Fenwick guard Dominick Ducree takes a shot during a recent game. The sophomore’s three-pointer with 50 seconds left in overtime gave the Friars a 48-46 first-round victory over Farragut Dec. 26 at the Proviso West Holiday Tournament. | CAROL DUNNING/Contributor

The Fenwick High School boys basketball team opened the Proviso West Holiday Tournament on Dec. 26 with a 48-46 overtime victory over Farragut. Dominick Ducree’s three-pointer with 50 seconds left in the extra period proved to be the game-winner.

Darshan Thomas led the Friars (8-5) with 13 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks. Ty Macariola added nine points and J.T. Pettigrew had eight points and 10 rebounds.

“At the end of the day, the mission was accomplished,” said Fenwick coach Tony Young. “It wasn’t pretty, but we survived and advanced.”

The Friars managed to prevail despite committing 23 turnovers and missing several layups in regulation.

Fenwick guard Ty Macariola applies defensive pressure during a recent game. The junior scored nine points in the Friars’ 48-46 overtime victory over Farragut Dec. 26 at the Proviso West Holiday Tournament. | CAROL DUNNING/Contributor

“We’re a young group that’s got a lot of growing to do,” Young said. “But I’m proud of the strides we’re taking.”

The consistent play of Thomas is one reason why Fenwick has had a solid season. But Young feels the junior can reach another level.

“Darshan’s got to keep it going,” Young said. “He brings great energy. Once he realizes the things he can do, he’s only going to get better.”

Young has asked so much from his young players this season, and for good reason.

Fenwick forward Darshan Thomas drives to the basket in a recent game. The junior had 13 points, 10 rebounds, and five blocks in the Friars’ 48-46 overtime victory over Farragut Dec. 26 at the Proviso West Holiday Tournament. | CAROL DUNNING/Contributor

“I demand a lot out of them and coach them hard because they have to grow right now,” he said. “It’s only going to help them in the long run.”

Fenwick met Kenwood, ranked second in the Chicago Sun-Times Top 25, in a quarterfinal game on Dec. 27 after Wednesday Journal’s print deadline. The Broncos are loaded with talent and are considered the favorites in IHSA Class 4A.

Kenwood obliterated Southland Prep in its first-round game 122-47, with Kenwood’s Dai Dai Ames pouring in 65 points.

“You get to play a team that’s ranked in the nation, it’s a great opportunity for our boys to see where they are,” Young said. “We’ve just got to keep growing.”

OPRF looks to heat up at Pontiac

The Oak Park and River Forest High School boys basketball team began this season decently, going 2-2 in the Wheaton Academy Thanksgiving Tournament and routing Orr.

But a 64-60 loss to Fenwick on Dec. 2 at the Chicago Elite Classic marked the start of a four-game losing streak, one the Huskies hope to snap this week at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament on Dec. 28-30.

“We’re a young team,” said OPRF coach Phil Gary. “We don’t have many seniors and are going through some growing pains. We’ve been very competitive in every game but just have to finish.”

The Huskies’ first game at Pontiac is against Benet Academy on Dec. 28. The Redwings sport a 13-0 record and are ranked seventh in the Sun-Times Top 25 poll. 

It’s quite a difficult draw for OPRF (3-6).

“That’s the good thing about Pontiac,” Gary said. “No first-round game is a good draw for anybody. That’s how competitive and good it is.”

Other top teams at Pontiac include Aurora West, Bloom, Curie, Joliet West, New Trier and Simeon, the Sun-Times’ top-ranked team and defending tournament champion.

“We’re trying to go down and win as many games as we can,” he said. “We want to clean up the small things we’ve been focusing on. We want to get something we can hang our hat on and build from there.”

OPRF also hopes to get a boost from the return of senior point guard Christian Marshall, who has missed the last few games.

“I told him you’ve got to fight through adversity to get to where you want to go,” Gary said. “He’s learning from it, and having him back is going to help us tremendously.”

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