Girls Basketball: Fenwick uses press to smother Maine West
Updated: December 28, 2011 3:25PM
Fenwick’s press is far from unbreakable, but it is relentless.
Maine West was the latest team to find that out, turning the ball over 35 times in Fenwick’s 80-41 quarterfinal victory Tuesday at the Dundee-Crown Charger Classic.
The Warriors (4-10), making their first quarterfinal appearance since 2007 after upsetting Prospect 54-53 on Monday, actually broke Fenwick’s press with regularity in the first half and converted several fast-break layups.
Sophomore center Brittany Collins made all seven of her shots and scored 14 of her 16 points in the first half for Maine West, but Fenwick still led 40-26.
“Really in the first half we weren’t doing what we needed to do,” Fenwick guard Jade Owens said. “We weren’t rotating on the traps and everything and I think in the second half, particularly in the third quarter, we really knew what we need to do. Coach [Dave] Power told us what we need to do at the halftime, so we stepped it up.”
Owens, a 5-7 sophomore, played a leading role in the Friars outscoring Maine West 26-6 in the third quarter to blow the game open. She scored 10 of her game-high 18 points during the period along with all four of her rebounds, two assists and two steals.
“I feel like I stepped it up in the third quarter and knocked down some easy shots that I’d been missing earlier,” Owens said. “I’ve felt I’ve experienced some days when nothing’s really falling and then other days some of my shots are falling, so it’s hot and cold.”
Power had nothing but praise for his second-year floor leader.
“Jade took over because she was finishing very nicely tonight,” Power said. “It was great to see her finish like that. She controlled the flow.
“I think Jade is one of the best point guards in the state. For a sophomore she plays beyond her years. It was nice to see her get the offense going tonight.”
Center Meredith Boardman had 13 points and seven rebounds for Fenwick and stepped up her defensive effort after intermission, limiting the talented Collins to one basket.
“The press was really hard to break and we just lost all of our momentum and kind of just gave up in the second half,” said Collins, who also had 11 rebounds and three blocks. “I think we could have beaten it every single time. We practice it but we just weren’t doing what we were supposed to do.
“[Beating Prospect] gave us confidence and we certainly had the confidence in the first half [tonight] and we just lost it in the second half.”
Ashley Collins scored 10 points and Amanda Hoye six for Maine West. Ten players scored for Fenwick, with Marek Burchett tallying 10 of her 12 points in the first half when the contest was still in doubt. Reserves Kendall Boardman and Maya Garland added nine and eight points, respectively, in a game that matched two of the top five winningest coaches in state history. Power and Maine West coach Derril Kipp have combined for over 1,500 wins and four state titles.
“[The Warriors] do a good job of running their half-court offense,” Power said. “If you don’t get them to turn the ball over a little bit they can really work clock and we were afraid of that.
“Sometimes we get broken but what happens is they don’t make shots. I don’t think they were used to playing that speed.”
Fenwick will face New Trier in the semifinals in a rematch of a 2010 semifinal that the Friars won 84-51. New Trier defeated Evanston 65-47.