After a one-year hiatus, the Fenwick High School girls basketball team is returning to compete in the 32nd Charger Classic Christmas girls basketball tournament hosted by Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville this season.

While this year’s tournament includes a loaded field of teams including unbeaten squads like Stevenson, Rockton-Hononegah, Burlington Central and New Trier, Fenwick rates the historical edge winning nine titles at the tournament. New Trier beat Prospect in last year’s championship game.

The Friars, who played in a Christmas tournament in Miami, Fla. last year (Fenwick went 0-3), take on Evanston Fri., Dec. 26 at 2:30 p.m. in their tourney opener.

“Starting out against Evanston in that first game is going to be tough,” Fenwick coach Dave Power said. “There are some tough teams there and we’re really looking forward to the competition.

“We’re really excited to be back at the Dundee-Crown tournament. We’ve had a long standing tradition of competing there. There’s always great competition and it’s very well run. It should definitely be a lot of fun.”

With junior Deja Cage back in action and fully recovered from an injury, Fenwick is making strides in terms of developing team chemistry with each game. In addition to Cage, the Friars also feature talented players in the Southeast Missouri State-bound Mackowiak sisters, Jenny and Jessica, along with Kiki Sheard, Jesssica Moriarty, Elle Schaefer, Katie Dvorak, Kelly Canoy and Drenisha Wideman.

Power believes playing at a prestigious tournament like the Charger Classic will only help his team as the season wears on. Currently, Fenwick is competing in the Sterling Tournament which also offers multiple games in quick order for the Friars. Moline knocked off Fenwick 62-54 at Sterling last week.

“We’re finding our way this year,” Power said. “These holiday tournaments are a great way to be challenged and keep coming together.”

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