By James Kay
Don't tell Fenwick that it just upset one of the best teams in the state.
"We have a lot to prove, but we come in thinking we are going to win these types of games," said sophomore guard Trey Pettigrew. "We are just trying to get back on track and get back to where we should be."
Pettigrew and junior Bryce Hopkins both went for 14 points in the win. Pettigrew dished out six assists while Hopkins grabbed 16 rebounds and added three steals to his stat line.
The Friars (22-6) had one of their best defensive performances of the season against the Rams but struggled to contain DePaul Prep's Lance Mosley. In the first half, Mosley scored 14 points and hit four catch-and-shoot threes before Pettigrew had enough.
In the second half, Pettigrew contained Mosley and held the junior to two points the rest of the way.
"[Trey] went up to me at halftime and said, 'I got [Mosley],'" said Friars' head coach Staunton Peck. "I told him, 'if you say you have, you got him' and he really put his money where his mouth is."
Even with Pettigrew stepping up on both ends of the court versus DePaul Prep, the Rams (who are only allowing 41.8 points per game) did their part in slowing down Hopkins.
Throughout the night, Hopkins was double-teamed and hacked inside the paint, something that has been a constant theme for the junior this season.
"Bryce gets the most amount of contact of anyone in the league and I think he should be going to the free throw line 10 times per game," said Peck. "It really shows his mental toughness to get through it and keep playing."
With both teams struggling to score, Fenwick went into the fourth quarter with a slim 39-36 lead. They went to work on the offensive end and jumped out to a 49-41 lead with under two minutes left after Pettigrew found teammate David Geiser in transition. Geiser stopped and converted a turnaround floater inside to give the Friars' their biggest advantage of the night.
However, DePaul Prep didn't go away. The Rams pulled the game within four points when Cameron Lewis stole the ball from Fenwick and converted an and one to make it 49-48.
Fenwick recovered on the next possession and escaped the press before Pettigrew heaved a full-court pass to Gabe Madej who quickly scored inside to give the Friars a 51-48 lead with 10.3 seconds left. The Rams called a timeout and put the game in the hands of Ty Johnson (12 points).
Johnson inbounded the ball to center Brian Mathews (12 points and eight rebounds) who handed the ball back off to Johnson. The Friars swarmed Johnson and denied him a clean look. Johnson stepped back, fired a three, and it went wide right.
Next night vs. Yorkville Christian
The Friars didn't have too much to relish their win versus DePaul Prep and took care of Yorkville Christian 72-62 on the road at Feb. 15.
Friars' Max Reese led the team with had 22 points and 19 rebounds. Pettigrew went for 15 points and five assists. Gieser and Madej both had 15 points and combined for 13 rebounds.
Fenwick has two more games before the start of the playoffs. The Friars face Loyola Academy on Feb. 21 at home and Taft on Feb. 25 on the road.