On The Court
A face from Trinity’s past came back to haunt the Blazers in the fourth round of the Holiday Showcase Girls Basketball Tournament held at Lake Park last week.

Jason Nichols, now the head coach for Montini, in 2003 led Trinity to its first state tournament appearance. After the season, Nichols, who was also Trinity’s athletic director at the time and in three seasons had coached the program to a respectable 68-23 record, was let go by administrators for unspecified reasons.

On Thursday, the Blazers (14-3) were handed a bit of revenge as Montini rolled to a decisive 60-40 victory.

Trinity was led by Monica Albano’s 13 points, but was unable to overcome a poor shooting performance. The team connected on just 12-of-52 shots from the field. Montini (11-4) took an eight-point lead at halftime-35-27-and never looked back.

“We just couldn’t hit a bucket to save our life,” said Trinity head coach Ed Stritzel. “I call this a stumbling block, and we should be able to get back on track.”

In the third round, Trinity downed Lake Park 58-50 with the help of Albano, who scored a game-high 26 points. Shakyia Vassar added 13 points. Trinity led by 17 after just one period.

Trinity opened the tourney with a 51-38 loss to Loyola. After a stellar start to the season that included victories in their first 13 games, the Blazers dropped two straight, including Dec. 18’s loss to the Ramblers. The team regained its composure with a 54-36 pummeling of Downers Grove South in the second round of the tournament on Dec. 20. With Albano leading the way, the Blazers jumped on a 23-3 run in the third quarter. Albano dropped in 12 of her season-high 27 points in the stanza.

Amanda Macchione finished with 13 points for Trinity.

The Blazers host Benet Academy on Thursday (7 p.m.) and Walter Lutheran on Saturday (3 p.m.).

Fenwick rolls in first two rounds

Going for its fourth-straight Dundee Crown Charger Classic Holiday Tournament title, the Fenwick girls basketball team rolled through the first two rounds with high-scoring wins.

The Friars (14-2) blasted through Bartlett in the opening round 70-24. Katlyn Payne led the charge with 17 points, while Lauren Gula added 14. The Liston sisters, Tricia and Claire, combined for 20 points and 21 rebounds.

On Thursday night, the Friars edged Prospect 64-52. Payne (10 rebounds) tallied a season-high 25 points, 12 of which came in the fourth quarter. Along with Payne, two other Fenwick players finished with double-doubles. Liston and Gula both garnered 14 points and 10 rebounds apiece.

The Friars, who were expected to take on Buffalo Grove in the Charger Classic Championship last Saturday, face-off against the Bison again on Thursday as part of the Sweet 16 Tournament. Fenwick travels to Nazareth on Saturday for a 2:30 p.m. game.

OPRF’s win streak hits five

The OPRF boys basketball team extended its winning streak to five games with a 45-39 victory over Plainfield North in the first round of the Pontiac Holiday Tournament on Thursday night.

The Huskies (10-4), who were seeking their first tournament title since 1992, took on Warren Friday night in the second round (after holiday deadline).

OPRF resumes West Suburban (Silver) Conference play at Hinsdale Central on Jan. 11.

Huskies open tourney with win

The OPRF girls basketball team kicked off its first year in the Oswego East Holiday Tournament with a 69-57 victory over Plainfield North.

Brittany Smith led the Huskies (9-8) with 14 points, while Kendal Dirkin added 13.

The Huskies take on Willowbrook at Fenton on Jan. 9, and resume West Suburban (Silver) Conference play at Proviso West on Jan. 12.

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Brad Spencer

Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...