Depending upon whether or not Fenwick played St. Ignatius last night (after deadline) as well as it did Bishop McNamara on Friday night, then the Friars' chances of remaining undefeated in the month of January for the fourth straight year look pretty good.
Fenwick kept the mark alive with a 77-52 demolishing of Bishop McNamara last week that pushed the team's Catholic League record to 4-1 and overall record to 10-4 on the season.
An explosive first quarter saw the Friars score 29 points, which carried over to a 54-24 lead by halftime. Due to Fenwick's lofty lead, all 15 players saw at least three minutes of action in the second half.
Kelvin Johnson led the way for Fenwick, scoring 16 points, while dishing out seven assists. Six-foot-8-inch center Blake Nielsen added 13 points, including a mesmerizing dunk that seemed to act as an exclamation point in the second point. Peter Flowers, who, according to Fenwick head coach John Quinn, has fully recovered from a concussion suffered during a game against Brother Rice in December, added 10 points and hauled down seven rebounds.
Every Friar seemed to contribute in the victory with Newman Delaney handing out five assists and Steve Marifjeren, who has become a regular starter in the last few weeks more for his defensive play, pocketing five steals. Tim Shaw came off the bench to chip in nine points for the Friars, who led 66-34 after three periods.
"Everyone seemed to click," said Quinn. "We were clearly the superior team on the court but you have to make shots and make plays to win a game. The guys were ready to go and got the job done early."
The Friars even shot well from the free-throw line, making 7-of-9 shots.
Matt VanMill led Bishop McNamara with 22 points.
"We've finally shaken off the tough time we had at the [Proviso West Holiday] tournament," said Quinn.
The Friars lost to eventual tournament champ St. Joseph in the first round, then defeated Whitney Young, but were embarrassed by a mediocre New Trier team in the consolation round.
"That's behind us now," said Quinn. "The seniors had time to reflect on things while they sat on the bench during the New Trier game. It was a wakeup call."
The Friars take on St. Rita on Friday and Lane Tech Saturday, before closing out the month against Guerin Prep on Jan. 28.