Fenwick girls basketball coach Dave Power attributed his team’s 56-44 loss to Proviso East in the Class 4A York Sectional semifinal last week to poor play in the first half, and not so much a frenzied fourth quarter that saw his Friars get outscored 23-6.

“It was the first half that I really felt we lost the game,” said Power, whose team went up 10 at one point in the opening quarter and then held a 24-15 advantage over the Pirates at the break. “We had 10 turnovers, and with one of Proviso East’s main players sitting on the bench in foul trouble we didn’t capitalize on opportunities when we needed to. That’s not to take anything away from Proviso East – they are a very good basketball team – but I think had we taken advantage of some opportunities and shot better in the first half, we would not have been in the position we were in for that final few minutes of the game.”

Fenwick’s five-point lead after three quarters evaporated and the teams were at a 42-42 stalemate with just over three minutes remaining on the clock. Proviso East went on a 12-2 run to close out the game and end the Friars’ season. Proviso East went on to defeat Trinity 55-47 in the sectional title game on Thursday.

“It’s difficult to have to chase a team like Proviso East, but our players gave it all they had and went down swinging, and that’s all a coach can ask,” said Power, whose Friars finished 26-5 overall on the season. “I’m not disappointed with the loss; I’m disappointed that our time together has concluded. This has been a really great team to coach.”

Sarah Williams scored 14 points to lead Fenwick, which posted its lowest point-total of the season. Meredith Boardman added nine points and hauled down nine rebounds.

Power added that his team’s shooting troubles began this season when the Friars were forced to take three days off due to the blizzard that occurred at the beginning of February.

“We just never got into a rhythm after that. I can’t really explain it, but we had been putting up quite the numbers before that.”

To close out the regular season, Fenwick suffered losses at the hands of Marist and Marion Catholic, derailing the team’s attempt to secure the program’s 17th-straight East Suburban Catholic Conference title. The team’s 65-63 loss to Marist on Feb. 9 was the program’s first conference loss since the 2006-’07 season.

The Friars regained some momentum by capturing the program’s 17th consecutive regional championship with a 50-43 win over Hoffman Estates.

The Friars lose six seniors to graduation, including regular starters Kathleen Roche (University of Pennsylvania), Kyra Navarrete, Hannah Ballard (possibly University of Chicago) and Williams (Lehigh University).

Expected back next season is Jade Owens, who started at point guard for the Friars as a freshman this season. Meredith Boardman, who returned to the lineup midseason after suffering a serious knee injury over the summer, is also expected back. The 6-foot junior had a key rebound and game winning put-back in the closing seconds of Fenwick’s thrilling 63-61 victory over Morgan Park at the McDonald’s Shootout in January.