Friars take crown at Dundee Crown

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By BRAD SPENCER, Sports Editor

Fenwick continued to prove why it's sitting atop the rankings in the state by winning the 22nd Annual Charger Classic at Dundee Crown with a 56-31 rout of Resurrection in the title game.

The victory, a rematch of the Niles North Thanksgiving tournament championship, where Fenwick also won, 54-44, pushed the Friars' perfect record to 17-0.

"I think the key to this team is that [it] is very unselfish," said Fenwick head coach Dave Power. "No one is seeking her own personal stats. This team goes after it on defense and offense, and that's probably why we are undefeated. There is no letup on defense, no resting."

Fenwick's swarming and pressuring defense stymied every team at the tournament, including Bartlett who gave the Friars trouble in the semifinals. Fenwick trailed by four with 4:40 to go in the game before Erin Power scored five quick points and Alison Jackson hit a key jump-shot on a wicked spin move to give the Friars a one-point advantage. The teams traded free throws before Brittanny Johnson, who her team with 17 points in the title game, nailed a shot with 2.6 seconds on the clock to give Fenwick a 57-55 victory.

"Bartlett was very good," said Power. "They jumped on us early and we didn't recover right away. I think the best contribution came from Alison Jackson. Her defense was unbelievable."

Jackson held Bartlett's best player Lindsey Schroeder scoreless in the second half. Samantha Woods, who sustained a hyper-extended knee in the title game, led the Friars with 15 points.

Two opponents Fenwick defeated handedly in the tournament were Streamwood, 69-26 and Evanston, 57-38. The Friars waited until late in the game against Evanston to put the Wildkits away. Fenwick led by just five points late in the third quarter when they jumped on a 14-3 run. Devereaux Peters led Fenwick with 20 points, while Johnson had 12 points and eight rebounds. Both players were named to the All-tournament team. 

Power said he's not expecting his team to continue its winning streak.

"Games are going to pile up again soon, and we'll get log-jammed with the schedule," he said. "We're not worried about losing games. We're more concerned about how things will end up at the end of the season. I don't think the team has paid much attention to the rankings or the undefeated [mark]." 

Power added that he's happy with the way his bench has contributed this season.

"Certain teams have a starting five that our very good, but then when they go to the bench it's a different story. We can go eight or nine deep and not lose a thing on the court. It's nice to have that kind of talented depth," he said.

The Friars host Bishop McNamara on Thursday and are scheduled to play a yet to be determined opponent at DePaul in the Shootout tournament on Saturday. After that, Power said he plans to shut things down for a week, including practices.

"The players need to focus on their finals and we could use a break," he said.

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