By James Kay
After losing their first two games in the second half of the season, the Friars got their first win in 2020 with a 72-66 overtime victory over St. Patrick High School on Jan. 11. Fenwick's Trey Pettigrew buried seven 3-pointers in his 28-point outburst while his teammate Bryce Hopkins added 27 points and 16 rebounds.
"This was a good win," said Fenwick's head coach Staunton Peck. "We had some ups and downs and some calls that could have gone either way, but we didn't let that derail us. We probably should have won it in regulation, but this team showed again how resilient they are."
Fenwick held a 56-43 lead with six minutes left in the game when St. Patrick mounted a comeback. The Shamrocks went on a 10-2 run before St. Patrick's guard Nicholas Galati hit a three with four seconds left to tie the game at 59. On the next play, Pettigrew took off down the court and was fouled at midcourt.
However, St. Patrick contested the call and claimed Pettigrew was hit after the buzzer went off. The officials convened and overturned the call to send the game to overtime.
"I asked the ref who made the call if he was a 100 percent certain about it, and he said '100,'" said Peck. "I'm going to go back on it and if it wasn't, he is going to get an email from me but luckily we won."
Resisting the momentum shift toward the Shamrocks, Pettigrew took over in the last four minutes. After St. Patrick took the lead in overtime on Dominic Galati's fadeaway with 2:36 remaining, Pettigrew responded with a quick three to give his team a 62-61 lead.
Both teams traded scores before Pettigrew found some room and was fouled on the baseline with 1:25 left. He made both his free throws to extend the lead to 66-63. After the Friars' defensive stop on the next possession, Pettigrew brought down an offensive rebound on a three-point miss in the left corner. He put his head down, went back in the paint, and spun the ball off the glass for a layup to make it a two-possession game.
St. Patrick never recovered, and the Friars went home with their 13th win of the season.
Both teams were chirping at each other the entire game before it became physical in the last quarter. After the game, multiple Shamrock players refused to shake hands with Fenwick's players as they went down the line.
"They were trying to get into our heads early, but it wasn't working," said Pettigrew. "We picked up on it later in the game, but it didn't work. We got the win and that is all that matters."
Forming a bond: Pettigrew has shown all season that he can be a force on both ends of the court and has served as the perfect complement to Hopkins' offensive game. The two have spent time off the court developing chemistry which has improved their performances on the court.
"We've just spent time going to get food, playing video games, talking to girls and doing little stuff like that," said Pettigrew.
When asked who is better at NBA 2K, Pettigrew assuredly said, "Oh, I got him on that one."
Pugh avoids major injury: Late in the third quarter, Friars' Eian Pugh went down grabbing his ankle. After a couple of minutes surrounded by the coaching and training staff, he was helped off the court and didn't return. One Fenwick player texted Wednesday Journal on Jan. 12 saying that Pugh is "fine," and the injury is just a sprain.
This week's matchups: The Friars head to Lombard to play Montini High School on Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. They play Marmion High School at home on Jan. 17.