Fenwick boys basketball forward John Comfort dropped 19 points on Mt. Carmel Friday night to lead his team to a 57-50 non-conference victory.
Down 20-18 at halftime after a dismal 3-for-13 shooting in the second quarter, Comfort and the Friars (3-2) went to work. The team scored 16 straight points to open the third.
“We adjusted to their zone defense really well in that second half, and that’s what sort of did it for us,” said Fenwick head coach John Quinn. “The guys responded well, even when things became a little tight in the final period. They hung in there.”
Mt. Carmel (2-3) jumped on a run of their own late in the third and cut the deficit to five, but Evan Okrzesik and Xavier Humphrey hit key free throws to seal the win.
Derek Tartt added 14 points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals for the Friars. Humphrey finished with 10 points and seven assists, while Okrzesik hauled in six defensive rebounds. Reid Rooney came off the bench to haul in eight boards and pocket two key steals for Fenwick.
One area the Friars will need to improve on as they enter a string of tough games is free-throw shooting. The team hit just 6-of-15 shots from the charity stripe against Mt. Carmel.
“That’s just unacceptable,” Quinn said of his team’s free-throw shooting woes. “We have to do better in that area or we’re going to find it much harder to win games in the coming weeks.”
The Friars will certainly have their hands full for the rest of December. On Friday, Fenwick hosts highly regarded De La Salle, arguably the hottest team in the Catholic League. The Meteors (7-0) are loaded with talent, notably Richard Fisher, Elliot Brown and sensational 6-foot-8 freshman Mike Shaw.
The Friars then clash with cross-town rival OPRF, which features Georgia Tech-bound Iman Shumpert and Eastern Michigan signee Daniel Barnes, on Dec. 20. Once the smoke has cleared, the team kicks off the Proviso West Holiday Tournament against Homewood-Flossmoor on Dec. 26. As of last week, the Vikings were undefeated and ranked fifth by one Chicago daily newspaper.
“It’s the old cliché’ but we have to take it one game at a time,” Quinn said. “We can’t afford to look past any teams, especially the quality of teams we will be facing.”
Marty Farmer contributed to this report.