2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 1/24/2017 11:09 PM

Amazing milestone for Fremd's Tworek

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  • Fremd girls basketball players applaud teammate Grace Tworek after she scored her 1,000th career point early in Tuesday's game against Palatine.

      Fremd girls basketball players applaud teammate Grace Tworek after she scored her 1,000th career point early in Tuesday's game against Palatine.
    John Leusch | Staff Photographer


Missy Adrian has been playing basketball with Grace Tworek for a long time, even before they became teammates at Fremd High School.

"I always knew she was amazing," Adrian said. "But not this amazing."

Not 1,000 points amazing.

That's the number of career points Tworek reached when her second layup of Tuesday's Mid-Suburban West game gave Fremd a 4-0 lead over visiting with 5:29 left in the first quarter.

But Palatine made sure things didn't keep come quite so easy for the four-time defending MSL champs who trailed 18-17 at half before rallying for a 41-27 win.

"This was a conference game and they have a difference energy to them," Tworek said. "We got the win but I think we can play better."

Not many girls play better than Tworek in the MSL.

She joined Ashley McConnell, Brianna Lewis, Bryana Hopkins and Haley Gorecki as Fremd players with more than 1,000 points in the 11 years coach Dave Yates has run the program.

Yates' Vikings reached 20 wins for the eighth straight time as they improved to 20-5 and 7-0 in the MSL West, leading Schaumburg (13-9, 4-2) by 1 game with three left.

Tworek finished with a game-high 13 points followed by teammates Emily Klaczek (10 points), Hayley Williams (8) and Adrian (7).

In a timeout following Tworek's milestone layup, which she scored off an inbounds pass under the Fremd basket, announcer Ryan Moreau informed the crowd of the 1,000th point.

"I never really thought it would be within my reach," Tworek said. "It's pretty cool to be a part of this when you see all the great athletes who have done it. It's exciting."

"She's a great player," said Adrian who returned to the floor after missing about 10 days with a shoulder injury. "I don't know of any other word to describe her except 'clutch.' She deserves the scholarship to Harvard and all the other accolades she receives."

She has received a lot of attention from opposing teams but still has managed to get her points, including a career-high 32 points 10 days ago against Rockford Lutheran.

"And she has knowingly taken a back seat to a lot of really good players who have come through here," Yates said of the 6-foot-2 four-year starter. "It's exciting to see her have the year she is having."

The Pirates (10-10, 3-4) grabbed an 18-15 lead when sophomore Elena Porrata hit one of her three 3-pointers with 10 seconds left in the first half.

Adrian's layup got the Vikes to within 18-17 just before the buzzer sounded.

Then the Vikes made their biggest noise, starting the third quarter with a 10-0 run from which Palatine could never recover.

A 3-pointer by Hayley Williams started the rally, followed by 7 consecutive points from Klaczek, including a 3-point play and 4 other free throws.

That made it 28-17 before Palatine got on the board in the second half with junior Sydney Rzepka's rebound layup.

"We played a great first half,' said Palatine coach Mark Johnson. "Their pressure final caught up with us. They came out a different squad. They got a lot of tips and turnovers off us.

"But that's a 20-win club we played and we were right there with them. I think this was a big turning block for us that will help the rest of the season."

Porrata led Palatine with 9 points followed by Rzepka with 7 and Reggie Much with 5.

"We told our kids we can compete with every team on our schedule and tonight we showed that," Johnson added. "We tried to keep (Grace Tworek) away from the basket and deny her open looks. I thought we did for most of the night. She is a phenomenal basketball player. An athlete like no one in our conference."

Tworek's bank shot with 1:57 left in the third quarter gave Fremd a 29-20 lead and Palatine never got closer than 7 the rest of the way.

"I thought we weathered their storm in the first half," Yates said. "It was good to see us play with more energy in the third quarter and that was what we talked about at half. We told them if they played with more energy they would be fine.

"Credit Palatine for coming ready to play and basically outplaying us for the first half."

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