Fenwick     72
Holy Trinity 55

Considering their tough schedule, the Fenwick boys basketball team has understandably had a difficult time stringing wins together. The Friars (11-8, 3-2 Catholic League North), who have won four of their last five games, may be rounding into form after racking up two victories last week – a 73-55 win over Holy Trinity on Saturday and a 57-47 decision over St. Laurence on Jan. 27.

Holy Trinity held a 20-19 lead over the visiting Friars at the end of the first quarter. The Tigers sunk seven three-pointers in the first half. Holy Trinity’s junior guard Cornell Williams scored 17 of his game-high 23 points in that time frame. Complicating matters for Fenwick was an injury to star guard Michael Black (knee), who sat out much of the second half to finish with just two points in the game.

“Holy Trinity is a scrappy team that came out ready to play,” said Fenwick coach John Quinn. “Mike Black banged knees with [teammate] Jose Gamboa. We kept [Black] out of the game as a precautionary measure. Mike Loni did a nice job filling in.”

Fueled by Xavier Humphrey’s six points and Loni’s five points in the second quarter, Fenwick rallied to take a 39-37 lead at halftime.

In the second half, the Friars maintained their momentum by implementing their zone press and zone defense to limit the Tigers’ effectiveness.

“They didn’t have an answer when we changed to our zone defense,” Quinn said. “It changed the whole tempo of the game.”

Humphrey (21 points, 9 rebounds) and Gamboa (15 points, 6 rebounds) led the Friars, while floor general Evan Okrzesik added nine points. Junior center Dave Suwada provided six rebounds and three blocks in the second half to give Fenwick an inside presence. Gamboa showed his shooting marksmanship with four three-pointers.

“We had 10 players score so we had good balance,” Quinn said. “Jose Gamboa played a great game, and I thought Dave Suwada had one of his best performances this season.”

In the win over St. Laurence, Black scored 20 points, Humphrey had 12 points and Suwada collected eight points, eight rebounds and three blocks. The Friars shot well from the floor (21-of-40), including 6-of-12 from the behind the three-point arc.

Scott Taloff (15 points) led the Vikings against a game-weary Fenwick squad.

“Playing St. Laurence was our fourth game in eight days,” noted Quinn. “I thought we played a good game.”

With six games remaining in the regular season, Quinn is optimistic that the Friars can gather enough wins to secure a Top 6 or 7 seed in their sectional for the Class 4A playoffs.

“This time of the year, we are starting to play more consistent basketball,” Quinn said. “Our schedule was a killer [earlier this season], but we are looking to get on a roll now.”

The Friars host Gordon Tech on Friday (Feb. 6, 7:30 p.m.) and travel to Northside Prep on Saturday (6:30 p.m.).

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Marty Farmer

The Illinois Press Association recently honored Marty with the 1st & 2nd Place Awards for Best Sports Feature for his article He's in an Oak Park state of mind: Former OPRF star Iman Shumpert returns...