2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 12/16/2013 9:41 PM

Batavia's Fruendt closing in on Issel's record

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  • Batavia's Liza Fruendt (5) shoots and scores in front of Geneva's Sidney Santos (32) during Friday's game in Batavia.

      Batavia's Liza Fruendt (5) shoots and scores in front of Geneva's Sidney Santos (32) during Friday's game in Batavia.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer


Katie Issel, the niece of NBA Hall of Famer and one of the all-time Batavia greats Dan Issel, holds the Batavia girls basketball record with 1,593 career points.

Current Batavia senior Liza Fruendt has that record squarely in her sights.

Fruendt entered the season with 1,155 points. After scoring a career-high 37 points against Proviso East at the Oswego Hoops for Troops Tournament Monday night, Fruendt has scored 242 points in Batavia's first 10 games -- a 24.2 scoring average that gives her 1,397 in her career.

At this rate, Fruendt will pass Issel sometime in early January. If not sooner.

She certainly made an impression on Naperville Central coach Andy Nussbaum Saturday at the Oswego tourney, scoring 20 points. It was the eighth time in nine games she has hit that mark.

Nussbaum compared Fruendt to former Bartlett star Lindsay Schrader and current Wheaton Warrenville South standout and DePaul commit Meghan Waldron as the best player the Redhawks have played against the past 10 years.

"This girl and Meghan, we'll take even bets if they play one-on-one," Nussbaum said. "She was very good. And she's got redwood trees for teammates."

Those would be posts Erin Bayram and Hannah Frazier. With that height inside and Fruendt driving, sophomore guard Bethany Orman provides another important piece of the puzzle. She made three 3-pointers and scored 14 points against the Redhawks.

"I definitely think if our posts do well and me and Liza do well our team can do some damage on some teams," Orman said.

Batavia coach Kevin Jensen dropped two nonconference games from the schedule in order to play a third tournament, which the Bulldogs will do next week when it plays at the Montini Christmas Classic.

In January, Batavia will play Joliet Catholic at the McDonald's Shootout at Willowbrook.

"I don't think I can schedule anything tougher between here (Oswego) and Montini and McDonald's," Jensen said. "If that can't prepare us I don't know what would. No knock on anyone else, but this (Oswego field) is a much higher level than the last two years."

Back on track: That's how Geneva felt following a 22-point win over St. Charles East on Friday, quite a contrast to its feeling the previous Friday losing to Batavia.

With point guard Michaela Loebel back in the lineup this year after an ACL injury four games into her junior season, Vikings coach Sarah Meadows said Loebel is starting to look more and more like her old self each game.

"Michaela was a rebound manic tonight," Meadows said of the 6 rebounds Loebel tracked down against the Saints as point guard.

"Every game I think she gets a little more confidence, a little more confidence. That drive is coming back. You didn't see it very much at the beginning of the year. Now she's getting more comfortable."

Double the fun: Friday marked the second straight boys/girls doubleheader for Geneva, first against Batavia followed by St. Charles East.

Three more of these doubleheaders are coming in the new year against St. Charles North, Glenbard North and Batavia again.

"It's a really fun atmosphere," Geneva junior Janie McCloughan said. "Especially there's a lot of times our schedules conflict with the boys schedules, then when we play the same night we get to see them and they get to see us and there's a lot of support and good energy here."

Jack of all trades: It's not uncommon for a player to be able to play multiple positions.

Abryia Zeitz has taken that versatility to another level.

The West Aurora senior has played all five spots on the court for the Blackhawks, who take an 8-1 record into Tuesday night's game against East Aurora.

Zeitz, who is considering Milwaukee School of Engineering among her college options, said she likes being able to play so many spots effectively even though it can get confusing on occasion.

"There are times where I trip up during the game like they are half court pressing and I'm supposed to be in the middle and I feel like I'm a guard," Zeitz said. "After a quick reminder I remember. It's also having experience. There's been years I've been more of a guard than a post and years I've been more of a post than a guard. This year is kind of equal."

Zeitz, a four-year varsity player, gave Yorkville a dose of her varied skills last week, scoring several baskets in the lane while also stepping back to make two early 3-pointers on her way to a game-high 23 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field.

"We use her wherever we need her," West Aurora coach Connie Siljendahl said. "She's comfortable with playing a guard and comfortable playing the post. At practice she practices three, sometimes four positions. She can do all five positions. She's used to it. We've been doing it since she was younger. She just goes with the flow and doesn't care. She just wants to be a team player."

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