The Fenwick High School girls basketball team took one step forward and two steps back over the holidays.
That’s what happens when one player returns from injury just in time to see two others go on the shelf.
The Friars got a boost when senior guard Kiki Sheard came back from a knee injury, but it was offset by the loss of two other starters in leading scorer McKenzie Blaze and starting point guard Bailey Forde.
The loss of Forde, the only senior on the roster besides Sheard, was especially tough. She suffered a back injury during Fenwick’s two-game stay in Indianapolis Dec. 21 and 22 and is out indefinitely, as is Blaze, who has a foot injury.
“That’s a lot of adversity for a young team to handle on the fly,” Fenwick coach Dave Power said. “They’re settling into a position and now they’re asked to play new positions.
“We’re looking forward to the New Year.”
The Friars (3-13) couldn’t say goodbye to 2015 fast enough as they have lost their last seven games, including a 0-4 showing at the Dundee-Crown Charger Classic.
Fenwick has won the Charger Classic seven times, most recently in 2010, but last week finished last in the 16-team field for the first time.
“We played very well but we came up on the short end,” Power said. “When you’re playing top teams, you have to think of winning but when you’re shorthanded you can’t handle all the little things that pop up. We lack experienced depth.”
The Friars opened the tournament with a 61-38 loss to second-seeded Buffalo Grove, which went on to finish third. Sheard led the way with 12 points while Kate Moore added six points.
After that, the Friars were competitive in every game, losing to Naperville Central 41-30, Maine South 55-40 and finally Barrington 66-51.
“We’re disappointed with the four losses but I see some good things,” Power said. “Their execution is improving and the girls fought hard throughout. They played with a lot of heart.”
Sheard scored eight points while Kelly Carpenter had seven and Audrey Hetzer six against Naperville Central. Sheard and Moore each tallied nine points, while Hetzer and junior Chance Baggett had eight points apiece in the Maine South game.
Junior guard Mackenzie Berschel tallied a team-leading 12 points against Barrington, while Moore added 10 points and Sheard had nine. The Broncos sank 20 of 22 free throws while the Friars went 9-for-27.