The Batavia girls basketball team is evidently not accustomed to playing a holiday tournament game on a Monday morning.
"We had a five-minute run where we weren't awake," Batavia coach Kevin Jensen said. "After that, I was pretty pleased (with their play)."
The Bulldogs spotted Zion-Benton a 15-8 lead after the opening quarter of the Montini Christmas Tournament but more than recovered behind senior standout Liza Fruendt.
The Missouri State-bound guard scored 8 of her game-high 24 points in succession to cap an 11-0 run to start the second quarter, and Batavia stretched the run to a 32-7 blitz late in the third quarter behind the second Fruendt 3-pointer of the game.
The Bulldogs' resulting 18-point lead would be their largest of the opening-round game as the squad advanced to face Trinity, undefeated after 12 games after easing past Plainfield East, on Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m.
Batavia improved to 11-2 on the season with its 49-34 victory.
Fruendt was magisterial as ever in directing the Bulldogs' attack, breaking down defenders off the dribble, converting 4 steals into coast-to-coast layups and drilling two 3-pointers.
The four-year starter gave Batavia the lead for good with her personal 8-point run midway through the second quarter that turned a 15-11 deficit into a 19-15 lead.
"In the beginning we had a (shooting) slump," Fruendt said of the Bulldogs' 3-field-goal output in the opening quarter. "I think we were still asleep. We started to get into a rhythm. We played our (type of) basketball (after the first quarter)."
Fruendt single-handedly doubled the Zee-Bees' second-quarter output 10-5 as the last of her 6 consecutive free throws in the frame provided Batavia with a 25-20 cushion at the break.
The Bulldogs' 17-point dagger in the third quarter proved to be the Zee-Bees' undoing.
Z-B (8-2) missed 9 of its first 10 shots in the quarter, and the Bulldogs blitzed the Zee-Bees with their second 11-point unanswered run of the game.
Hannah Frazier had a pair of field goals in the third quarter, and fellow twin post Erin Bayram added a sweet jumper before Fruendt had the last of her 9 points of the third.
Z-B would respond with the opening of two 6-0 runs bridging the final two quarters; the second mini-burst brought the Zee-Bees to within 44-34.
But Z-B would not score again.
Frazier had a putback to account for the final score in concluding her 9-point morning.
Bayram added 8 points but aggravated an ankle injury incurred last weekend in the third-place game at Oswego.
"I am going to ice and tape it," Bayram said of the two-day break in competition. "(My ankle) should be fine for the next game."
Auri Hampton led Z-B with 14 points.
"We're doing better," Z-B coach Tanya Johnson said of the schools' second straight meeting at the 16-team, bracketed tournament. "(Fruendt) had 30 (points) last time."