Fenwick boys basketball coach John Quinn feels that a team’s defensive prowess is often further ahead than its offensive production during the early portion of a season. His Friars reinforced that belief with a stellar defensive effort en route to claiming their first championship in four tries at the Lyons Thanksgiving Tournament last week.

The Friars capped off their clean sweep of the opposition with a 55-43 win over host Lyons on Saturday night. Fenwick (3-0) jumped out to a 12-3 lead after one quarter and extended its advantage to 16-4 early in the second as the Lions missed their first 16 shots from the field. For the game, LT made only 12 of 55 field goal attempts.

“I thought we played lockdown defense the entire tournament,” Quinn said. “Actually, I thought both LT and us played pretty good defense. We have a veteran team back this year, and we were able to get excellent contributions from several players.”

Senior guard Luke Lattner spearheaded the Friars’ versatile charge. Lattner netted 13 of his 17 points in the second half highlighted by a couple of dagger three-pointers to hold off LT in the fourth quarter.

Along with Lattner’s 17 points, Dan Dwyer racked up a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Scott Lindsey (9 points), Tom Planek (15 rebounds) and Keshaun Smith (8 points, 5 assists) also contributed to the victory. Michael Smith and Josh Carlisle provided backcourt depth for Fenwick.

“We definitely got off to a great start,” Lattner said. “Our first goal was to win this tournament. We have a lot of guys who gained valuable varsity experience [last year] which is really going to help us.”

Chris O’Reilly paced LT (1-2) with 14 points and 10 rebounds and sharpshooter Jarryd Heath chipped in 12 points on four three-pointers. Matt Mrazek bolstered the Lions’ frontline with 13 rebounds.

Lyons coach Tom Sloan was pleased with his team’s effort particularly after a 76-61 setback to Morton the previous night.

“Defensively, we held Fenwick under 40 percent shooting which was one of our goals,” Sloan said. “I was pleased with our effort, but Fenwick made some tough shots down the stretch, especially Luke Lattner.”

The Lions pulled to within 34-30 at the end of the third quarter, but Fenwick outscored their hosts 21-13 the rest of the way.

Earlier in the tournament, Fenwick defeated Morton 66-50 and Argo 69-42. LT defeated Argo 51-36 before dropping decisions to Morton and Fenwick in the round-robin format.

“I think all four teams really get a lot out of this tournament,” Sloan said. “You get to play against different styles, and I know playing against tough defensive teams like Fenwick and Morton helps us prepare for our conference games.”

The Lions open their West Suburban (Silver) Conference schedule by hosting Glenbard West on Friday (7:30 p.m.) and then nonconference foe Riverside-Brookfield on Saturday (6 p.m.).

Fenwick visits neighborhood rival Oak Park on Saturday (6 p.m.).