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.
Phillips junior defensive tackle recruit Queneil Morrison (6-foot-2, 300 pounds) gave Northern Illinois University his verbal commitment Saturday afternoon. Morrison, who is in DeKalb attending the Huskies spring game, told head coach Rod Carey his decision.
"I committed to NIU," Morrison said. "I just like NIU and it's a good school and a good program. I also really like the people at NIU and it's feel like a great place fort me."
Morrison, who had offers from Toledo and Bowling Green, was starting to draw increased recruiting looks from several FBS schools this spring.
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Why commit this early to the NIU Huskies?
"I just really like NIU and I also didn't want to lose my opportunity that I have at NIU by waiting too long," Morrison said.
Morrison is now the fourth in-state verbal commitment to the Huskies' 2018 Class, joining Andrew defensive end Mike DeHaan, Plainfield East defensive end Jack Sullivan and Maine South running back Fotis Kokosioulis. Earlier this week, Danville junior offensive tackle Julian Pearl (6-foot-7, 245 pounds), who was the first 2018 commitment for the Huskies, backed out and gave Illinois his commitment after he was offered a scholarship earlier this week.
Glenbard North three-star ranked defensive back Tyrik Henderson (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) has given Minnesota and head coach PJ Fleck his verbal commitment.
"The culture that Coach Fleck is bringing to Minnesota is something that fits me as a player and as a young man growing up in this world," Henderson told Rivals.com's Midwest Recruiting Expert Josh Helmholdt. "Coach Fleck will not only teach me the game but he and his staff will teach me the way of (life) and how to succeed the right way.
"I know it's a little ways away from home but we have more than enough close family in Minnesota and my parents still wouldn't miss a beat when coming up for games. Minnesota is on the rise and I'm not missing this Boat, it's my time to hop on and get Rowing. Ski-U-Mah."
Henderson is now the Gopher second known State of Illinois verbal commitment in the Class of 2018 and the eleventh verbal commitment overall. Henderson joins Marist three-star ranked defensive tackle Elijah Teague who gave Minnesota his verbal commitment back in late February.
Henderson's decision is yet another example of recruits giving earlier and earlier verbal commitments. Out of the Rivals.com's Post-Season Class of 2018 State of Illinois Top 25 recruit rankings 11 of the top 12 ranked players are already verbally committed.