The Sun-Times is counting down the 50 high school basketball programs with the most wins during the decade.
When high school basketball fans think back to the 1980s, programs like Quincy, Providence St. Mel, East St. Louis Lincoln and the arrival of city powers King and Simeon are easy to think back on.
The 1990s brought us memorable basketball giants in Peoria Manual and Thornton, a few steamrolling Proviso East teams and the continued dominance of King.
The first 10 years of the 2000s included Glenbrook North, Peoria High and the beginning of a Simeon juggernaut.
Now, with the calendar inching closer to wrapping up an unforgettable 2020, the end of this month closes out another decade. And it’s another high school basketball time period to look back on.
This list is comprised of the 50 winningest programs over the past 10 years, starting with the 2010-11 season and concluding with the 2019-20 season. Every team in every class throughout the Chicago area will be broken down in a variety of ways. But total wins, with winning percentage used as tie-breaker, determined the rankings.
We present No. 44 Oak Park today and will add one program a day going forward.
44. OAK PARK: 186-93
Decade’s biggest storyline: The biggest, most dramatic moment of the decade came in 2017 when the Huskies stunned top-seeded Curie in the sectional. Cameron Gross scored the go-ahead basket with 15 seconds remaining in overtime to advance to the sectional final, where Oak Park lost to Young to finish with 24 wins on the season.
Underrated decade highlight: The 2017-18 team was the first Oak Park team in school history to go unbeaten in conference play, finishing 13-0 when including the crossover win to close out the regular season.
Player of the Decade: Gabe Levin (2012)
All-Decade Team: Gabe Levin (2012), Ka’Darryl Bell (2012), Erick Locke (2014), Cameron Gross (2016) and Anthony Roberts (2019)
Other decade news and highlights:
-The pair of trips to the Class 4A Sweet Sixteen –– two sectional final appearances in 2017 and 2013 –– were the first for the program since the 1974 team reached the State Finals in Champaign.
-Longtime coach Matt Maloney stepped down following the 2019-20 season after 12 years coaching his alma mater. Maloney compiled a 224-108 record with four league titles and four regional titles.
-The Huskies won three straight West Suburban Gold Conference championships from 2017-2019.