It’s never happened before, but then again this season’s young Fenwick girls basketball team has the difficult challenge of living up to its defending state champion moniker. On Friday, the Friars received a taste of their own medicine, albeit from an out-of-state team. Fenwick fell 105-64 to Washington South Bend, a team ranked No. 1 in Indiana’s Class 4A, at the McDonald’s Shootout held at Willowbrook.

The game marked the first time an opponent has racked up 100 points or more against a Fenwick girls basketball team. The Friars (21-5), who have struggled a bit mid season with multiple foot injuries and poor play, are usually the team on the positive end of such contests.

It was Fenwick’s defense that fell apart in the second quarter after the Friars took a breathless 20-16 lead to close out the opening stanza. Fenwick found it difficult to hold off Washington’s Skylar Diggins, who finished with 36 points on the night. Diggins scored 10 in the second quarter to help the Panthers to a 49-30 lead by halftime.

Tricia Liston led the Friars with 23 points, while fellow sophomore Katlyn Payne added 14.

The very next night in front of a huge crowd at the High School Hoops Showcase held at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Fenwick had a rough time containing Warren’s 6-foot-5-inch senior Sarah Boothe. The Stanford-bound center scored 25 points in three quarters of action to help hand the Friars a 60-46 loss. With the aid of Liston, who scored 12 of her 16 points in the first quarter, Fenwick stayed right with the fifth-ranked Blue Devils (21-1). But the second half was all Warren as the Blue Devils streaked away in double-digits by the final quarter.

Payne scored nine points for Fenwick in the loss, while Lauren Gula added eight.

All wasn’t disappointing for the Friars as they moved to a perfect 8-0 in the East Suburban Catholic Conference with an 81-74 come-from-behind victory over Marist last week. Down 10 in the third quarter, Liston and Payne combined for 21 points to bust their team out of a potential upset. Liston finished with a career-high 37 points, including 10 rebounds. Payne added 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Gula tallied 12 points, five rebounds, and six assists for the Friars, who are going for their 14th straight conference title.

Fenwick travels to Schaumburg on Saturday to take on Lake Zurich and Maine West in a doubleheader for the Sweet 16 Tournament.

The Lake Zurich game begins at 1 p.m., while the Maine West game tips off at 5:30 p.m.

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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...