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Boys Basketball: Fenwick starts Catholic League tourney with win over St. Rita

2/16/14 Chicago-Fenwicks Scott Lindsey goes basket over St. Ritas BrandMcRoy. StaciTimonere/for Sun Times Media.

2/16/14 Chicago-Fenwicks Scott Lindsey goes to the basket over St. Ritas Brandon McRoy. Stacia Timonere/for Sun Times Media.

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Updated: March 18, 2014 6:30AM



Fenwick senior forward Dan Dwyer said the team came into Sunday’s game with something to prove to the conference and itself.

After finishing fourth in the Catholic North standings, the Friars started the league tournament with with a 72-65 win over Catholic South champion St. Rita at the University of Chicago.

“The kids needed this for their souls,” Fenwick coach Rick Malnati said.

Fenwick led by 18 in the first minute of the fourth and spent the rest of the quarter fighting off St. Rita’s comeback attempt, led by senior forward Vic Law and junior guard Charles Matthews.

The Friars (18-7) were able to keep the Mustangs (15-7) at a distance by going 19-for-24 from the foul in the final eight minutes. Fenwick finished 39-for-45 for the game.

“Fenwick did a great job,” said St. Rita coach Gary DeCesare, who was selected the coach of the year for the Catholic South. “They were one step ahead of our guys.”

For only the third game all season, the Friars had all of their players available. Senior guard and Northwestern recruit Scott Lindsey still isn’t 100 percent recovered from this past summer’s left leg injury, according to Malnati, but he finished with 15 points, 11 coming on free throws. Sophomore guard Mike Smith scored 17, and senior forward Matt Planek had 10 points and seven rebounds.

“We are not sure of our ceiling,” said Malnati, whose team is 3-0 with everybody healthy. “We haven’t played together long enough.”

Dwyer got Fenwick off to a good start by scoring nine of his game-high 23 points in the first quarter to stake the Friars to a 22-12 lead.

“I think it was my best game,” said Dwyer, who went 8-for-12 from the field and 7-for-7 from the line and added five rebounds. “This was a win against a great team.”

The Mustangs never got on track. They took nearly twice as many shots as the Friars, but they converted on only 37 percent of their tries.

Matthews and Law at least made it more interesting in the fourth. Matthews scored seven points of his 15 points in the first two minutes of the quarter. Law, who will join Lindsey at Northwestern, then scored nine of his 14 in the final two minutes. He also had 11 rebounds.

Senior guard Treston Forbes contributed 16 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.

“We have to look ourselves in the mirror and figure some things out,” DeCesare said. “We didn’t come out to play.”



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