Too early to peer at playoffs? Not for Fenwick

Team likely to face familiar foes in postseason

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By BRAD SPENCER

"All aboard!"

That's the call members of the Fenwick girls basketball team must be hearing as the Friars make their way through the second half of the season and gear up for what looks to be a smooth ride back to Illinois State University's Redbird Arena, home of the IHSA Class AA State Finals in early March.

But is it too early to think playoffs? Not if you're the Friars. Not only is Fenwick on pace to win its 12th consecutive East Suburban Catholic Conference title this season, but recently released sectional assignments by the IHSA indicate the team could possibly breeze through the playoffs.

While ranked teams such as Hope, New Trier, Young, and Loyola battle it out in the same supersectional, the Friars' main competition will more than likely come in the form of area-rival Trinity or unranked Riverside-Brookfield. The Friars downed Trinity in the Lyons Township Sectional title game last season 69-61 to earn their fifth trip downstate in six years (Harlan forfeited the supersectional title game to Fenwick). The two teams will not meet during the regular season this year.

A rematch will bring together twin sisters Maggie and Bridget Kloak, who play for opposing schools. Maggie is a starting forward for Fenwick, while Bridget is a reserve player for the Blazers, who currently hold a record of 12-3.

Despite not being ranked, Riverside-Brookfield could also pose a threat for the Friars. The Bulldogs boast Maggie McCloskey, who set three school scoring records earlier this season?#34;most points in a game (44), most field goals in a game (17) and most points in a career (1,538). The Loyola-bound senior is currently in fourth-place in the IHSA record books for three-pointers made in a career. The Bulldogs are currently 13-3.

Fenwick upped its perfect record to 18 wins with a 60-41 trouncing of Benilde-St. Margaret of Minnesota in Oak Park on Friday night. Devereaux Peters posted a triple-double of 17 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 blocks.

On Jan. 4, at the Sweet 16 tournament, the Friars dominated 15th-ranked Sandburg en route to a 55-38 victory. It was the 11th ranked team Fenwick has defeated this season. Peters helped slam the door on the Eagles by rattling off 11 of her 24 points in the third quarter. The junior also finished with five rebounds and three steals. Alison Jackson chipped in 12 points, while Erin Power dished out nine assists.

The Friars take on more out-of-state teams this week when they travel to the Willowbrook tournament Saturday and Monday. Fenwick will face Lexington Catholic from Kentucky on Saturday at 7 p.m., and St. Joseph from St. Louis on Monday at 2:30 p.m. The team resumes play in the ESCC on Jan. 18 at home against Marist.

Contact: bspencer@wjinc.com

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