Statuesque: Fenwick's Sarah Williams goes up for a one-handed power jumpshot during Saturday's game against Providence.Photos courtesy JOHN T. BRENNAN

The Fenwick girls basketball team did some dancing before, during and after toppling Providence 68-35 in East Suburban Catholic Conference action in Oak Park on Saturday afternoon.

The Friars (24-2, 7-0) celebrated Senior Day with colorful banners, gifts and a dance for their seven seniors that pushed the game’s original starting time off by 30 minutes, but they made up the time by making quick work of the Celtics (1-7). After using a first quarter mainly to shake off the rustiness from not competing for seven days, the Friars were in fine form by the second stanza. Emerging from the opening quarter up just 16-14, Fenwick’s defense kicked into high gear and held Providence to a mere three points. The Friars held a commanding 30-17 lead by the break.

Five of seven seniors started for the Friars, including Kyra Navarrete and Hannah Ballard, who both finished with 12 points apiece. Kathleen Roche (6 points), Sarah Williams (8 points), Heather Casper (2 points) and Kailey Boyd (5 points) helped lead Fenwick in the onslaught.

Providence’s first 10 points of the game came by way of Danielle Barry, but the 6-foot-2 senior did not score the rest of the way. Katie McGann led the Celtics with 11 points.

“This team has been stocked with great leadership, and it’s because of these seniors,” said Fenwick head coach Dave Power, who was adorned in a blue t-shirt with the superman logo on the front and the names of his seven seniors on the back.

The Friars, who are vying for their 17th-straight East Suburban Catholic Conference championship, travel to Marist (6-2) tonight (Wednesday, Feb. 9). But the Friars will go head-to-head against Marian Catholic, who is also undefeated in the conference at 7-0, this Friday in Chicago Heights (7:30 p.m.). The game will mark the fourth time in five years Fenwick has had to play at Marian.

“I call this a true blue-collar team because there isn’t one star player out there that everyone is counting on,” said Fenwick head coach Dave Power. “They have to count on each other and work together, and that’s what makes this a great basketball team.”

The Friars, who also had their final game of the Sweet 16 Tournament cancelled due to the aftermath of the snow blizzard, begin the Class 4A State playoffs on Tuesday night. As the No. 1 seed in the York Sectional, they’ll take on either Schaumburg or Lake Park in the semifinals of the Hoffman Estates Regional. A victory could pit the Friars against cross-town rival OPRF in the regional championship on Feb. 18 (7:30 p.m.).

Along with Fenwick, who is ranked fourth in the state, fifth-ranked Bartlett, seventh-ranked Trinity and ninth-ranked Proviso East are also in the sectional.

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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...