah, provided the Huskies their first lead in the second overtime with a late basket.

Isaiah Fuller (7 points) is a sophomore and he has been enjoying the chance to share the court with his brother.

"It is really fun playing with him," Isaiah Fuller said. "It is going to end eventually, but I hope I cherish this moment.

"It is fun and I really like playing with him, he teaches me a lot."

Connor Fuller (3 points) is trying to share some of his insights with Isaiah before trying to play college basketball following graduation.

"I know he looks up to me a lot; I usually try to teach him what I can," Connor Fuller said. "I tell him to always stay positive, he has along way to go. It is always fun playing with my brother, it is like playing in the backyard when we were kids."

Connor, at 6-foot-3, is slightly taller than Isaiah, who stands 6-1, and their roles are different for the Huskies (12-9, 4-3).

"He is more finesse and more fast-paced," Connor Fuller said. "I am more of just a calm guy that sets the offense up."

"I am a point guard and he is a big man," Isaiah Fuller said, "so I can dish him the ball and make him score. (He is better) at rebounding and finishing at the basket."

Huskies coach Matt Maloney sees Connor Fuller as not only as a good influence on his brother, but for the whole team.

"He puts his hard hat on; he is a great leader, everyone looks up to him," Maloney said. "He is a high-character kid from a great family. He is a kid that comes to work every day, not just the games like some kids do.

"Every single day in practice — I do not remember him ever taking a practice off."

Maloney is also impressed with what Isaiah Fuller brings to the team.

"He is a pass-first point guard, kind of a throwback," Maloney said. "It is nice to have a calming influence, a guy that is always looking to make the extra pass."

Game Notes

•Cameron Gross led the Huskies with 24 points, including five in the second overtime. Breshawn Wilkerson added 13 points for OPRF, which has won five straight.

"At the end we just dug deep and got big play after big play," Maloney said.

•Peter Blust and Drew Shepherd led Hinsdale Central (9-9, 3-3) with 15 points each. Blust was hampered with foul trouble and fouled out with 3 minutes, 14 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

"We had to (step up)," Red Devils coach Nick Latorre said. "The guys did a good job rallying and giving us chance to win the game without our leading scorer and rebounder. It was a tough way to go down."

Copyright © 2016, Chicago Tribune

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