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UPDATE: The Nazareth Sectional semifinal game of Fenwick boys basketball vs. Orr has been cancelled for Tuesday night and will be played Wednesday night at Riverside-Brookfield High School (7:30 p.m.). The sectional title game will also be played at Riverside-Brookfield, on Friday (7:30 p.m.).
The Fenwick boys basketball team expected a physical battle against Marshall in the championship game of the Class 3A Marshall Regional on Friday night and the Friars got one.
Indicative of the clutch-and-grab, intense nature of the playoff tussle, Fenwick shot 48 free throws, making 36 of their attempts en route to a 64-55 victory.
Most importantly, Fenwick made its free throws late, sinking 14-of-18 shots from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter.
Senior guard Luke Lattner led Fenwick with 16 points, while junior swingman Scott Lindsey added 14 to go along with an astounding nine blocks against the very athletic Commandos. Dan Dwyer also played well for the Friars, finishing with nine points, seven rebounds and five blocks. Freshman guard Michael Smith (9 points, 4 assists) and Thomas Planek (7 points, 8 rebounds) contributed as well, along with excellent defensive work from Josh Carlisle and Keshuan Smith, to trigger the Friars' victory.
Fenwick (18-8) claimed its 13th regional championship in school history and first title since 2006. Fenwick head coach John Quinn has now coached Fenwick to 11 regional championships.
"After we lost to Nazareth [in the regular season], we had about 10 days to regroup," Quinn said. "We came back entering the playoffs loaded for bear. We've been getting multiple players in double figures and playing good defense. Marshall is a great basketball program with tradition and a tough place to play, so we're happy to win the regional."
In its postseason opener, Fenwick crushed VOISE Academy 75-39. The Friars jumped out to leads of 24-0 and 32-4 and never looked back.
Fenwick advances to the Nazareth Sectional where a semifinal matchup awaits against highly-regarded Orr on Wednesday (7:30 p.m.). The game will be played at Riverside-Brookfield High School.
As the lower sectional seed (No. 5), Fenwick will wear its black jerseys in which the Friars claim an 8-0 record this year. In another fun fact, when the Friars score 60 or more points this season their record is 9-1. Per usual, Fenwick will need several contributions in order to win, starting with recent Catholic League conference selections Lattner, Lindsey, Dwyer and Smith.
The top-seeded Spartans are an extremely athletic team from Chicago, featuring all-Public League players Louis Adams Jr., Tyquone Greer and Jamal McDowell. Adams Jr. scored a game-high 17 points to power Orr past Montini 59-48 in the Glenbard South Regional championship game.
"Like Marshall, Orr is very athletic and fast," Quinn said. "They rely on their guards particularly Jamal McDowell. We'll need to take care of the ball and get good shots. Defensively, we have to play well and block out."
St. Joseph and St. Ignatius, the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds respectively, square off on Thursday (7:30 p.m.) in the other sectional semifinal. The title game is scheduled for Friday at Riverside-Brookfield (7:30 p.m.).