Fenwick will play for its first boys basketball state championship after the Friars beat Bloomington, 67-52, on Friday in the first Class 3A IHSA state semifinal in Peoria.
Taking a 30-23 lead into halftime, Fenwick (30-4) held off a Bloomington run in the third quarter as they re-gained control and pushed the lead back into double-digits in the fourth quarter.
Freshman D.J. Steward continued his postseason ascension into stardom as he finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and three assists to pace Fenwick. Steward was 10-for-21 from the field on Friday afternoon. Senior Jamal Nixon also had a strong game for Fenwick as he finished with 18 points and nine rebounds while senior Jacob Keller had eight points, eight assists and seven rebounds.
Bloomington (26-5) was led by sophomore Chris Payton as he led the Purple Raiders with 21 points and nine rebounds. Patrick Fisher also had 10 points for Bloomington.
Fenwick has now won 17 consecutive games as they are in their first downstate appearance since 1998.
The Friars have not lost to a Class 3A team all season as they advance to Saturday's Class 3A state championship game against Morgan Park. That Class 3A state championship game can be viewed live on CSN at approximately 12:45 p.m. as it will follow the Class 3A third-place game.