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Fenton holds off late Ridgewood surge

12/12/2012, 7:38pm CST
By ERIC VAN DRIL

Fenton withstood a 17-2 fourth quarter Ridgewood run to hold off the hosts 49-46 in a pivotal Metro Suburban matchup Tuesday evening.


Norridge Tuesday 12.11.12. Ridgewood's Jaclyn Stroud (12) shoots in front of Fenton's Rachael Leschewski (21) during their game on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, in Norridge. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media

The Fenton girls basketball team seemed poised for a relaxed final quarter Tuesday night after Dana Fritz’s 3-point play gave the Bison a 12-point lead near the beginning of the fourth quarter.

But Ridgewood, a team which was 1-9 entering Tuesday night’s game, fought back with fury. The Rebels answered the sophomore’s 3-point play with a 17-2 run capped by senior Sladana Nikezic’s 3-pointer with 2:05 remaining in the game.

Despite having all the game’s momentum against them, the Bison rallied for a 49-46 victory by relying on senior Sidney Montano down the stretch. Montano scored a basket to cut the Rebels’ lead to 46-45 and then made the game-winning free throw with 28.7 seconds remaining.

“We definitely weren’t expecting it to be that close of a game,” said Montano, who scored 15 points and grabbed 17 rebounds for Fenton (8-2). “But once it did get close, we decided we had to really step it up and really show our full potential.”

Ridgewood (1-10, 0-4) relied on its senior backcourt to key its fourth-quarter comeback. Jackie Stroud, who scored a game-high 21 points, drained a pair of 3-pointers during the Rebels’ 17-2 run. Senior point guard Ines Grepo took a pair of rebounds coast-to-coast for easy layups during that stretch. Grepo finished with 11 points, six rebounds and five steals.

But in the last two minutes, Fenton’s ability to sink free throws – the Bison went 12-for-18 from the line while Ridgewood went 5-for-13 – was the difference in the game.

“The girls on Fenton beat us on the line, they did not beat us on the court,” Ridgewood coach Amanda LoBianco said.

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