One or two hot quarters don't always make the difference in a high school basketball game. Lately for the Fenwick boys basketball team it's been one searing quarter followed by a lackluster one, but the Friars last week managed to scrape two victories out of their up and down play.
Fenwick pushed its overall record to 8-6 on the season with a 46-43 win over St. Francis Wheaton in Oak Park on Saturday, and grabbed its first victory in the revamped Catholic League North by edging St. Rita 56-54 in Chicago on Friday night.
Both victories ended in similar fashion: With the Friars relinquishing strong leads and battling back to secure the win in the final minute of action.
Against St. Francis Wheaton, the Friars took a 10-9 lead after the first period and looked poised to head into halftime with a nine point lead, but Allan Palash buried a 50-foot three-pointer at the buzzer.
Fenwick kept its cool to open the third, but the Spartans rattled off seven straight points to close the period. An eight-point Fenwick lead in the final stanza dwindled away, but Luke Burchette nailed two free throws and Tim Shaw stole the ball away from a St. Francis player in the final seconds to snag the win.
"We didn't play exceptionally well for the entire game, which has been our problem all year," said Fenwick coach John Quinn. "We let another team right back into the game with turnovers and poor free throw shooting."
Fenwick made just 8 of 16 from the line against the Spartans. Peter Flowers led the Friars with 13 points. The senior also had nine rebounds. Burchette added nine points to go along with his six rebounds.
Down 18-15 after one quarter against St. Rita on Friday night, the Friars outscored their opponent 22-8 in the second. But the surge was short lived as St. Rita outdid Fenwick 16-3 in the third quarter.
"We have one good quarter and it's followed by a sloppy quarter," said Quinn. "We need to be more consistent."
While turnovers mounted in this game as well?#34;Fenwick had six in the third and five in the fourth?#34;the Friars improved at the charity stripe by hitting 6 of 8 to seal the win in the final period.
Tim Shaw led Fenwick with 20 points. Peters chipped in 16 points and seven rebounds.
"We're playing too fast for ourselves," said Quinn. "We need to settle down, get control and play at a good pace. We don't need to be rushing shots when we have the lead."
The Friars host St. Ignatius on Friday (7:30 p.m.) in another CL match-up, and welcome Montini in a non-conference game on Jan. 17.