After suffering from mononucleosis, coupled with strep throat, for the better part of two weeks that had her missing a total of five games, on Jan. 4th Fenwick hoops star Tricia Liston received clearance from doctors to resume play. The very next night the Duke-bound senior went out and scored a game-high 26 points, hauled down eight rebounds and pocketed four steals to lead her team to a 45-42 comeback victory over host Lincoln-Way East in the Sweet 16 Tournament.

Liston, who is averaging 27 points per game and hadn’t played since the team defeated Marist 77-58 on Dec. 14, came off the bench two minutes into the game. She scored all but one of Fenwick’s 13 points in the final quarter, mostly from the free-throw line. Liston made two shots from the charity stripe in the closing seconds of the game to put the Friars up for good 44-42.

But in Liston’s absence over the last five games – where the team went 3-2 and finished second in the Dundee-Crown Holiday Tournament – Fenwick’s other less-known players stepped up. That trend continued against Lincoln-Way East.

Sarah Williams, who finished with 12 points, sealed the victory with a free-throw with less than five seconds left in the game. Williams helped dig the Friars out of an eight-point deficit late in the third period. The guard was fouled on a three-point shot and sunk all three of her freebies at the line. 

“This team could be a state contender with or without Tricia,” said Fenwick head coach Dave Power, whose team is now 16-2 on the season. “But when you have such a quality player and then lose that player for a time it takes awhile for the rest of the players to adjust. They adjusted well when she was out. Now, we just need to get back to playing our original style of basketball.”

With midterm exams to focus on last week, the Friars did not play on Friday or Saturday. The team resumes play against Indianapolis’s North Central High School in the McDonald’s Shootout to be held at Willowbrook in Villa Park this Saturday. The Friars take on St. Joseph (Mo.) in the second round on Monday (7 p.m.).  

Fenwick resumes the quest for its 16th-straight East Suburban Catholic Conference Championship when the Friars return home to Oak Park on Jan. 23 to take on Providence (2:30 p.m.).