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Nobody said making history would be easy, not even with a 13-point lead and five minutes left on the verge of the first sectional win in program history.
That's where No. 3 seed Batavia found itself Tuesday night in the Class 4A Addison Trail sectional semifinals, leading No. 2 Downers Grove North 52-39 after Liza Fruendt swished her seventh 3-pointer of the game.
But the Trojans had a big night from beyond the arc themselves, making nine, including three late in the fourth quarter during a 13-0 run that tied the game at 52 with a minute left.
Batavia didn't get rattled, getting the ball inside to Hannah Frazier. She missed her first attempt, got her own rebound, and scored while being fouled with 14 seconds remaining.
Frazier made the free throw, and after the Trojans missed a potential game-tying 3, Fruendt sealed a thrilling 57-52 win with 2 free throws.
Batavia (21-9) advances to play No. 5 seed Geneva at 7 p.m. Thursday seeking its first sectional championship just a week after winning the school's first regional title in 24 years.
It's been that kind of magical season, with Frazier's fantastic finish Tuesday the latest memorable moment.
"I think we just stuck to what we've done all year," Fruendt said. "We dug deep to get this victory. It's very meaningful for us and meaningful for our program."
Fruendt made the pass inside to Frazier and like the rest of the Batavia players and fans were looking for anyone to high-five or hug after Frazier scored.
"We really need a field goal," Fruendt said. "Hannah came up big. She went beast mode again tonight. We were all so excited, I just went crazy."
After tying the game at 52 on Jaida Green's fifth 3-pointer, the Trojans (25-4) got the ball back on a controversial backcourt violation call.
Downers North worked the ball inside to Peyton Winters, but her attempt at the lead rimmed out. Batavia called timeout with 29 seconds to go, and Fruendt dribbled left and fed the ball inside Frazier who had a good seal, went up and missed, got the ball back and went right back up.
"We didn't run it quite right but we made a good basketball play," Batavia coach Kevin Jensen said. "Hannah and Liza made a basketball play and we got the look we wanted and got the win."
Green missed a contested 3-pointer from the corner with 5 seconds left on the Trojans' last chance to tie.
Trailing 52-39, Sarah Costello started Downers North's comeback with a jumper and then hit a 3.
While Batavia missed a couple 3s and a 1-and-1 on its end, Lauren Porcelli made another 3-pointer to make it 52-47, Madison Farnsworth drove baseline and it was 52-49 with 2:28 left before Green capped the comeback with a 3 with 1:30 left.
"I knew we weren't done yet," Trojans coach Stephan Bolt said. "I'm proud of our kids, I'm proud of our year, I'm proud of the way they came back and gave us a chance to win."
Green opened the game with back-to-back 3s. Batavia didn't score until Bethany Orman's jumper three minutes into the game.
Frazier had a pair of conventional three-point plays, the second tying the game at 13. The Trojans led 20-18 after a quarter.
Fruendt and Frazier scored 25 of Batavia's 27 first-half points. Downers North got contributions from a few more, including Costello who drove for a basket to put the Trojans ahead 31-27 halftime lead.
Jensen told his girls to make sharper cuts in the second half, and also: "If you want to make a big-time play this year, this would be the game to do it in. That was pretty much it. I'd like to say it was coaching but I know it wasn't. They have been resilient all year."
Batavia outscored Downers Grove North 19-6 in the third quarter, the only quarter the Bulldogs won. Orman opened with a 3 and Fruendt followed with a left-handed layup, one of the few transition baskets all night.
Fruendt drained back-to-back 3s for a 38-33 lead, and after Frazier's putback, Shea Bayram found Frazier inside to make it 42-34. Mackenzie Foster also had an assist to Frazier to close the third quarter with a 46-37 lead.
Fruendt finished with 31 points and Frazier scored 21.
"She (Fruendt) made big shots," said Bolt, whose team won their first conference championship this year. "That's what she does. Sometimes big-time players make big-time shots and she did that today. I give her credit."
Costello scored 19 points and Green had 17 to lead the Trojans.
Fruendt (9 rebounds), Erin Bayram (8 rebounds) and Frazier (7 rebounds) worked hard to help Batavia to a 38-28 rebounding advantage -- something they will need to do again Thursday's against Geneva's long, athletic lineup.
The Bulldogs won twice in Upstate Eight Conference play but know the third -- like Tuesday -- won't come easy.
"We're excited to play them a third time," Frazier said. "We're confident because we beat them twice but they are a great team. We know we can beat them but we're not going in overconfident. We know it will be a battle."