Palatine didn't have an answer Friday night for Fremd 6-foot-2 senior Grace Tworek.
Especially when the Pirates got the ball in the paint.
Tworek finished with a game-high 15 points, 10 rebounds and most importantly 8 blocked shots as the visiting Vikings defeated Palatine 52-33 in a Mid-Suburban West matchup.
The funny thing is, Tworek says that she isn't even focusing on blocked shots this year.
"I'm actually trying to avoid it (shot-blocking) this season," said Tworek. "I'm trying to stay out of foul trouble."
Senior Midori Williams added 14 points for Fremd, although Vikings coach Dave Yates wasn't particularly happy despite his team's winning effort.
"We've got to play better," said Yates. "We'd make some good plays, then we'd shoot ourselves in the foot. We'd make a turnover at an inopportune time or lose their shooters.
"We're still learning. We've only got one returning starter (Tworek) from last year. We're patiently and continually trying to improve."
Kendra Lindell led the Pirates with 9 points. Reggie Much scored 8 points while Tiana Hendrickson pitched in with 7.
"We had a good game plan, " said Hendrickson. "We've been studying film and practicing hard, but rebounding was the key tonight. We didn't rebound well in the first half or the second half.
"We made some weak passes, but still, we were right in the game."
Palatine used a full-court press from the get-go in an attempt to slow Fremd down, but behind a 3-point play from Emily Klaczek, the Vikings took a 10-3 first-quarter lead.
Fremd opened the lead to double digits in the second quarter, but Palatine fought back behind a 3-pointer by Lindell.
"We weren't playing with our usual aggressiveness in the first half," said Tworek. "Coming in to the second half we had a little bit of an edge to us."
Palatine closed the gap to 24-20 in the third quarter after a Much layup, but Tworek then had two consecutive baskets to give Fremd some breathing room.
Then Fremd went on a run, and a Tworek steal and layup at the other end gave the visitors a 38-23 advantage.
Palatine tried to close the gap in the fourth quarter behind 3-pointers from Much and Elena Porrata, but stellar free throw shooting from Fremd (7-of-8 down the stretch) helped the Vikings close the contest out.
Klaczek finished with 11 points for Fremd, while Melissa Adrian added 6 points.
Sydney Rzepka finished with 9 boards for Palatine, but the home team was far less efficient at the 3-point line than Fremd.
The Vikings finshed 4-of-8 from 3-point range while the Pirates were only 6-of-18 from behind the arc.
"It's always interesting playing Palatine," said Tworek. "I may be the only starter back (on our team), but our other four starters have stepped in this year and done a nice job."