First-year Fenwick coach Rick Malnati has a long history at the Proviso West Holiday tournament.
But for the first time, he’ll be on the Fenwick bench instead of New Trier’s.
New Trier and Fenwick are on opposites sides of this year’s tournament bracket. The Friars (6-2) open against Von Steuben at 5:15 p.m. Dec. 26, while New Trier plays Wheaton Academy at 5 p.m. Monday in the second year of the expanded 32-team tournament.
“There are a lot of good teams. You have to be ready to play every possession. That’s important at Proviso West,” Malnati said. “It’s a unique atmosphere. It’s similar to a state [tournament] atmosphere.”
Malnati went 27-19 from 1996-2007 at Proviso West as New Trier’s coach. Former New Trier star Matt Lottich was an all-tournament selection for Malnati from 1998-99. No other New Trier player in 35 years at Proviso West has been a back-to-back all-tournament pick.
Malnati’s best finish at Proviso West was runner-up in 2001 when Young won 77-70 in the championship game. The Trevians placed fourth at Proviso West in his final season and took third in 1997.