The Fenwick girls basketball team did everything it could to try to secure a sixth straight Dundee Crown Championship without star player Trisha Liston, but it just wasn’t meant to be as New Trier held the Friars at bay long enough for a 50-45 victory in Carpentersville.

With Liston out with mono and strep throat for the last two weeks, the Friars (15-2) didn’t miss a beat, cruising through the first three rounds with help from players like Meredith Boardman, Kathleen Roche, Sarah Williams and Kyra Navarrete.

Roche, Williams and Navarrete all scored in double digits in the loss to New Trier. Williams led the Friars with 13 points. The Friars let slip an eight-point lead in the final period when Roche was forced out of action to tend to a separated shoulder.

It was Roche who had led the Friars past Prospect 47-34 in the semifinal game. She scored a season-high 18 points in the win, including a crucial three-pointer in the third period that broke a 30-30 tie. Boardman finished with 12 rebounds, while Roche grabbed nine.

In a 51-41 victory over Fremd in the second round, Boardman stepped up again with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. The senior also led the Friars to a 64-27 thrashing of Dundee-Crown in the opener with 17 points and eight rebounds.

“I was very pleased with the way we came back and beat Fremd, who we had lost to the week prior,” said Fenwick head coach Dave Power. “For both games we were without Tricia, and the improvement was clear in that second match-up.

“Would I have liked to see us win our sixth straight Dundee-Crown Tournament? Of course, but I’m not disappointed in the way we played. We’re now strong with and without Tricia. This is more of a team because of the experience we had at the tournament.”

Liston, who is averaging around 27 points per game and is bound for Duke next season, was expected to see some time on the court when Fenwick took on Lincoln-Way East last night (after deadline). An ultrasound on her spleen on Monday morning was normal.

Power said his 6-foot-1 senior forward, who hasn’t played since the team defeated Marist 77-58 on Dec. 14, will be ready to go for sure after the Friars have some time off to focus on mid-term exams. The team resumes play against Indianapolis’s North Central High School in the McDonald’s Shootout to be held at Willowbrook on Jan. 16. Fenwick returns home on Jan. 23 to take on Providence (2:30 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...