Like any basketball team, the Fenwick boys squad hopes to find its best form entering the state playoffs. With the postseason only a few weeks away, the Friars certainly are trending in a positive direction with nine wins over their last 11 games.
Fenwick (14-7) swept a pair of games over the weekend, grinding out a 45-35 nonconference victory against Conant on Saturday and rallying for a 69-60 victory over Mount Carmel on Friday in Chicago Catholic League action.
Conant, which defeated Fenwick the past two seasons and also finished as the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic runner-up this winter, is known for its trademark ball-control offense. The host Friars seized control early against the methodical Cougars, however, with an 18-13 lead at halftime and 33-23 edge after three quarters. Senior point guard Luke Lattner ensured the victory by netting nine of his 12 points in the fourth quarter. Junior forward Scott Lindsey added 11 points for the Friars.
As impressive, Lattner and Lindsey served as primary defensive aces holding down the Cougars' top two scorers — Robert Hudson and Jerome McBride — to a paltry seven points combined.
"Conant plays a very deliberate style," Fenwick coach John Quinn said. "Every possession is precious against them. We did a good job of getting the lead and we were never really threatened."
On Friday, Mount Carmel offered more resistance. The host Caravan outscored the Friars 21-7 in the second quarter en route to a 33-23 halftime advantage. The Caravan made five three-pointers during its second-quarter scoring flurry, led by Christian Searles' (21 points) pair of treys.
Fenwick changed the momentum of the game by applying full-court pressure in the third quarter. The Friars reduced their deficit to 44-37 entering the fourth quarter. Fenwick outscored Mount Carmel 32-16 the rest of the way to claim a Chicago Catholic League win.
Lindsey scored a team-high 16 points and center Dan Dwyer finished with 14 points and eight rebounds. Lattner (15 points) and Keshaun Smith (10 points) also reached double figures, while guards Michael Smith and Joshua Carlisle netted seven points apiece.
"I think [Mount Carmel's] guards were a bit shaky and struggled with our pressure," Quinn said. "We were able to create some scoring opportunities off our pressure. We also shared the ball well. It's a huge confidence-builder for our team, especially since we have struggled at times in the fourth quarter."
The Friars close out the regular season with home games against Leo on Friday (7 p.m.) and Nazareth on Saturday (7:30 p.m.). Fenwick will celebrate Senior Night against Leo.
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