2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 12/8/2012 8:19 PM

Fremd steps it up, in unison

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Unfortunately, Fremd's leading scorer and rebounder Haley Gorecki had to watch from the sidelines this weekend with a sprained ankle.

That meant the Vikings girls basketball team needed a few other players to step up.

How about the whole team?

The Vikings won their second game in as many days without their standout sophomore by posting a 61-27 victory over visiting Jacobs on Saturday.

Coach Dave Yates watched his bench score nearly half of the team's points.

Starter Ashley McConnell led the starters with 13 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals while junior Hannah LaBarge broke into double figures with 10 points.

"At beginning of the season I said that were going to have good depth," said Yates, who played 15 girls as his team improved to 7-2. "And I think it showed this game.

"You can see any girl 6 through 15 can do a good job."

Junior Shannon Wittel (8 points), junior Erica Simios (4) and senior Sydney Sek (4) came off the bench in the first half to contribute points.

Not to mention the work of Brianna Lewis in the backcourt. The freshman reserve guard handed out 5 assists and 3 steals.

"When she is in the game, it's instant action," Yates said. "The more deep we can get, the more it's going to help us.

"Obviously our starters (senior Marilyn Lortz, senior Bernie Williams, senior Catherine Ernst, McConnell and Gorecki) get all the credit, but all our kids push each other on a daily basis, and that helps both ways. The starters push the reserves and vice versa. It makes for a great environment."

And it was a great team win Saturday as freshman Erin Lenahan (8 points), sophomore Emily Bieda (5 points, including a back-to-back 3-point play and 16-footer) and sophomore Katie Zara all contributed points in the second half.

Jacobs (0-9) kept things close early. A 17-footer by Kelly Grady and driving scoop shot by senior Payton Berg got the Golden Eagles to within 12-8 with 2:35 left in the first quarter.

But Fremd shook free by going on a 19-3 run which ended on Sek's driving layup which made it 31-11 with 3:12 left in the half.

"Fremd is a great team," said Golden Eagles coach Joe Benoit, who like Yates, played basketball at St. Edward High school in Elgin. "Obviously they were missing Gorecki, but Fremd is Fremd. You've got to give them credit.

"But I am proud of my team. Our girls don't quit and I really enjoy coaching them. We will continue to work hard and like I tell them, good things will happen."

Sophomore Jennifer Barnec had a good offensive game with 11 points and a pair of 3-pointers in the first half. Senior Victoria Tamburrino chipped in 6 points for Jacobs while sophomore Lauren Van Vlierbergen had 4.

"I thought Jackie Bartolai (5-foot-11 senior) came in for the second half and really made her presence known in the post," Benoit said. "She really battled.

"And Lauren Van Vlierbergen's defensive pressure up top was great. She's an energy kid out there."

The Eagles will begin play in the Fox Valley Conference on Tuesday against McHenry.

"The rough patch is over," said Benoit, who is assisted by former Palatine basketball and softball standout Kristy Freeman. "I'll match our schedule against any team in terms of difficulty "Im really proud of our kids. As you can see, they fight from end line to end line as if it were a 1-point game all the way.

"Now we will prepare for the tough Fox Valley Conference. There won't be any easy games but I've seen improvement over the last nine games and we'll try to stay in a positive direction."

The Vikings will do the same, hoping to get Gorecki back by week's end when they travel to the Sterling Shootout.

"We're just a hungry 1-1 team in our conference," said Yates of the Mid-Suburban West, which Fremd has won the last three years. "We're trying to get back in the thick of things."

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