The Fenwick boys basketball team’s penchant for not closing out games this season continued on Friday night as the Friars let a five-point lead slip away late in its Catholic League match-up against Loyola and had to settle for a 45-42 loss.

The Friars, whose record dropped to 10-10 overall and 4-5 in the league, outscored the Ramblers 16-5 in the second quarter to take a 23-15 lead at the break. The team’s unyielding defense kept Loyola at bay through three periods and Fenwick held a five-point advantage with 3:30 left in the game. But the Ramblers managed a quick turn around with the help of Mike Lang, who scored 10 of his 22 points in the final quarter. Jack Morrissey, a freshman guard, hit a jumper from the right corner in the closing seconds to give Loyola a 43-42 lead. Lang sealed the victory with two free throws.

“This has been an ongoing thing for us all season long,” said Fenwick head coach John Quinn of his Friars who also had opportunities to put St. Ignatius away in the fourth quarter the week before but suffered a 58-51 loss in overtime. “We have one bad quarter and lately it happens to be the fourth quarter. Hopefully, we can close out the regular season good and have some steam going into the state tournament.”

Dylan Barnett led Fenwick with nine points, while Peter Haeffner came off the bench to score eight. Sam Ainsworth chipped in six points to go along with his eight rebounds for the Friars, who close out the regular season with three straight home games beginning with Gordon Tech on Friday (7:30 p.m.). Fenwick hosts Northside Prep on Feb. 22 and Brother Rice on Feb. 25.

The Friars are the 11th seed in the York Sectional and will take on Willowbrook on Feb. 28 (8:10 p.m.) in the opening round of the Willowbrook Regional.

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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...