Lake Forest stuns Fremd
Lake Forest made history on Thursday night.
And it was against a team with a terrific history in girls basketball.
The No. 2 Scouts stunned the top seeded and No. 4 team in Class 4A, Fremd, 49-43 in the championship game of the Libertyville sectional.
Lake Forest (27-7) now moves on to tackle the No. 1 team in the state, Maine West (32-0), in Monday's 7 p.m. supersectional at Palatine High School.
It was Lake Forest's first sectional title in boys or girls basketball.
Fremd is an eight-time sectional champ with three visits to the state finals.
"I feel like we are so close to Wisconsin that the North Suburban Conference gets overlooked sometimes," said Scouts coach Kyle Wilhelm, whose team never received votes in this year's Class 4A Associated Press poll. "But I knew we had this potential and these girls proved it today against the No. 4 team. I'm incredibly proud of them. I don't what to say."
The Scouts were led by junior Halle Douglass (18 points), senior Ellie Pearson (9) and sophomore Molly Fisher (9) as they padded their own school record to 27 wins over Fremd, which finished at 29-5.
"Fremd is a great program," Wilhelm added about the Vikings, whose only senior on the roster is Angie Zara. "They're going to be great again."
The Scouts were great early in the fourth quarter when they went on a 6-0 run from which Fremd could never recover.
Trailing 25-24 late in the third quarter, Pearson hit the big 3-pointer that swung the momentum to the Scouts.
It sparked a 10-2 run that culminated on Pearson's layup that made it 35-27.
The lead got as big as 12 points at 42-30.
Pearson isn't one of her team's main 3-point threats.
"I'm not really a 3-pointer shooter so they were sagging off me," she said. "I've been working on them and it was open, so I knew my team needed it. It was just a rhythm shot."
Fremd coach Dave Yates said the shots were uncharacteristically not falling for his team.
"I have not seen us shoot like that for a while," he said. "Credit their length. It's not like we were playing a small team. They've got long kids and we had a hard time scoring the ball.
"But I still felt we had enough open looks but we just didn't convert them for some reason. When it was 29-27 we were still good but then that run happened and I felt that was really tough for us to overcome."
Olivia Hill led Fremd with 10 points, followed by Ruthie Montella (8) and Emily Klaczek (6). Grace LaBarge and Zara each chipped in 5.
"I've got to credit Angie Zara," Yates said. "It was her last game. Angie was an amazing leader for us. She had to be the mother hen to a bunch of young kids and she did a great job and was a great leader all season.
"These guys had a fantastic season. Once time passes, they'll take a step back and realize what they accomplished. Unfortunately tonight, I told them only eight teams (Class 4A) don't continue. You can't have an off night against a good team at this point."
Yates praised his team's defense.
"I thought our defense was wonderful," he said. "We kept them to the low 40s when you take away free throws. We played well enough defensively to win. We didn't play well enough offensively."