If the Fenwick boys basketball team gets on a run in the upcoming Class 3A State playoffs, 45 figures to be the magic number regarding success.
The Friars’ goal for every game is to limit their opponent to 45 points or less. Fenwick is 14-0 when holding other teams under that point total and 1-8 when the opposition exceeds 45.
That measuring stick defensively held true over the weekend as the Friars split a pair of games, losing to Nazareth 61-55 on Saturday but celebrating Senior Night with a 53-29 victory over Leo on Friday.
Against Nazareth, the Friars’ Keshaun Smith knotted the game at 53-all on a drive before the visiting Roadrunners scored eight of the next 10 points to close out the nonconference game. Fenwick center Dan Dwyer had 17 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. Smith (7 points) and Josh Carlisle (6 points) also contributed.
Fenwick (15-8) struggled on both ends of the floor, however, shooting 32 percent from the field (19-for-60) and also slipping defensively at times.
“Obviously, we were looking for a better way to end the [regular] season,” Fenwick coach John Quinn said. “It’s disappointing because we were at home in front of a big crowd and just didn’t play well. We didn’t shoot the ball well and we missed some defensive assignments and rotations.”
Dan Keinzle paced Nazareth with a game-high 22 points and Kevin Connelly scored 13 for the Roadrunners (13-12).
Fenwick cruised past Leo on Friday night as senior point guard Luke Lattner led the way with 14 points. Carlisle finished with nine points and freshman Michael Smith added eight points off the bench.
The Friars put the game away by outscoring the Lions 22-7 in the third quarter. Leo, which has a rich basketball tradition, only has one victory this season.
Seeded No. 5 in the Nazareth Sectional, the Friars open the playoffs on Feb. 26 against the winner of Chicago schools VOISE Academy and North Grand. A win would pit Fenwick against either the regional host Marshall or Timothy Christian on Friday, March 1 (6 p.m.).
In the meantime, Fenwick will get in ample practice time and possibly squeeze in one more regular season game. Last week, the Fenwick vs. Marine game was cancelled as the latter didn’t make the game.
“Ideally, it would be nice get in one more game before the playoffs start,” Quinn said. “Overall, we have played well in the second half of the season. We haven’t made too much noise in the state playoffs. The last time we won a regional was 2006, so hopefully we can get on a run in the playoffs.”