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Fourth quarter dooms Geneva at Fenwick
By Kevin McGavin | Daily Herald Correspondent
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Published: 1/24/2013 12:22 AM

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It was a three-plus minute stretch the Geneva girls basketball team would like to play over in its nonconference game against Fenwick.

After trading baskets against the Friars to start the fourth quarter, Geneva was hit with a haymaker in the form of a 16-0 run that decisively made the last tie of the game academic.

Fenwick (18-3) never looked back in posting a 78-63 win in Oak Park.

“We worked our butts off the first three quarters,” said Geneva post Sami Pawlak, who scored 16 points and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds before fouling out late in the fourth quarter. “It was our best game of the season. We knew they were going to take a lot of shots. They average almost 80 points a game.”

Maggie Reilly hit two 3-pointers during the Friars’ unanswered blitz that turned a 51-51 game into a 67-51 Fenwick lead.

“Our main goal is to push the ball up the court as fast as possible,” Reilly said of the Friars’ high-octane attack. “We look to find the hot hand. We were just clicking (during the run).”

Geneva (12-10) fought back from an 8-point second-quarter deficit to take a lead of as much as four in the third quarter; the Vikings, who trailed 38-32 at the break, outscored the Friars 17-9 in the third quarter.

Abby Novak scored 10 of her 16 points after the intermission to tie Pawlak for team- and game-scoring honors.

But Fenwick, which scored 23 points in the second quarter, erupted once again in the final eight minutes.

Eight different players would ultimately find the range for Fenwick, which doused Geneva with 29 points on 9-for-14 field-goal shooting in the fourth quarter.

With a combination of a debilitating full-court press that caused multiple Geneva miscues and deadly perimeter shooting, the Friars gradually assumed command.

“I think we were tired,” Pawlak said.

“We just weren’t getting out to their shooters,” Geneva coach Sarah Meadows said. “Then we couldn’t beat their press. The momentum (from the third quarter) is gone. That’s the fastest game we have played all year.”

Kelly Gordon was the third player in double figures for Geneva; the senior was effective inside with 11 points.

Bench production was heavily in favor of Fenwick as well.

Deja Cage scored 11 points for Fenwick, whose reserves outscored their counterparts from Geneva 29-9.

Jade Owens’ 16 points led four Fenwick players in double figures.

“We love these (high-profile) games, Pawlak said.