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Fremd's fast start finishes Burlington Central
 

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Fremd's fast start finishes Burlington Central
Mike Krizman

Fremd wasted little time jumping out to an early lead against Burlington Central.

The Vikings led from start to finish as junior guard Haley Gorecki scored the game's first 8 points during a 55-35 victory over the Rockets in Saturday's 24th annual McDonald's Shootout at Willowbrook.

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Coach Dave Yates praised the effort of Gorecki, who led the Vikings with 24 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field.

"It's always good when you have someone that steps up," Yates said of his junior guard. "She's playing very good basketball right now and it's all within the flow of the game. It's not like she's forcing shots. She's taking them when she needs to and getting everyone involved."

Gorecki knocked down 2 consecutive 3-pointers and followed with a layup in just the first 1:24 of the game before Burlington Central's Shelby Holt's baseline 3-pointer ended the run.

Fremd (17-2) extended its 16-9 first quarter lead on the back of point guard Brianna Lewis. Lewis scored the Vikings' first 6 points of the second quarter, beginning with a baseline jumper, followed by two free throws and a layup off a feed from Gorecki.

Burlington Central (15-4) didn't connect on its first second quarter field goal until the 4:25 mark on a Kayla Ross layup.

"We watched (Burlington Central) and they've hit a lot of 3s," Yates said. "We tried to limit the open looks they got and I thought us changing defenses gave them problems."

Fremd's 12-point first half lead ballooned to as high as 23 at one point as the Vikings totaled six of their eight steals in the second half and forced 13 Burlington Central turnovers on the night.

"In the first half, we were dying because we were getting stuck in 20 to 30 second possessions," Yates said. "In the second half, we got out of that by forcing turnovers."

Gorecki's final basket came on a fastbreak layup with 3:55 left in the game that gave Fremd its biggest lead of the game at 53-30.

From there, Burlington Central called timeout and eventually the starters for both teams were pulled.

"I thought compared to some of our other games, in the bright lights, so to speak, I thought we were the most comfortable here, so that's an encouraging sign for us," Burlington Central coach Mark Smith said. "These are games we have to play to hopefully win down the stretch."

Bryana Hopkins was Fremd's second-leading scorer with 13 points, while Lewis added 12 on 5-of-6 shooting, along with 4 assists. Gorecki led the Vikings with 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.

Aly DeTamble led Burlington Central with 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting.

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