The Fenwick and St. Joseph boys basketball teams will settle their compelling season series with a lot on the line next week in a semifinal matchup of the Westinghouse Sectional. The Friars and Chargers, who split a pair of games during the regular season, meet for a third and final time on Wednesday, March 12 (7 p.m.) at Westinghouse. Orr and Marshall square off in the other Westinghouse Sectional semifinal on Tuesday, March 11 at 7 p.m.
The Friars advanced to the Westinghouse Sectional by defeating regional host Farragut 69-56 on Friday in the Class 3A playoffs. Fenwick (21-8) led essentially start to finish against the Admirals, who were looking for the upset at home. Up 10 points at halftime (38-28), the Friars went on a late third-quarter run to lead 55-40 en route to its regional championship under new head coach Rick Malnati. Senior center Dan Dwyer led Fenwick with 17 points, supported by fellow seniors Tom Planek (15 points) and Scott Lindsey (12 points).
The Chargers (25-7) punched their ticket to the Westinghouse Sectional by defeating visiting Timothy Christian 51-41 in the St. Joseph Regional championship game. The Chargers’ Nick Rakocevic had 16 points and nine boards to trigger the Chargers’ comeback win. Glenn Watson (14 points) and Jordan Ash (11 points) also contributed for the victors. Connor VandeBrug netted a game-high 27 points for the Trojans.
In the regular season meetings, St. Joseph defeated visiting Fenwick 68-62 on Jan. 17. The Friars earned a measure of revenge with their 62-54 over the Chargers in the Catholic League Tournament on Feb. 22 at Chicago State University.
Fenwick has won 8 of its last 10 games overall this season. The return of small forward Scott Lindsey, who will play at Northwestern, along with solid play from felow frontline stars Dwyer and Planek and guards Michael Smith and Keshaun Smith gives the Friars an excellent chance to come out of the Westinghouse Sectional, although any of the four teams could claim the stacked sectional title. With regular season wins over Benet, St. Joseph, Proviso East and OPRF, the Friars have continually proven they can beat high caliber teams.