Seven returning seniors driving H-F varsity hoops

The Homewood-Flossmoor High School Vikings varsity basketball team has an advantage many of their opponents don’t: seven returning players.

Senior Issac Stanback goes up for a dunk in the third quarter. Stanback was selected for the fourth team All-State last year. (Donald Crocker/H-F Chronicle)
  Senior Issac Stanback goes up
  for a dunk in the third quarter.
  Stanback was selected for the
  fourth team All-State last year.
(Donald Crocker/H-F Chronicle)

With a backbone that strong, the Vikings are looking to move past the sectional semifinals, when they lost to Marist 61-47 last year.

“We can pick up where we left off from last year and not start from square one ... We have a lot of pieces and the idea is to figure out how to put them together properly,” said Marc Condotti, a PE teacher and head basketball coach. 

Starting senior forward Issac Stanback is known for his explosiveness on the court. Whether he’s spiking a ball into the stands or throwing down a dunk on a fastbreak, he makes sure the opponent feels his presence.

Stanback transferred from Hillcrest High School his junior year, and says the transition was a good one.

“I’m real comfortable,” he said. “I’ve built up a lot of character and confidence.”

The Vikings also have a good amount of size and length in the backcourt with 6’7” sophomore Chad Readey and 6-foot-5-inch junior R.J. Ogom.

“Length is always good to have in basketball. It allows you to do a lot of things offensively and defensively. We have length at just about every position,” Condotti said.

Forward Maurion Scott transitioned to basketball after finishing the football season as a wide receiver. He still is deciding whether he will play basketball or football in college.

“Whatever takes me to get a better education because without education, you can’t go anywhere. So whatever school offers me the best in that field, I feel like that’s where I’m going to choose to go,” Scott said.

Scott is not the only one receiving college interest. Senior guards Oscar Parrish III and Damen Trice Jr. both have received offers to play college basketball.

“Those are our goals...Those offers show that we’ve been working and trying to improve each and every day,” Parrish said.

Scott has been on varsity since his sophomore year. That was another senior-heavy team, but he feels as though this team is different than any group he’s been a part of.

“We know when to laugh and play and we know when to get serious. And I think that is what separates us from the other teams around the state,” Scott said.

During the Chicago Heights Classic over Thanksgiving break, the Vikings started off their season 3-0 before falling to Bloom 60-58 in overtime.

They had an opportunity to get revenge but fell short to the Blazing Trojans again 57-53.

The past two years Condotti has been working with assistant coach Jeremy Saffold, a 2009 H-F graduate whom Condotti coached as a freshman at H-F. Saffold played for the Wisconsin-Parkside Rangers and spent some time playing professionally overseas.

During his last year as a Ranger, he averaged 18.5 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game, while shooting an efficient 50.1% from the field.

“I know what these kids are going through. I went through the same things. I know the experiences on a day-to-day basis at this school. It makes it easier for me to communicate and talk to them,” Saffold said.

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A great community deserves a great newspaper. The HF Chronicle was created in June 2014 as an online publication. In December 2015 we began monthly print publication, too. Our mission is to chronicle the life of our community — news by, for, and about the people of Homewood and Flossmoor, Illinois.


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