By James Kay
There was not an inch of breathing room for anyone in attendance for the girls basketball sectional matchup between Fenwick and Trinity.
On Feb. 24, both programs packed the gym in the crosstown battle that ended with the Friars beating the Blazers 38-28. Fenwick's Audrey Hinrichs (18 points) and Elise Heneghan (14) combined for 32 points in the win.
"This type of game is always going to be intense, but when you have a big student section on your side it always helps," said Hinrichs. "Playing a great player in [Makiyah Williams] is always tough but it's just good competition and we are happy with how we played tonight."
It was an uncharacteristic offensive night for both teams as they struggled to find any consistency on that end of the floor. Heading into the game, Fenwick was averaging 52.5 points per game while Trinity averaged 49 PPG behind the multifaceted forward in Williams.
However, Fenwick was able to contain the Blazers' star in the first half and held Trinity to just two points. The Blazers went 0-11 from three-point range while the Friars gave Williams (who had six points on the night) no room to finish at the basket.
After taking a week to game plan for Williams, Fenwick's assistant coach Erin Power said her team learned from its mistakes after Trinity and Fenwick played one another on Dec. 10.
"Makiyah Williams is such a great player but we know she likes to go left," said Power. "We did a lot of work in practice around shading her hard to her right and seeing what that would do. When [Williams] is struggling, she relies on her teammates for outside shots, and I think our defense did a great job on closing out on their shooters."
Heading into halftime, Trinity's head coach Kim Coleman preached not getting wrapped up with the lack of fouls not being called their way.
"I told them, 'We aren't getting any fouls, but we just have to be patient and attack the basket,'" said Coleman. "We were settling for jump shots, and I think you saw in the second half that we did a much better job of getting to the rim."
Trinity started putting pressure on Fenwick and trimmed the Friars' lead to 26-15 heading into the fourth quarter. However, it was Hinrichs and Heneghan, whose lethal high-low game has been at the center of Fenwick's success this season, went to work with the Friars up 28-18 with 5:33 remaining in the game.
Fenwick went on a 15-4 run and didn't look back the rest of the way (Hinrichs scored ten of her 18 points in the second half).
"[Hinrichs and Heneghan] have been incredible for us all season," said Power. "We struggle on the nights when they are not connecting, which is a rarity when that happens, but the two of them have been an unstoppable force. When a team has one player they can focus on, it's easier to stop but when you have two kids who play so well together and know where each other are on the floor, it's really hard for teams to contend with."
Even though her team had some bright moments in the second half, Williams thought the Blazers got going too late in the game to be able to mount a comeback on the road.
"I think we wanted it too late honestly," said Williams. "We have to start from the beginning, and we went in knowing we could come in and win a sectional title. We will be back ready for next year. I will be in the gym tomorrow."
After beating the Blazers (14-17), Fenwick (26-8) will face Westinghouse College Prep (23-8) on Feb. 27 for the sectional championship.
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