By James Kay
With the winter sports season winding down, Fenwick and OPRF's sports teams are gearing up for the end of the regular season. Here is a breakdown of what went down over the last week:
OPRF BBB back on track
OPRF boys basketball has bounced back nicely after a tough loss to York on Jan. 16. Since its bout against the Dukes, the Huskies (11-6) upset Lincoln-Way East High School 73-69 on Jan. 20 and blew out Downers Grove North High School 67-48 on Jan. 24.
Against Lincoln-Way East, OPRF's Isaiah Barnes put up a career-high 31 points and his teammate Josh Smith backed him up with 24 points. The Huskies outscored the Griffins 41-17 in the second half to notch their 10th win of the season.
Smith helped spark a 30-10 run in the second half against the Trojans and led the team with 28 points in the win. In his last four games, sophomore Demetrius Dortch has averaged over five steals a game.
The Huskies are now tied with York at the top of the conference.
The team also received good news on the injury front with Kyren Gardner returning to action while Justin Cross has shed the sling that supported his fractured left elbow and wrist. Gardner is still getting back into game shape but has recovered from the lower body injury he suffered after the Pontiac Holiday Tournament last month. Cross' injury is no longer considered season-ending despite that being the case a few weeks ago.
OPRF's head coach Matt Maloney contributed the team's recent success to everyone buying into their roles.
"We are starting to pay attention to more detail in practice and the guys have been more locked in and intense at practice," said Maloney. "We are making a lot of winning plays without the basketball which is something we have been talking about throughout the course of the season. We are seeing that with our recent results."
The Huskies will face Hinsdale Central at home on Jan. 31 before taking on a tough road test against Evanston on the road the next day.
Fenwick BBB continues dominance
The Friars (18-4) seem unstoppable right now after recent wins against Simeon, De La Salle, Rolling Meadows and Marmion. On Jan. 22, the AP poll had Fenwick outside of the top-10 (it received five total votes) which should change in the coming weeks as they continue to rack up wins against top-tier teams.
In the marquee matchup with Simeon on Jan. 20, Fenwick junior Bryce Hopkins put up 41 points, 17 rebounds, and six assists and averaged 32.5 points, 17.3 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game during the four-game win streak. Sophomore guard Trey Pettigrew has also been hot the last couple weeks and has averaged 19.8 points per game in the four-game stretch.
The scoring tandem of Pettigrew and Hopkins has put teams on notice. Fenwick's supporting cast stretches the floor, which complements Hopkins' drive and kick-out instincts as a facilitator. If the Friars keep this up, they could enjoy a deep postseason run.
- After starting off 19-4,Fenwick girls basketball has endured a five-game losing streak and suffered two tough road losses to Mother McAuley and Marist (this story does not include the final result of Glenbard West vs. Fenwick on Jan. 28 because of the press deadline).
- OPRF girls basketball has struggled all season but garnered its second win of the season versus Taft on Jan. 23. The Huskies are now 2-20.
Fenwick football announces Ireland trip
Fenwick has announced that its varsity football program will open next season in Dublin, Ireland. The game will take place on Aug. 28 against Notre Dame Prep which is a high school from Scottsdale, Arizona.
In a press release, head coach Matt Battaglia said:
"The Fenwick family and I are thrilled to have this opportunity to participate in the upcoming game in Ireland against Arizona's Notre Dame Prep. I could not think of a better opportunity for our team to kick off the 'Fenwick FAST' era than by competing overseas in a first-class trip versus a first-class opponent."
In a phone call with Wednesday Journal on Jan. 22, Battaglia said the event has been in the works for the last few months. He will start off his tenure at Fenwick overseas.
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