By Brad Spencer
For the second straight year the Fenwick girls basketball team was thwarted from hefting a Dundee-Crown Charger Classic title trophy over the holiday break, but the Friars proved that the second half of the season should make for some interesting hoops play.
The team had to settle for third place at the popular tournament after falling to Maine South 69-61 in the semifinals and squeaking out a 76-72 win over Evanston.
Leading the charge in the win over Evanston was Jade Owens, who finished with 15 points, nine rebounds, eight steals and six assists for the Friars (14-2). The junior helped her team secure a 16-point lead in the third quarter after a first half pocked with missed shots. Fenwick, known for its shoot first and ask questions later up-tempo style, only connected on 12-of-44 baskets in the first half, but it was good enough for a 35-30 lead by the break.
The Wildkits were without center Alecia Cooley, but managed to cut the deficit to five in the final period. Fenwick's Deja Cage hit a three-pointer with under three minutes to go in the game to quell the uprising.
Eva Brundage finished with 13 points for the Friars, while Jenny Mackowiak added 11. Cage and Maya Garland chipped in 10 points apiece.
In the loss to Maine South, Fenwick built a nine-point lead late in the third quarter only to see it wilt away in the fourth. Maine South found loopholes in Fenwick's relentless full-court press. Hawks forward Hailey Schoneman, a 6-foot junior, scored six of her 18 points in the final stanza.
Owens again led Fenwick, this time with 15 points. Brundage added 12 points and Mackowiak and Cage each scored 11.
Maine South won the Charger Classic title with a 54-43 victory over Naperville Central. Owens, the leading scorer of the tournament, and Cage were named All-tournament selections.
On Saturday, Fenwick jumped back into East Suburban Catholic Conference play with a 66-60 win over Carmel. Despite a poor shooting performance that included connecting on just 10-of-39 shots from three-point range, the Friars pulled out the victory over the Corsairs. Owens led Fenwick with 23 points, while Cage finished with 13. The win pushed Fenwick's league record to 3-1.
The team welcomes Benet to the field house on Jan. 12 (2:30 p.m.) and Bishop McNamara on Jan. 16 (7:30 p.m.).