Fenwick High School boys basketball senior forward Brett Bohaboy was hoping to finally defeat neighborhood rival Riverside-Brookfield High School in his career.
So it came as no surprise when he erupted with joy after his put-back basket with time expiring gave the host Friars a dramatic come-from-behind 38-36 victory over the Bulldogs on Jan. 22.
“I just tried to get the rebound [off a T.J. Stephenson miss]. I threw it up and it went in,” said Bohaboy, who finished with seven points and five rebounds. “It feels great. We lost to [RBHS] twice in the summer, but we beat them in the regular season and that’s all that matters.”
“I feel real happy for our guys,” said Fenwick coach Toby Young. “Tonight, we did the right things. They listened and executed on offense and it worked out. It’s good to see them have success doing things the right way, and now they can continue to believe and buy in.”
Fenwick (6-8) got off to a slow start against RBHS (14-4), trailing 19-5 after the opening quarter. With 3:46 left in the first half, the Friars found themselves staring at a 29-10 deficit. But sparked by good defense, the Friars went on a 13-0 run during the second and third quarters to climb back into the game.
“It all started on the defensive end,” Bohaboy said. “We got a few stops in a row and then the ball started going in for us.”
Fenwick freshman forward Nate Marshall, who was a key contributor at defensive end during the football team’s run to the IHSA Class 5A title in the fall, gave the Friars a boost with 14 points and five rebounds.
“Even when we were down, we still had enough energy to come back,” said Marshall. “The toughness [from football] helps me in the paint.”
“Nate is a load to deal with down low,” Young said. “The biggest thing for him is being physical and staying on the court. As he continues to grow and his skills develop, we’re looking for huge things from him.”
The Friars trailed 32-26 after three quarters and kept chipping away in the fourth, taking a 36-34 lead on a Marshall basket with 3:28 remaining.
The Bulldogs’ Will Gonzalez tied the game on a driving layup with 39 second left. Fenwick called its final timeout to set up a play, and senior guard T.J. Stephenson (5 points) drove inside in the closing seconds. His pull-up jumper missed, but Bohaboy grabbed the rebound and scored as time expired.
“This win skyrockets our confidence,” Marshall said.
Joevonn McCottry had 11 points and J.P. Hanley eight for RBHS, which managed only seven points on two field goals in the second half. The Bulldogs shot just 29 percent (11-of-38) against Fenwick.
“Give Fenwick credit, they guarded really well and took us out of what we wanted to do offensively,” said RBHS coach Mike Reingruber. “We didn’t get into any rhythm in the second half.”
Young hopes such a dramatic win can give his young Friars a boost in self-belief and confidence.
“We’re growing individually and as a team, and the more that we play with and trust each other, we’ll be all right,” he said. “This was a team win that was much needed; everyone did what they were supposed to do, and they see what they can accomplish when they do things the right way.”