With the Class 3A state playoffs looming, the Fenwick boys basketball team was desperately in need of a momentum-builder. That spark culminated on Saturday night with the Friars handing Nazareth a 60-49 loss to push their win-streak to six games.
Fenwick, coming off a 50-44 overtime win against Gordon Tech the night before, took an 18-6 lead in the opening quarter before Nazareth got hot behind the three-point arc. Dan Kienzle led the Roadrunners with 17 points, including three three-pointers in the second period that cut the deficit to 32-31 at halftime.
Fenwick senior Sam Ainsworth poured in a game-high 23 points and was near perfect from the free-throw line down the stretch to give the Friars plenty of breathing room. Sophomore guard Scott Lindsey added 12 for Fenwick, while Luke Lattner chipped in six and Keshaun Smith five. Earlier last week, Lattner scored 22 points to lead Fenwick to a 55-43 win over Richards.
The Friars, who have won seven of their last nine games and are currently 11-12 overall, are the 13th-seed in the Class 3A Glenbard South Sectional. This season marks the first time the basketball program will compete in Class 3A. The Friars, who haven’t won a regional since 2006, competed in Class 4A last year.
“I was a fan of the two-class system but it’s a much more competitive field now,” said Fenwick head coach John Quinn, who hasn’t had a team finish below .500 in a decade. “Hopefully, we can re-write some history books this season.”
Fenwick opens the Riverside Brookfield Regional against Little Village on Feb. 27. A win will likely pit the Friars against RB in the semifinal on Feb. 28 (6 p.m.). The Bulldogs entered this week riding a 14-game win-streak.