Fenwick's Maggie Reilly, right, drives toward the basket against Benet Academy. (David Pierini/staff photographer)

The Fenwick girls basketball team exploded offensively in the third quarter on their way to an East Suburban Catholic Conference victory on Saturday.

The Friars (15-2, 4-1) defeated Benet 72-55 in Oak Park, as they outscored the visitors 30-17 in the third quarter to take a 25-point lead.

“We all went out there and tried to play our best (in the third quarter),” said Friars junior guard Maya Garland. “We knew we were hot on the three-pointers in the first half, so we just wanted to come out and do the same in the second half and show what we can do out there.”

The Friars had a 21-16 after the opening quarter, and eight unanswered points by Garland midway through the second helped spark the offense and give them a 36-24 lead at the half. Garland scored two of her four three-pointers during her 8-0 run.

“I was feeling it,” she said after the game. “But it was also the great passes that my team gave me.”

Garland and freshman guard Deja Cage each had a team-high 16 points, while senior guard Maggie Riley tallied 12 points and freshman guard Rickeisha Sheard notched eight. The Friars shot 42 percent from behind the arc with 13 three-pointers, including four each from Garland and Riley to go along with three from Cage.

“We were definitely hitting the three-pointers,” said Friars head coach Dave Power. “That’s what this offense does, sometimes you make those and sometimes you don’t, and we were really clicking in this one. It was great to see the three-pointer come back for us. We got a lot of contributions from a lot of different players; it was a nice win for us.”

Cage scored 11 points in the third quarter to lead the Friars’ offensive burst, including back-to-back three-pointers from the right wing. Cage’s 6-0 run was the second longest of the quarter, as an 8-0 run three minutes into the quarter capped off by a basket from Cage gave the Friars a 20-point lead.

“The third quarter was just phenomenal,” Power said. “I was very excited to see our offense snap back. When we ended the quarter with a 30-point lead I was very comfortable that we were going to come out with a win. That third quarter was definitely one of our best quarters of the season.”

Fenwick began the fourth quarter with a basket by junior guard Jade Owens, who played in the game despite dealing with flu-like symptoms. She finished with six points. Senior forward Hannah Sophie followed with two unanswered layups, and that would be all the Friars would need to secure the victory.

With less than a month to go in the Friars’ regular season, Garland said she’s confident her team can continue its winning ways if they just keep doing what they’ve done all year.

“We just have to do the same as always,” she said. “Take it game by game and keep playing hard every single day.” 

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