After taking out two teams ranked in the top 10 last week, Trinity set its sights on upsetting the No. 1-ranked girls' basketball team in the state, which happened to be its cross-town rival Fenwick High School, on Tuesday night. In front of a home crowd of more than 1,200, the Blazers came close, racing back from a 17-point deficit, but the Friars managed to spurn a potential upset and hold on for a 66-63 victory.
In the end, it was Fenwick's Devereaux Peters who saved the day for the Friars. The 6-foot-2-inch sophomore bucketed her team's final five points, including a vital free throw with 1:34 left in the game.
"We knew that Trinity just knocked out two highly ranked teams, and we didn't want to be the third," said Fenwick head coach Dave Power after the game. "It's a real credit to our girls to come out of here with a win."
Fenwick controlled the tip-off with the familiar combo of Alison Jackson dishing off to Peters for a quick two. Trinity came out shooting three-pointers, but the Blazers missed their first three attempts. Fenwick had its inside game working well, and led at the onset with eight unanswered points. Kelly O'Brien put the Blazers on the scoreboard with two quick buckets, including a 3-pointer that helped spark an eventual 14-10 Trinity lead at the end of one.
Trinity led by as many as seven points in the second quarter before Brittanny Johnson, Peters and Jackson went to work dismantling the Blazers' defense. Peters scored 12 points in the first half to give Fenwick a 34-30 edge at the break. Katie Jarger's 11 points, mostly coming from 3-pointers, kept Trinity alive.
When play resumed, Fenwick came out on fire while Trinity was plagued by turnovers. The Friars jumped on a 9-0 run, and led 51-38 after three periods.
In the fourth, with the Friars up 12, the Blazers staged a comeback sparked by the play of Tonesha Members and Jarger. With 4:20 left in the game, Trinity evened things up at 55. Fenwick took a slight lead but couldn't shake the Blazers. Foul trouble took its toll on Johnson and the only senior on Fenwick's team fouled out with 2:26 to go. At the 2-minute mark, the game was tied again at 61 apiece. Peters, who finished with 19 points, capped the win at the free-throw line.
"It feels good, but I was scared and trying to hold it together to make the basket," said Peters of the pressure shot.
Johnson finished the night with 17 points, while Woods added 16 and Jackson 13 for the Friars.
Jarger led Trinity with 18 points, and Members contributed 14 points.
"We took the No. 1 team in the state down to the last seconds of the game. We made it a game and I'm proud of the girls and their effort tonight," said Trinity head coach Don Sansone.
The Blazers host Queen of Peace on Thursday (7 p.m.) and Hinsdale Central on Friday (7:30 p.m.).
Fenwick hosts Providence on Saturday (2:30 p.m.).