Fenton continues strong start with 20-point win over Larkin

Fenton guard Xavior Gonzalez says that he plans to “cherish every moment” of his senior year.

Chances are, if the Bison keep playing the way they have been all season, he’ll have plenty of magical moments to remember.

Tuesday night in Bensenville, Fenton defeated visiting Larkin 67-47 in an Upstate Eight matchup, improving to 8-1 overall and 4-0 in conference.

The Bison led at halftime 44-10.

“It’s very rewarding playing with these guys,” said Gonzalez of his teammates. “Working hard every day in practice and not taking any day for granted. Just keeping my head up no matter what the outcome and staying on the grind.”

Fenton takes the court with 5 senior starters, and coach Chaz Taft said they’ve been together since “about the sixth grade.”

“It’s still early,” said Taft, “but we’re just playing like we play, trying to get after it defensively, and offensively trying to share the ball.”

Gonzalez scored a game-high 22 points, while classmate Alejandro Diaz tallied 15.

“I really credit these two guys (Gonzalez and Diaz),” said Taft.

“You see a lot of high school kids (these days) go to the transfer portal thinking that the grass is always greener on the other side. These two guys are making Fenton a special place right now and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Larkin competed with intensity the entire game, and came out after intermission to outscore Fenton in the second half 37-23.

“They played hard,” said Royals coach Deryn Carter of his team, “and I give them a lot of credit.

“We’ve just got to be better in the first half. Taking care of the ball has been a huge issue for us and we’ve got to get that corrected.”

Carter added that he’s not surprised at all that Fenton has been on a hot streak in the early part of the season.

“We’ve known this was coming for a couple years with them,” said Carter.

“Coach Taft had a young group two years ago, and last year they were knocking on the door. Now they’re the rabbit we’re going to be chasing. He (Taft) has done a heck of a job and so have the kids.”

Larkin kept pace with the Bison early, and after Royals’ 6-2 senior guard Logan Leaver hit two long 3s, the score was 6-6.

Then Fenton went on a 38-4 run the remainder of the opening two quarters, with many of their points coming off of steals and runout layups.

Gonzalez and Diaz nailed back-to-back 3 pointers to open the second half, and they exited the game with 6:40 remaining in the third quarter as both teams substituted freely in the final 2 quarters.

Andre Jones and DeAngelo Mister led Larkin with 8 points apiece.

Miguel Sanchez finished with 7 points for Fenton, while Damian Harnish pitched in with 6 points.

Gonzalez added that it sometimes crosses his mind that it’s the final prep season for he and many of his teammates, but he doesn’t dwell on it.

“I think about that sometimes,” he said, “but I just like to live in the moment and play.

“I want to do as much as I can and not waste any time at all. Keep moving forward and (hopefully) end up with a championship.”

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