Batavia found a new way to win a game Saturday in the third place game at the Oswego Hoops for Troops Tournament -- one the Bulldogs don't really want to use again.
Senior Erin Bayram went down just 14 seconds into the game. She had to be helped from the court and never returned with an ankle injury.
Rich South did go on to win the rebounding battle without the 6-2 Bayram in the game, and Batavia was further hurt when fellow post Hannah Frazier went to the bench in foul trouble.
Batavia still managed to lead comfortably most of the game, holding Rich South to 25 percent shooting and riding another big offensive night from Liza Fruendt for a 51-35 victory.
"Credit Madeline Slater had a bucket in there, Jessica Koch got in there and did some things for us," Batavia coach Kevin Jensen said. "Everybody kind of stepped up and did their role if they needed to play for 7 minutes or 7 seconds. It was a little scary without her (Bayram)."
Bayram's injury came on the first possession of the game. She went to the floor in obvious pain, a scary situation for any player but especially considering Bayram suffered an ACL injury two years ago in a game against St. Charles East.
"It definitely takes away a different dynamic and her being my best friend, you still have to try to focus," Fruendt said. "She's all right and we just adjusted a little differently and made sure we were still playing our game."
Rich South (7-5) ended up outrebounding Batavia 41-36.
"It hurt," Jensen said of missing Bayram, adding he is not sure if she will be back for Monday's 9:45 a.m. opener at the Montini Tournament.
"I think sometimes she wishes she had a few more points. I told her I don't care about that. She's been playing well lately getting rebounds. Our defense is improving and improving. Her spacing and knowledge of basketball, she does good things even if she doesn't score 15 points a game. She's getting rebounds, she's getting deflections. She's 6-2 in the middle of our zone or man 'D.' You can't replace that."
After Bethany Orman scored the first two baskets for Batavia (10-2) on baseline moves, Fruendt heated up with consecutive 3-pointers to close the first quarter with Batavia up 14-7.
The Stars couldn't buy a basket, making just 2 field goals in each of the first three quarters on just 18 percent shooting (6 of 34).
Fruendt, who along with Frazier made the all-tournament team, had 16 points by halftime as Batavia opened a 24-13 lead. Batavia took its biggest lead at 33-13 with a 9-0 run to start the third quarter and led 38-21 going to the fourth.
Rich South cut into the lead in the fourth quarter but never got closer than 41-32. Fruendt capped her 32-point effort with 4 free throws and a layup after dribbling in and out of multiple Rich South defenders while running down the clock.
"I thought for awhile we were there but you cannot give her an inch," Rich South coach Brian Mays said of Fruendt who made five 3-pointers. "She's a good player, I take nothing from her. I think in the end our guards were tired. She wore them out."
Frazier added 9 points and 10 rebounds while Orman chipped in 7 points.
Fruendt finished the 4 games at the tournament with 108 points -- a 27-point per game average while playing through a sore right ankle that has kept her out of practice lately. Her season scoring average sits at 24.5 heading into a tournament next week at Montini that Batavia has been pointing to.
"Just go in and play to our abilities and play with the top teams we know we can compete with and get to the next level of beating them," Fruendt said. "Just show people what we have and go from there."