The Fenwick High School girls basketball team had a mission this season: to give retiring head coach Dave Power one last trip downstate.
On Feb. 24, the Friars took a big step towards realizing their goal with a 40-26 victory over Trinity High School for the IHSA Class 3A Fenwick Sectional title.
“We knew this was our and Coach Power’s last home game, and there were a lot of nerves going in,” said Fenwick senior forward Elise Heneghan, who finished with 17 points and nine rebounds. “We knew if we did what we had to do and play our game, we could come out on top.”
Fenwick (23-10) took an 11-10 lead after the opening quarter, but in the second quarter, each team managed just one basket — a three-pointer by Trinity’s Sophia Rodriguez and a three-pointer by Heneghan. The Friars took a 14-13 advantage into halftime.
“Our attitude was different from the last time we played,” Heneghan said. “We knew we had to play all four quarters, and that’s what we did.
The third quarter proved decisive as Fenwick outscored the Blazers 11-1 to take a 25-14 lead.
“That was definitely the turning point,” said Fenwick senior guard Mia Caccitolo, who had 13 points, five rebounds and four steals. “We got a lot of confidence from our defense and kept going from there.”
After the Friars opened up a 32-16 lead early in the fourth, Trinity (16-12) went on a 9-2 run to close to within nine with less than three minutes to play. But that was as close as the Blazers would come.
“We gave it everything we could,” said Trinity coach Kim Coleman. “I’m proud of my team and everything Trinity stands for. We did everything in our power to make something happen, but it just wasn’t our night.”
Rodriguez was Trinity’s only player to reach double figures, scoring 10 points. Maeve Lundt added six points.
Trinity’s’ star sophomore Lauren Miller was held to five points. Her performance was hampered by an undisclosed injury suffered at the end of the first quarter. She didn’t return until 1:15 left before halftime, but Coleman applauded her effort.
“Lauren is one of the toughest players in the state,” she said.
“Our goal was to try to do a good job on [Miller],” Power said. “I thought that if we held her down, they wouldn’t be able to score a lot of points like they did last time. We couldn’t knock down shots, but did when we needed to. I’m happy the girls rose to the occasion.”
Fenwick advances to the Class 3A De La Salle Supersectional on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m., where it will face Nazareth Academy. The Roadrunners are one of the state’s premier programs.
“They’ve got some girls that can shoot the threes and we’ve got to cover them,” said Power. “If we don’t, that’s going to be a real problem for us. But we feel we have the advantage inside, and hopefully we can make them pay.”