Fenwick boys hoops advances to semifinals; OPRF falls to Bloom

Recap of Day Two of holiday tournaments

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By James Kay

Sports Editor

OPRF and Fenwick boys basketball participated in the second round of their respective holiday tournaments. Here is a recap on how day two went for both teams.

Fenwick takes down Uplift 64-55

Coming off a 69-56 win over Larkin High School, Fenwick took care of business in the second round of the Proviso West Holiday Tournament against Uplift High School.  

Both teams struggled to generate offense in the first eight minutes of the game until the Friars used a 14-4 run in the second quarter to distance themselves from the Titans. Up 23-15 entering the second half, Fenwick's Bryce Hopkins and Max Reese collectively scored 10 points in the first three and a half minutes of the third quarter to give the Friars a 31-15 cushion (they finished the quarter with a 40-28 lead).

The Titans' full court press in the fourth quarter helped shrink Fenwick's 18-point lead to six points after Uplift's Taijay Brown hit a layup in traffic. However, Hopkins scored five points in the last 55 seconds of the game to lift the Friars past the Titans.  

"The pressure shouldn't really affect us since we practice too much on press breaks and being strong with the ball," said Friars' sophomore guard Trey Pettigrew. "So that is something we have to clean up but other than that we just tried to get the ball up as quick as we could, and it work out for us."

Hopkins finished with 23 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists, 6 blocks, and 3 steals. Reese ended his night with 18 points (9-of-11 from the field), 5 rebounds and 2 steals.

After a rough outing against Larkin on Dec. 26, Pettigrew bounced back with 12 points, 6 assists and 3 steals.

"I talked with Trey [Pettigrew] and told him, 'you can shoot horribly and still effect the game,'" said Fenwick's head coach Staunton Peck. "Trey could have scored no points today and, through his defense and assists, he changes the game."

While the Friars move on to the semifinals (Dec. 28 at 5:30 p.m.), they will need to take care of the ball more against a lethal Morton squad. Fenwick had 21 turnovers (Hopkins had 11) and will face a Mustang team that beat Hillcrest yesterday on a buzzer-beating half court shot to win 70-69.

Huskies can't find rhythm versus Bloom (83-64 loss)

Riding a four-game win streak heading into the second round of the Pontiac Holiday Tournament, OPRF held a 15-13 lead after the first quarter against No. 1 seeded Bloom High School. However, the Huskies couldn't build off their first quarter efforts and ended up surrendering their lead and 51 points in the second half.

OPRF's Josh Smith racked up 16 points (4-of-15 from the field) while his teammate Isaiah Barnes went for 15 points (4-of-10). Bloom's Dante Maddox Jr. had himself a day with 30 points and 6 rebounds. Three other Bloom players scored in double-figures (you can get the full box score here).

This is the second year in a row that the Huskies lost to Bloom in the second round of the Pontiac tournament. However, Smith believes his team is only going to grow from the loss.

"I think if we get deep into the playoffs we will have a chance at facing them again," said Smith in a phone call with Wednesday Journal. "Now that we know what that energy looks like, we can learn from the experience and try to be more consistent."

OPRF takes on Warren Township High School tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. If they win that matchup, the Huskies will play the winner of Simeon versus St. Charles North at 6:30 p.m.

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