A week after upsetting highly-ranked De La Salle 49-48, the Fenwick boys basketball team was forced to endure something very unsettling. The Friars were literally slammed by 16th-ranked Hales Franciscan 71-30 on Friday night in Chicago in another Catholic League game.
Eleventh-ranked Hales (12-3, 4-1), a team that beat De La Salle earlier in the season, made like the Globetrotters against the Friars in the first half, racking up five slam-dunks. The Spartans would have had six stuffs but Aaric Armstead’s high-flying, off-the-backboard assist to himself and subsequent one-handed dunk was waved off with a questionable double-dribble call in the second quarter. It didn’t matter for Hales, by then the team was already leading 25-9. The Friars went into halftime trailing 44-14.
“I’ve never seen so many slam dunks and so many blocks by a team in my 31 years of coaching,” said Fenwick head coach John Quinn. “We didn’t help the situation by handing the ball over so many times.
“Hales is an exceptional team and they have four Division I prospects, and [Dominique] Walls is one of the best players I’ve seen since Corey Maggette. We just couldn’t convert. It’s a game we tear off the calendar and start fresh next week.”
Quinn added that he hasn’t been on the losing side of such an onslaught since 1993 when his Friars lost 82-40 to St. Francis de Sales.
The Spartans finished with a total of seven dunks, including Walls’ four. Aaron Armstead, Aaric’s brother, had the other three, two of which were one-handed. Most of the crowd pleasers came off steals from a full-court press by Hales, who forced the Friars (7-7, 3-2) into 23 turnovers.
Along with his four dunks, the 6-foot-6 Walls also finished with 20 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks.
Sam Ainsworth and Peter Haeffner led Fenwick with five points apiece.
“If Hales doesn’t win the state championship this season, I will be surprised,” said Quinn, whose team is still in contention for first place in the North Division.
The Friars host St. Rita on Friday (7:30 p.m.). Fenwick lost to the Mustangs at the buzzer on its home court last season. St. Rita is 5-8 overall and 1-4 in the Catholic League.