Triton College guard Najee Brown-Henderson dribbles past a Pima (AZ.) Community College player during the NJCAA Division II championship game. The Trojans earned their first national title with an 89-85 win over Pima. (Courtesy Triton College)

The Triton College men’s basketball team won the program’s first NJCAA Division II national championship after defeating Pima Community College (Tucson, Arizona) 89-85 in Danville on March 24.

In the final, the Trojans built a 39-26 lead at halftime. Alondes Williams, from Milwaukee, led Triton in scoring with 22 points and also had seven rebounds and three steals. Najee-Brown Henderson, of Detroit, scored 16 points, including 8-for-10 from the free throw line. Playing his final game for Triton, Deonta Terrell contributed 15 points and seven boards.

The Trojans (33-4) entered the tournament a No. 1 seed. They earned a place in the championship game after beating Southwestern College 85-67 on March 23. 

Terrell, an All-American candidate who led the team this season with averages of 16.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, was named the tournament MVP. Williams and Brown-Henderson were selected to the NJCAA All-Tournament Team.

Triton coach Steve Christiansen was named NJCAA Division II National Coach of the Year.

Ten of the 15 players on Triton’s squad are from Illinois, including area players Issaiah Hayes (Orr), Jerel Pitts (Proviso West), Greg Kester (Foreman), Martrell Barnes (North Lawndale), Devin Blake (Downers Grove North) and Terrell (Farragut).

OPRF softball

Entering this spring, the Oak Park and River Forest High School softball team knew scoring runs wouldn’t be an issue. With All-American players Fiona Girardot and Maeve Nelson in the heart of the batting order, plus a strong supporting cast, the Huskies have one of the most prolific offenses in the state.

OPRF put on an impressive power display against Maine South, hitting six home runs en route to a 14-6 win. Girardot went 4-for-5 with two homers, three RBIs and four runs scored, while Nelson belted a three-run homer. Olivia Glass (3-for-4, 3 RBI), Carli Tucci (3-for-5, 4 runs), and Maddie Grant (2-for-4, 2 RBI) hit home runs as well.

Zoe Prouty allowed four runs and six hits with five strikeouts and a walk over four innings to earn the win. Taylor Divello allowed two runs and two hits and struck out three in three innings of relief.

OPRF (3-1) hosts Mother McAuley on Wednesday, March 28 at 4:30 p.m.

Fenwick softball

The Friars split a pair of games against Nazareth and St. Viator last week. Alyssa Stramaglia went 2-for-3 with two RBIs in a 10-4 loss against Nazareth. Fenwick rebounded well in a 10-6 victory over St. Viator as Ciara Herbert and Gianna Amundsen drove in three runs apiece for Fenwick (2-3).

Fenwick girls soccer

The Friars remain unbeaten this spring with a 6-0 victory against Proviso West. Anissa Nourse and Kaylie Fredian powered a balanced attack by Fenwick (5-0), which had six players score on assisted goals.

Fenwick boys water polo

The Friars won two of three games at the York tournament over the weekend. Fenwick defeated St. Ignatius 9-7 and Niles West 18-3. In their final match of the tourney, the Friars lost to Lyons Township 6-3.

Against Niles West, Payton Comstock scored a game-high five goals, with Dan Badja (4 goals), Ben Lulich (3 goals), Dan Lynch (2 goals) and Alex Figus (2 goals) contributing as well. Goalies Manny Ruiz and Alejandro Perez had four and three saves, respectively. Nate Fischer and Lulich scored three goals apiece in the team’s win over St. Ignatius. Other notable victories earlier this season included a 13-11 win at Loyola to open the season and an 11-6 win over OPRF at the Dan Lynch Tournament.

Fenwick (11-3, 5-0 Metro Catholic Aquatic Conference) hosts St. Rita on Wednesday, March 28 at 6:30 p.m.

OPRF boys volleyball

Junior left side hitter Kyle Rasmussen had six kills and junior outside hitters Lucas Schattauer and Quinton Kitzman added five kills apiece in the Huskies’ 25-19, 25-18 win over Morton.

Junior setter Sean Califf ran the offense well with 24 assists in his first varsity match as a starter. Senior Jack Valenti also contributed with three kills, three block assists and one solo block for OPRF (1-0).

Fenwick boys volleyball

The Friars lost their home opener against Brother Rice 13-25, 25-23, 13-15 on March 22. Jack Kenny had eight kills and Kevin Johnson dished out 12 assists to lead the Friars’ offense. Fenwick (0-2) also lost its season opener 18-25, 15-25 at Lane Tech.

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Marty Farmer

The Illinois Press Association recently honored Marty with the 1st & 2nd Place Awards for Best Sports Feature for his article He's in an Oak Park state of mind: Former OPRF star Iman Shumpert returns...

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