With the playoffs rapidly approaching, the Fenwick girls basketball team hopes to roll into the postseason with momentum. That aspiration will have to be realized in the final two regular season games as the Friars recently dropped two of their last three games.
Fenwick lost 72-50 to Montini on Saturday in Lombard. Montini blitzed Fenwick with an 11-0 spurt to start the game and seized a 22-10 lead at the end of the first quarter.
In the second half, the Broncos methodically built their lead.
Maggie Reilly scored a team-high 12 points on four treys for Fenwick and Jade Owens added 11 points and four rebounds. Sarah Pezza had six points, while Deja Cage scored five points. Maya Garland and Kiki Sheard finished with four points apiece. Eva Brundage and Jenny Mackowiak pulled down a team-high five rebounds each for Fenwick.
The Friars (21-5) struggled offensively all night, however, sinking just 10 of 40 three-point attempts and finishing 6-for-12 from the charity stripe to produce a season-low 50 points.
“Our point guards [Owens and Jenny Mackowiak] have been dealing with some nagging injuries,” said Fenwick coach Dave Power. “I think that contributed to us being a little out of rhythm against Montini. We dug ourselves a hole that was too big to get out of.”
The Broncos’ length and athleticism proved problematic for the Friars, who also lost the battle of the boards, 42-31, although Fenwick created multiple second shot opportunities with 16 offensive rebounds. On the night, Montini made 28 field goals to the Friars’ 17.
Fenwick matched Montini with 17 points apiece in the second quarter to keep the game within reach, 39-27, at the intermission. The Broncos outscored the Friars 33-23 in the second half en route to a relatively comfortable nonconference victory between the traditional powers.
Montini is a three-time defending state champion, while Fenwick coach Dave Power guided the Friars to state championships in 2001 and 2007. Despite the Broncos’ 22-point victory on Saturday, Fenwick-Montini is annually one of the most hyped games in the area.
Six-foot-4 center Malayna Johnson paced Montini (28-1) with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Kateri Stone and Sara Ross netted 13 points apiece. The Broncos made seven three-pointers on the night to complement their decided height advantage.
The Friars split their other two games last week, celebrating Senior Night with a 59-42 win over St. Viator on Friday, but losing 65-63 to highly regarded Wheaton-Warrenville South on Jan. 29.
Fenwick closes out the regular season with road games at Nazareth on Wednesday, Feb. 6 and at Marian Catholic on Saturday (2:30 p.m., Feb. 9). If the Friars take care of business against Nazareth, Saturday’s showdown against Marian Catholic will be for the East Suburban Catholic Conference title. Fenwick is chasing its 17th league title in 19 seasons.