St. Ignatius 64 OT
It's been Michael Black's month. The reserve guard for the Fenwick basketball team has kicked off 2008 by helping his team to two big victories, the latest a thrilling 66-64 overtime victory over Chicago Catholic League North-rival and 14th-ranked St. Ignatius on Friday in Oak Park.
Black, who scored 27 points to lead the Friars to a 72-61 victory over highly-ranked Morton the week before, skirted through an open lane in the closing seconds of the extra-period and dropped in a layup for the game-winner. The last play of the game wasn't intended for the junior, but Fenwick head coach John Quinn said he was pleased with the outcome.
"(Forward) Derek Tartt had said to me at the timeout, 'Hey coach, let's run the St. Rita out of bounds play,' and I told him that sounded like a great idea," said Quinn. "But when St. Ignatius double teamed both he and (John) Comfort, Michael did his thing and it just worked a little differently."
Black and fellow junior Xavier Humphrey led the Friars (9-5, 3-0) with 15 points apiece, while Comfort added 11 and Tartt chipped in 10.
"Last week Michael began playing like we thought he would all year," said Quinn. "He's been hobbled by a bruised thumb, but he's persevered."
Following the shot, Fenwick fans among the sellout crowd stormed the court in celebration.
Fenwick was down nine with a minute to go in the third quarter when Tartt hit a 3-pointer and Comfort completed a 3-point play. After the teams traded leads for much of the fourth, Fenwick let slip a four-point advantage with a minute to go in regulation.
Joe Mezyk, who led St. Ignatius with 21 points, completed a 3-point play with seconds left in regulation to put the Wolfpack (13-2, 2-1) up 60-58. Fenwick's Matt Condron (8 points) tied the game with a basket, and Fenwick's defense held off St. Ignatius to send the game into overtime.
Sophomore guard Wayne Simon spelled Black in the third quarter and added six points for the Friars, who shot a dismal 8-for-15 from the free-throw line.
"This was a euphoric moment for our team, hopefully not the last one," said Quinn.
After traveling to Guerin Prep on Friday, the Friars take on Algonquin-Jacobs in the Hoops Showdown at the Sears Centre on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.