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It wasn't quite the overtime thriller from last season, but the local rivalry between the Fenwick and OPRF girls basketball teams did not disappoint on Saturday night.
Fenwick (9-1) defeated the Huskies 79-60 on their home court, thanks in part to a 30-point third quarter by the Friars after getting off to a slow start to begin the game.
"We were running a little slow (at the start of the game)," said freshman guard Deja Cage. "We had to pick it up and play as a team. I'm excited that we did, it really extended us and it brought us close together. We weren't in it together so we had to bring it together. We had to play as a team and get defensive rebounds, and stop fouling."
The Friars began their third quarter with an 18-0 run, not allowing the Huskies to score until senior guard Caroline Kelty's layup with 3:29 to go in the frame.
The Huskies (4-8) looked to be in good shape to begin the game, as senior guard Maeve Connelly scored off a turnover to cap an 8-0 run midway through the first quarter. The Huskies had a 37-32 lead at the half with eight second-quarter points coming from senior center Emily Vachon.
"We really came out strong, which was surprising because we never really do well in the first quarter," said Kelty. "We usually wait until the end of the game to get excited. We worked great as a team in the first half, but then it just went downhill."
Fenwick junior guard Jade Owens led the way for the Friars with 20 points, while Cage tallied a career-high 14 points. For the Huskies, Kelty scored a team-high 17 points, while Vachon notched 14.
Twelve of Fenwick's 30 points in the third quarter came from Cage, who scored on a layup early in the stanza to tie the game at 37. The Friars wouldn't look back from there, as Cage put one in from behind the arc on the left side to give the Friars a 62-49 lead heading into the final period.
"(Fenwick) had a great trapping system," Kelty said. "We knew it was coming, so we should have practiced a little bit more on it. There's nothing we can do now but hope for the better for the rest of the season."
The Friars were coming off a 73-70 loss to Joliet Catholic, but Cage said that her team put that behind it and focused on Saturday's game above all else.
"We just had to forget about that game," she said. "We had to pick up our energy and just bring it, and worry about this game."
Saturday's game marked the fourth straight loss for the Huskies, who were missing starting sophomore guard Hailey Hoye and starting senior guard Cuyla Hall with injuries.
"We'll be taking a little break from basketball for finals," said Kelty. "Then we'll come back to practice on Tuesday and come out there really strong, and we'll be ready to do well for the rest of the season."
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