Klaczek joins 1,000 club as Fremd takes down Prospect
With the Prospect girls basketball team in a zone on Thursday night, Fremd junior guard Emily Klaczek got into a zone of her own.
A shooting zone.
The No. 8-seeded Knights were determined in this Class 4A regional championship at Mundelein to stop No. 1 Fremd from scoring in the post and on drives to the basket by packing the lane.
Klaczek was determined to make them pay for it. And so were her teammates.
Klaczek rolled up 4 of her team's 9 total 3-pointers to help lead the way in Fremd's 52-38 victory over Prospect. For the Vikings, who improve to 28-4 on the season, it is their seventh regional championship in the last eight years.
Fremd will now advance to the sectional semifinals Monday night at Libertyville to play Mid-Suburban League rival Hersey.
"When teams play zone on us, sometimes we can be streaky, tonight we were not," said Klaczek, who finished with a game-high 23 points en route to also scoring her 1,000th career point. "Tonight we came out focused and a lot of girls stepped up. A bunch of girls scored threes and it was just awesome.
"We just felt like if they were going to stay in that zone, let's keep shooting it (from 3-point range)."
In fact, 3-pointers were pretty much the only shots Fremd attempted in the third quarter. And perhaps not coincidentally, that's when the Vikings took control of the game.
Up 4 points at halftime (23-19), Fremd shot only one 2-point shot in the third quarter while putting up eight 3-pointers. The Vikings made five of those eight 3-pointers to push their lead to 12 points (40-28) by the end of the third quarter.
"We can knock threes down, but, actually, we usually go inside," Fremd coach Dave Yates said. "We struggled inside tonight, but we have a pretty complete team, so we have shooters too.
"Nine 3-pointers is pretty high for us, but other teams have gone zone against us, so we know what to do when that happens."
Klaczek was 3-for-3 from 3-point range in the third quarter. Ella Burns and Caroline Cochran also hit 3-pointers in the quarter. Both had a total of two 3-pointers on the game.
"Emily is conference player of the year and when things aren't going right, you need someone like that to step up," Yates said. "And Emily stepped up huge for us. Some of those shots she hit to help us get the lead and keep the lead were really big.
"Credit to Prospect, they threw us a curve ball with the zone and they hit some shots to make this a tight game early, but we got things going."
Senior guard Abbey Danciu certainly hit some big shots for Prospect, which closes out the season with a 15-10 record.
Thanks to Danciu, the Knights opened the third quarter on a 5-0 run. She scored a basket in the paint and a 3-pointer on back-to-back possessions and that gave Prospect a 24-23 lead.
But then Fremd answered with its 3-point barrage and Prospect never had the lead again.
"We played with energy and we stuck to our game the entire game," said Danciu, who scored a team-high 13 points. "Against a team like Fremd, you kind of need a (spark) on every single play so (at the start of the third quarter), just being a senior and a team leader, I knew I had to take some personal responsibility and try to get things going."
The Knights, who started five seniors this season and have eight seniors on the team overall, spent some time in the locker room after the game recounting some of the many great moments the senior class had together over the years. Most of the seniors had played together since they were in sixth grade.
"The seniors, their leadership and drive every game and in this game really showed," said Prospect coach Marie Miller, who leaned on her seniors in her first year on the job. "They set the tone and they did a great job in games, in practice, on and off the floor to lead us and keep us positive. They were always trying to make sure everyone was included and supported. That comes from their character and I couldn't have asked for a better group of kids for my first year."