Friars score from every angle

? Flowers, Neilsen muffle Guerin's Medina.

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By DYLAN TRAINOR

The Fenwick boys' basketball team scored early and often in Friday night's 75-42 rout of Catholic League opponent Guerin Prep.

Using a well-balanced attack to blow away the visiting Gators, the Friars(14-5, 8-1) roared out of the gates from the beginning and never looked back. Fenwick posted two starters in double digits. Six-foot-6-inch forward Peter Flowers had a team high 19 points and forward Michael Alexander quietly poured in 18.

Starting guards Steve Marifjeren and Kelvin Johnson added seven points apiece, and sophomore guard Newman Delany chipped in off the bench with eight.

The Gators were outmatched at every position, and were unable to defend Fenwick's multifaceted attack.

It's no secret that Fenwick's twin towers of Flowers, and 6-foot-8-inch center Blake Nielsen, are the team's primary means of offense, but when the Gators shifted their focus down low, the ball was fed out to the perimeter where the Friars are just as dangerous. The Gators were unable to counter offensively, as forward David Medina, who had a game high 21 points, provided Guerin's only offensive production. But Fenwick quickly smothered Medina's spark in the form of a double team by Flowers and Nielsen. With Medina stymied, the Gators failed to find a secondary option as the remainder of Guerin's team combined for only 21 points, whereas Fenwick's bench alone combined for 18 points.

Fenwick jumped to an 11-2 lead to start the game thanks largely in part to Alexander's highly effective cleanup job underneath the glass. Guerin's only points were scored in the final minute of the quarter where two late 3-pointers by Gator's guard Ryan Marino brought the score to 19-11. Guerin remained competitive for about half of the second quarter, before they finally succumbed to Fenwick's onslaught as the Friars jumped to a 10-point lead.

Fenwick appeared to smell blood as they took their all around play up a notch. The Gators also began to get sloppy with the basketball which the Friars were able to convert directly into points. Alexander turned several Guerin turnovers into easy fast-break lay ups, and Delany scored all of his eight points off the bench in the second quarter.

At the break the Friars enjoyed a 38-23 advantage to the delight of the Fenwick faithful, as well as long-time Oak Park police officer Ed Polfus, whose retirement was honored at halftime.

Both teams were cold to start the second half as each combined for only three points in the first three minutes. Fenwick quickly returned to form as they went deep into their bench, receiving a couple of timely 3-point buckets by reserve guards Tim Shaw and Nick Harvalis.

At the Gator end, Medina continued to be hounded by the bigger and stronger Fenwick tandem of Flowers and Nielsen, as they successfully forced him to take the ball out higher than he wanted. Guerin appeared lost with out Medina, as they continued to struggle shooting from the field as well as moving the ball.

Fenwick held a commanding 52-33 lead at the end of the third quarter.

The Friars took on league leading Hales Franciscan on Tuesday night (after deadline). They'll host De La Salle on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

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