Prep basketball: Fenwick celebrates Senior Night with emphatic victory

MIDDLETOWN — Senior Night was a joy for Fenwick High School’s eight seniors and a positive springboard into the boys basketball postseason.

The Falcons closed the regular season in impressive fashion Monday, battering Clinton-Massie 67-48 before a large crowd at the FHS gym.

“Now we don’t want to lose at all. We think we should go far in the tournament,” said senior forward C.J. Napier, who contributed 16 points and eight rebounds to the victory. “I think we’ll keep bringing this same energy and be the same type of team.”


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Fenwick was coming off a poor performance in last Friday’s 56-38 loss to Alter. Monday’s makeup game was a complete reversal.

“I’m much happier than I was Friday,” Fenwick coach Pat Kreke said. “I thought the kids played well from start to finish tonight. We had times like every team where I was disappointed in a couple decisions we made, but for the most part, with all the senior distractions, I thought we played very solid for 32 minutes at both ends of the floor.”

A.J. Braun — a 6-foot-8 sophomore — was a force for Fenwick, totaling 18 points and 18 rebounds as Warren County topped Clinton County in this battle of Falcons.

“We had to come out and play tonight because the last game was terrible,” Braun said. “We clicked today. The chemistry was there.”

Fenwick (14-8) will begin Division II sectional play against Valley View at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Fairmont’s Trent Arena.

“It’s in our hands now,” Kreke said. “We need to play well. We can’t have letdowns. We can’t play like we did last Friday night. We have to just keep moving forward. That was the theme of tonight’s game. Let’s set the tone right now and move forward through the tournament.”

The hosts jumped out to a 12-1 lead and were never really challenged by Massie, which brought a 17-4 record into the contest, but played without leading scorer Thomas J. Myers.

Myers and Carsyn Valentine were both suspended. Massie coach Todd Cook said both should be available “in some capacity” for his team’s D-II sectional opener against Ross at 7 p.m. on Friday at Trent Arena.

“This was one of those games where you come out and the intensity wasn’t there right away,” Cook said. “They call it a trap game. You’re finishing the season with a game that was supposed to take place six weeks ago. Now we’re in the week of the tournament, and I think everyone was looking ahead to Ross on Friday.

“No excuses. That’s what I told them before the game. We’re here, so come out and play hard. Let’s get to 18-4 and not 17-5. But we didn’t do a good job early on. Defensively, they outmatched us. They had four 3s in the first half, which wasn’t bad. But we let them get to the basket.”

Brendan Lamb scored a team-leading 12 points for Massie. Daulton Wolfe chipped in nine points on a trio of 3-pointers.

With the 6-6 Myers sidelined, Massie didn’t have anybody that could match up with Braun down low. The 10th-grader responded with his fifth double-double of the year.

“Not a bad night at all,” Braun said. “I feel like I’ve really improved from last year and I’m looking to improve even more for next year. I just want to keep working and grinding every season.”

Kreke said the large margin of victory was tempered a bit by the fact that Massie is a much different team with Myers in the lineup.

“There’s no doubt he drives that team,” Kreke said. “We did a nice job regardless. I thought defensively we took them out of a lot of things.”

Travis Dahm had 11 points and Caleb Davis added nine for Fenwick. Dahm, Davis, Napier, Michael Boon, Sully Janeck, Jared Morris, Craig Schuermann and Thomas Vogelsang were honored during a pregame Senior Night ceremony.

This is Kreke’s 30th season at the helm, so he’s had to say goodbye to a lot of senior classes. He said they’re all special in their own way.

“When you spend four years with them and they go through your program and they work as hard as these kids do year-round, I appreciate so much the time and effort they put in,” Kreke said. “I’m proud of them. This was a great night for our seniors.”

Napier recently became the Greater Catholic League’s all-time rebounding leader. That record includes the big-school South Division.

“I’m a skinny guy, so to get in there and get a bunch of rebounds, it’s nice,” Napier said. “I’ve worked hard every summer and spring and fall just trying to be the best that I could be, and I think our team did the same thing. We’ve done a lot of good things since I’ve been here, but now we’ve got to finish it up.

“My teammates have been great. Coach Kreke’s been great. All the staff, the community … I mean, just look at this. It’s a Monday night and everybody came out to see us play. It’s been like that all four years. I couldn’t ask for more.”

He admitted it felt “pretty weird” to play his last game in the Fenwick gym.

“I’ll have a lot of memories, but it’s a little sad too,” Napier said. “All the seniors are close. This season’s brought us all even closer together, which is really cool. No matter what happens, we’re still going to be friends for life.”

Clinton-Massie 10-10-18-10—48

Fenwick 23-14-20-10—67

CLINTON-MASSIE (17-5): Daulton Wolfe 3 0 9; Brendan Lamb 4 4 12; Zach Chowning 3 0 7; Griffin Laake 2 0 4; Drew Settlemyre 2 1 5; Austin Faucett 0 2 2; Tate Olberding 2 3 7; Spencer Voss 1 0 2. Totals: 17-10-48

FENWICK (14-8): Caleb Davis 3 3 9; Jared Morris 1 0 3; Michael Boon 1 0 3; C.J. Napier 5 6 16; Travis Dahm 4 2 11; Thomas Vogelsang 1 2 5; Jordan Rucker 1 0 2; A.J. Braun 8 2 18. Totals: 24-15-67

3-pointers: C 4 (Wolfe 3, Chowning), F 4 (Morris, Vogelsang, Boon, Dahm)

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