DePaul Prep keeps its cool, beats Fenwick to punch a ticket to Chipotle title game

Loyola recruit TY Johnson scored 17 and his teammates Rasheed Bello and Jabari Sawyer each added nine points.

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DePaul Prep’s Rasheed Bello (3) drives teh ball to the next against Fenwick’s Gabe Madej (11).

DePaul Prep’s Rasheed Bello (3) drives teh ball to the next against Fenwick’s Gabe Madej (11).

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

It was the sight that no team wants to see as the final seconds are ticking off the clock: Fenwick senior Bryce Hopkins, possibly the most unstoppable force in the state, with the ball in his hands and a chance to win the game.

DePaul Prep survived. Hopkins lost the ball and it wound up with Rams senior TY Johnson. The Loyola recruit slammed it home on the other end of the court to give DePaul Prep a 45-42 victory and a spot in Saturday night’s Chipotle Clash of Champions title game against Evanston.

Johnson had a dunk ricochet off the rim on Friday against Young. But he still didn’t have any second thoughts about putting a fitting exclamation point on the victory against the Friars.

“I was a little upset about that one,” Johnson said. “I knew this was my chance when I had the breakaway and the court was open. I just had to put it home and leave my statement here and make my mark.”

Johnson scored 17 and his teammates Rasheed Bello and Jabari Sawyer each added nine for the Rams (13-2). Sawyer hasn’t garnered many headlines in this short season but his tenacity and dependability are a huge part of DePaul Prep’s success.

“The key to everything for us is to move the ball,” Sawyer said. “We need to pass and cut and move and not play one on five ball. That’s what we did today.”

Hopkins, a Kentucky recruit, scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Junior Denium Juette added 12 points and four boards for the Friars (13-3).

Fenwick knocked off DePaul Prep by 12 in Oak Park on March 5.

“We came out sluggish that game,” Sawyer said. “We weren’t like ourselves. I feel like today we have more of a team effort. Everybody can get them locked in.”

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