Spectacular season continues as boys basketball dominates Niles West

As playoffs near, Trevians continue surge with tenth-straight victory on Senior Night


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The New Trier varsity boys basketball team, pictured, has led a remarkable season being ranked fourth in the state and with a 25-3 record

On Feb. 1, boys varsity basketball defeated Niles West with an impressive 54-35 home win, tying Glenbrook South for the conference lead.

In a game where the Trevians Held a much bigger lead for the bulk of it, New Trier was in command on both sides of the ball. This began with starting senior forward and Dartmouth commit Jackson Munro’s shots in the paint and blocks on defense.

Whether we’re playing a ranked team or a team that’s .500, they’re serious about success and they want to win more than anybody.

— Scott Fricke

“We knew they like to shoot threes, first they want to drive then they want to kick out for threes,” says Munro, who gave credit to his coach’s game plan. “We knew if we were going to stop them we had to pack the paint and get out to shooters, and I did a good job helping when people did get beat.”

Defense was a priority for the Trevians, who have given up slightly over 40 points per game this season, but 71.5 points on average in losses. Head coach Scott Fricke stated how he hoped to give up closer to 37 or 38 points per game, and New Trier did just that with solid perimeter and interior defense.

“Our defensive philosophy is keeping people on the sidelines, and we were letting them get to the middle,” says Fricke regarding their last matchup versus Niles West, which they also won. “Tonight we did a better job keeping them out of the paint.”

This win marks ten straight on a season where New Trier moves from seven to four in the IHSA 4A class rankings. With this success, New Trier has faced greater competition throughout the season, but they continue to show up against higher-ranked schools.

“We’re playing the most difficult schedule that we’ve ever played, and I’ve been here for 25 years,” says Fricke. 

The 25-3 record for the Trevians is remarkable considering the several top-five teams they’ve faced and rosters featuring top commits like Yorkville Christian’s Jaden Schutt, who committed to Duke as the state’s best shooter and possibly top prospect. Yet New Trier still beat them by 16, demonstrating just how dynamic the team is.

Starting guard Noah Shannon details how playing this year has been different than others.

“I’ve never really experienced this before because last year there weren’t that many people at our games,” says Shannon. “To be able to play in big games in front of a lot of people in a loud gym is a lot of fun and it just makes the game more exciting.”

Although this year’s team has looked unbeatable for most of the season, they did struggle Dec. 9 versus Glenbrook South, who is currently ranked third in the IHSA rankings. They lost by 20 with a score of 73-53. Despite this, New Trier came out with their biggest statement win of the year on Jan. 27, beating the same GBS team 51-45.

The Trevians made it a priority to overcome these earlier problems and give GBS their only conference loss.

“We’ve been working a lot on rebounding and defense, and once we cleaned that up in our communication, I think the game just got a lot easier for every one of us,” says Shannon.

The roster is filled with talent, including Munro, junior Jake Fiegan, who made last year’s Central Suburban League All-Conference Team, and senior Finn Cohan, who was praised by his coach for his improvements made in practice. But the foundation of the team is good chemistry and communication on the court.

“I think our team chemistry is one of the best in the state,” says Shannon, “We’ve known each other forever, and over the summer we would always be working together at a basketball warehouse in Northbrook and we continue to do that even now.”

A first-ever state championship remains the goal for the Trevians, who haven’t lost since Dec. 30, when they lost 69-66 to second-ranked Simeon. 

“If you see who we played against and how we fared against them, I feel like we can compete and beat anybody,” says Fricke. “Is it going to be a difficult path? Yes. So we’ve got to be on our game and focused every game that we play.”