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New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

Boys basketball looks to follow up last year’s historic playoff run

Surrounded by a cast of familiar faces, coach Scott Fricke will look to lead the Trevians to another run down-state, following the winningest season in program history
Rob Lange
Varsity boys basketball players and coaches after a 58-30 victory vs. North Chicago on Jan. 29

Editor’s Note: Logan Feller is one of the editors-in-chief of the New Trier News and is mentioned in this article. He was not involved in the writing, reporting, or editing of this article. 

For many basketball programs, following a season filled with the most wins in a single season and the best playoff finish in 50 years can be difficult. For New Trier High School, a second straight season of this success seemed ambitious, factoring in the loss of three starters and the all time leading scorer, Jake Fiegan. 

But the Trevians used their experience and cohesiveness to race out to a 22-6 record and 6-2 Central Suburban League record, No. 2 behind Glenbrook North High School. 

On January 23, the Trevians defeated Farragut Career Academy 67-44 on Senior Night, with seniors Logan Feller, Ian Brown, Will Leemaster, Nick Hielscher, and Eli Garber honored. 

“Getting through four years of the program is not easy. It’s a tribute to their hardwork and dedication,” head coach Scott Fricke said.

The engine that makes the team go is senior point guard and Johns Hopkins commit Feller. While Feller may not lead the team in points or rebounds, his leadership on the court is evident, living up to his nickname: “the floor general.” 

Feller does a great job of managing the pace of the game, knowing when to speed things up or slow it down in a possession, most notably against Kenwood Academy in the inaugural Suburban/City Deep Dish MLK Day Classic hosted by New Trier. As the Broncos looked to speed up the Trevians with their high flying offense, they were bogged down by New Trier’s patience, as the Trevs continually passed up a good shot for a great one.

”Not only is he incredibly important this year, but he was incredibly important last year, for the team that went downstate. He’s a guy that just makes everybody better, he’s the most unselfish guy in the world,” Fricke said. “He’s been so important; he does everything for us.” 

Coach Fricke is one of the most decorated coaches still around in the IHSA today, surpassing the 300-win mark last January. Into his 16th year as head coach, Fricke has led the program to seven regional championships and most recently, a No. 3 finish in 2023. 

Since collecting an 11-15 record in his initial season as coach, Fricke has pieced together 15 straight winning seasons, including surpassing 30 wins each of the last two years, setting the single season wins record in 2022, only to break it the following year. 

It’s a really good mix of levels.

— Coach Scott Fricke

“Our main goal is to win 30 games and go down state again,” sophomore point guard Chris Kirkpatrick said.

Excellency has remained consistent for Fricke and the Trevs in recent years, but these feats are impressive nonetheless, as many programs around the state would hang their hats on a regional championship. 

“He pushes us [young guys] hard, helping us to get better everyday in practice,” sophomore forward Danny Houlihan said.

The flood of youth for the Trevians has provided a well-needed spark for the team, but the faces are familiar, with Kirkpatrick’s two older brothers, Andrew (‘18) and Josh (‘22), having started on past New Trier teams. 

Neither brother led the team in scoring their sophomore year though, let alone cracking the starting lineup. Something that is certainly there for Chris is confidence, a word he referred to when asked about the challenge of playing significant minutes as a sophomore in a conference as competitive as the CSL South division. 

“You need to have that confidence in yourself, and that next-play mentality,” Kirkpatrick said. 

While the team may be one of the younger teams Fricke has coached in recent years, he doesn’t view it as a disadvantage.

”It’s just a good combination. I wouldn’t say we’re that young,” coach Fricke said. “It’s a really good mix of levels.” 

The mix of youth and experience will be intriguing to see as the Trevs head into a crucial conference stretch and state playoffs.

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