Oswego’s varsity basketball (5-0, 1-0)  has started red hot, jumping out to an unexpected 5-0 start including their first conference win on Wednesday against Plainfield North (2-2, 0-1). The opening push has been propelled by senior Kobe Adams, who is averaging 24 points per game in the first five games, including 25 in the 51-46 win over the Tigers.

Adams has been the majority of the offense in the early going, as he scored just under half of all the Panthers points Wednesday night, and 30 in the Panthers’ season opener.

The Tigers came out in a box and one defense to start in order to contain the Panthers prolific scorer senior Jack Kahoun. Adams took advantage of the 2-2 zone, and went off for 11 points in the first quarter, leading a 10-2 run to open the game. Adams flexed his range as well, nailing three three-pointers, including a buzzer-beater to end the first, which is an aspect of his game that he’s just starting to incorporate.

“I saw they were targeting Jack, so I knew I had to score,” Adams said. “I worked on a lot.”

Senior Jack Kahoun (22) enters the paint for an easy layup. Credit: Annabelle Rivera, 42Fifty

The Panther defense also performed at a high level, holding the Tigers to just nine points in the opening quarter.

The defensive intensity didn’t stick, however, as the Panthers allowed the Tigers to come back, taking just a four-point lead into the locker room.

“I think we just got static and got satisfied with what we had done,” senior Joey Niesman said about the Tiger comeback. “We realized what we had to do and we did it when we needed to.”

Plainfield North’s comeback was led by senior big man Colin O’Rourke, who put up 25 of his own points including 13 rebounds. O’Rourke had eight points in the second quarter, and dominated the paint for the entirety of the game.

“Originally we had planned to switch everything,” senior Joey Niesman said about containing O’Rourke. “We thought we could all guard him.”

The third quarter was just sloppy, from both sides. The first field goal for the Tigers came with just 2:22 left in the quarter, but the Panthers only scored seven points, and by the end of the quarter, the Tigers outscored the Panthers 8-7.

The fourth quarter got interesting, as the Tigers pulled within two, but an and-one from Niesman put the game away and prompted the foul fest.

The Tigers tried desperately to get back into the game, but the only player they could get their hands on to foul was the red hot Kobe Adams, who went 6-8 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter alone.

“I was missing a little bit in the fourth ,” Adams said. “I had to knock down a couple free throws to extend the lead and keep the lead.”

The victory for the Panthers sets the stage for their first-ever conference matchup against West Aurora tonight at 6:30 p.m. at West Aurora.

“I’m doing what I can to help my team,” Adams said. “I worked hard in the offseason to get to where I can be able to score to help my team.”

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