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Fenwick’s frenzied offense struck again Monday, but for a change an opponent was able to match the Friars basket by basket.
Rolling Meadows junior guard Jackie Kemph scored a career-high 38 points on 12-of-23 shooting and converted 13-of-19 free throws to lead the No. 3 Mustangs to a manic-driven 87-83 victory over the No. 10 Friars at the McDonald’s Shootout in Villa Park.
Fenwick coach Dave Power has said previously that his offense is designed to physically punish opposing players, who are not used to keeping up at such a frantic pace.
Kemph, who never left the floor, and made nearly all of her baskets on driving layups, paid for the abuse afterward when she vomitted into a garbage can in the basement at Willowbrook. According to Power, Kemph isn’t the first opponent to lose their cookies after playing the Friars.
Power has heard from other coaches about an occasional playing getting ill after enduring the high-scoring pace. Usually coaches have told Power about how sore their players feel as the prepare to play their next game.
“I definitely expected a fast paced game,” said Kemph, whose coach scouted Fenwick’s 71-41 win over Barrington Saturday. “You have to do what needs to be done. That’s definitely the fastest we’ve (ever) played.”
Both teams have scored in the 90s this season. Monday’s combined score should rank as one of the highest totals for a single game in the history of the 23rd annual McDonald’s Shootout.
Meadows (20-1) won for the fourth consecutive time and outscored the Friars (17-3) 31-28 in the fourth quarter. Fenwick had its five-game winning streak snapped. Two of Fenwick’s losses this season have come against opposing players who have scored more than 30 points in the game.
“It’s a tough way to play, but it’s fun,” Power said. “We love it. We may never go back.”
Kemph had help from leading scorer Alexis Glasgow (20 points, six rebounds) and reserve Morgan Keller (season-high 15 points, 11 rebounds). Meadows made its first appearance in the shootout while Fenwick has appeared in every shootout since 1996.
Kemph had 20 points in the first half while scoring eight of the Mustangs’ 17 points in the first quarter. Fenwick scored eight of the game’s first 10 points and led 15-4 in the first four minutes.
“I’ll take Jackie Kemph on my side anytime,” Meadows coach Ryan Kirkorsky said. “She amazes me every day in practice -- her ability to finish. She is not like any boy or girl I’ve ever seen.”
Even Power raved about Kemph, who joined Joliet Catholic’s Nicole Ekhomu (36 points) as another high scorer during a rare Fenwick loss. The Friars’ last loss was 69-61 to Maine South at Dundee-Crown Dec. 28.
“(Kemph) was amazing though,” Power said. “She was the energizer bunny. We needed to slow her down. I told the girls (before the game) we would try to keep her at below 30. We didn’t do that.”
Power’s Insane Friar Posse nearly met its goal of firing 40 two-point shots and 40 3-point shots every game. Fenwick shot 28-of-39 twos and 13-for-44 threes. Meadows shot 32 for 66 from the field, but was only 3-for-14 on 3-pointers.
The Friars used only 10 players compared to its usual 12 to 13 while Meadows used only eight players. Four Fenwick players reached double figures scoring: Jade Owens (22), Jenny Mackowiak (season-high 18), Deja Cage (14) and Maya Garland (11).
Mackowiak made the biggest difference in the fourth quarter after Fenwick shot a stunning 4 for 23 in the third quarter to score only 11 points. Owens, the leading scorer, picked up her fourth foul less than a minute in to the fourth quarter, but managed to play the rest of the game.
Mackowiak made all five of her career-high 3-pointers in the final quarter. Meadows didn’t take its first lead until there was 6:43 to go in the third. Jenny Vliet converted a 3-point play to go ahead 45-44. Her layup and foul ended a 12-point run for the Mustangs. Fenwick responded with back-to-back 3-pointers.
“You have to stay positive,” Mackowiak said. “I knew we needed those (threes) to be able to win.”
The action heated up late in the fourth quarter when Garland even tumbled over the press table chasing after the ball. She got up in front of the bleachers and ran around the table to join the action, but the the rest of her teammates were able to score on the other end without her.
Mackowiak’s fourth three put the Friars ahead 76-74 with 2:50 remaining, but the Mustangs scored 10 consecutive points with help from threes by Kemph and Glasgow.
“It was an exciting game. I’m proud of our girls,” Power said. “I think we will learn from this. Everyone talks about their great schedule, but no one has a better one than ours.”