Jake Fiegen joined New Trier varsity basketball as a sophomore and quickly earned a reputation as a marksman.
As opposing defenses schemed for Fiegen’s prolific perimeter ability, he knew he needed a well-rounded game to consistently put the ball in the basket for the Trevians.
One thousand points later, mission accomplished.
“A really important part of it is having a versatile game, being able to expand your game,” Fiegen said. “… This year I really expanded my game and that allowed me to score at all three levels. It makes it hard for opposing teams to take you out.”
Fiegen’s versatility was on display Saturday, Jan. 28, when the Cornell recruit’s 21 points came from all over the floor in a 58-42 win against DePaul Prep at Evanston High School as part of the 12th War on the Shore charity shootout.
Fiegen converted at the rim, free-throw line and three-point line on the evening, and his clinical pull-up jump shot in the fourth quarter gave his team a 10-point lead and more than 1,000 points as a Trevian.
“It means a lot,” Fiegen said. “A lot of hard work went into getting myself to the point where I could get to 1,000 points. There are a lot of good memories with teammates and coaches the past three years.”
The 1,000-point club is exclusive. Fiegen is only the third Trevian to reach the milestone this century, following in the footsteps of Matt Lottich (2000) and Connor Boehm (2012).
Fiegen’s big weekend began Friday, Jan. 27, when he racked up 30 points as the Trevians discarded visiting Glenbrook South 64-51 to regain control of the Central Suburban South.
It was a quick turnaround as New Trier kickstarted the War on the Shore Saturday afternoon.
The Trevians trailed by four, 17-13, after the first quarter, but used a 10-0 second-quarter burst to grab the lead. New Trier led 29-27 at the half.
The Trevs’ advantage was eight by the fourth quarter, when they shifted into a 2-3 defense and stymied the Rams.
“I don’t think they were expecting that and they really struggled to score against it,” said Fiegen, who praised teammate Tyler Van Gorp for his post play as the anchor of the zone.
DePaul did not convert a field goal for the first six-plus minutes of the final quarter. All the while, New Trier iced the game to pick up win No. 21 on the season.
Event co-host Loyola Academy took the court for Game 2 against Bolingbrook, ranked No. 12 in the Chicago Sun-Times Power 25.
Ramblers coach Tom Livatino was vital in founding the event that has raised tens of thousands of dollars for the Danny Did Foundation, which fights to prevent deaths related to seizures and epilepsy.
“The Danny Did Foundation is very, very close to us at Loyola,” Livatino said. “… It’s amazing what they have done.”
Coming off a hard-fought win (39-36 vs. DePaul Prep) on Friday, Jan. 27, the Ramblers were a step behind their normal intensity the next day, Livatino said, resulting in a 60-52 loss to the Raiders.
The Raiders’ 60 points were the most given up by Loyola all season.
“We didn’t play with the energy or intensity or the juice that is required to really be our best,” he said. “We emptied the tank on Friday night, which was clearly the most important game of the weekend, a conference game, and got a great win.”
After a slow start, Loyola took a 30-29 lead into halftime and only trailed by one point, 45-44, going into the final quarter. But the Raiders finished off the Ramblers with a 15-point fourth.
Miles Boland led Loyola with 18 points while Andrew Hollerich added 11 and Alex Engro 9. Brendan Loftus grabbed a team-high 8 rebounds.
Livatino lamented his team’s lack of success in back-to-back games, but the Jan. 27-28 set was the Ramblers’ last one of the season.
The Ramblers finish the regular season with road games at De la Salle (Feb. 3) and St. Rita (Feb. 10) and home tests against Providence St. Mel (Feb. 7) and Lake View (Feb. 13). St. Rita marks another ranked opponent for the Ramblers, who will go into the postseason battle-tested in mid-February.
“I think you always get better by playing good teams,” Livatino said, “even in situations where you’re forced to dig deep. That’s crucial to getting better.
“And that’s what guys want to play in. They want to be in an atmosphere that’s cool. So (good competition) gets you better and helps you build memories. I think that’s important.”
In the final game of the event, Evanston downed St. Pat’s 54-38.