Frea's 3s, 'D' are key for Libertyville
Frea ... from three.
"She can shoot that," Libertyville senior guard Lydia Crow, who knows a thing or three about shooting from the three-point arc, said of basketball teammate Abigial Frea. " She can always hit that shot."
Frea did against Maine South at Buffalo Grove on Friday. The 5-foot-11 senior forward drained a pair of 3-pointers and scored all of her season-high 10 points in the second quarter, as Libertyville led from start to finish in a 51-29 win over a Hawks squad that won 19 games last season and returned three starters.
"It was nice to see that she was hitting today," Crow said after the Wildcats improved to 3-1 overall and 3-1 in Buffalo Grove's Thanksgiving Bison Classic. "Normally she's in the post, so it's nice when she can stretch the floor."
Just don't confuse Frea's three-point prowess with that of Crow or fellow sharpshooter Margaret Buchert. Crow, whose school-record 85 3-pointers last season hiked her career total to a school-record 206, hit four from beyond the arc against Maine South (3-2, 2-2 tourney) and has 14 3s in Libertyville's first four games.
"I'm not Lydia Crow, Margaret Buchert from the arc," Frea said with a laugh. "Those two shoot (3-pointers) from like 10 feet away. I'm more around the three-point line."
Frea doesn't have to make lots of baskets in order Libertyville to enjoy success similar to last season (23 wins, regional championship). As the Wildcats' tallest starter, she will be relied on more for stopping opponents from scoring.
Frea ... on "D."
"You got to give it up to (Lauren) Huber and Frea today," Libertyville coach Greg Pedersen said. "They did an outstanding job defensively. Abigail Frea playing that well for us can be a huge bonus for us."
Frea also had 7 rebounds and 5 blocked shots. The 5-10 Huber contributed 7 points and 4 rebounds. They had to defend inside against Maine South's 5-11 duo of Greta Miller and Niamh Gardiner and 5-10 Nicole Gardiner.
"I was focusing on playing strong defense because I know I'm not the tallest one and they're really tall and strong," Frea said. "I just had to stand my ground and play as hard as I could."
Crow's pair of 3-pointers and one from Huber helped stake Libertyville to an 11-7 lead after one quarter. The Wildcats' eight 3s also included one from Morgan Spaulding.
"Libertyville's a very good basketball team and we knew they had multiple shooters, Crow in particular," Hawks coach Jeff Hamann said. "We talked about not leaving her and finding her, and on the very first possession of the game, within three seconds, she hits a wide-open 3. That's frustrating."
Frea's big second quarter helped the Wildcats extend their lead to 29-12 by halftime. Maine South shot just 1 of 15 in the second quarter.
"We wanted to lock down on defense, and I feel like that's what (the players) did in the opening minutes of the game through the first half," Pedersen said. "We played with a defensive level of aggression and energy that we aspire to have, and it's getting better and better. To hold this team to under 30 is a big accomplishment for us."
Crow, who recently committed to the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, shot 4 of 9 from three-point range, and also had 4 rebounds and 4 blocks. Buchert added 9 points.
"I had confidence that our team was going to come out strong and we were going to play our game," Crow said. "My teammates did really well getting me the ball when I was open. We worked the ball really well. We played really well."
Hamann went to his bench early and played, in total, 13 girls. Michaela Kons scored a Hawks-high 6 points.
"Hats off to our second group," Hamann said. "They hung right with (Libertyville) in the third. We played hard and are going to learn from it."
Libertyville plays Hersey at 1 p.m. Saturday in final-day action of the tournament. Maine South takes on Mother McAuley at 2:30 p.m.
Grayslake Central 46, Crystal Lake Central 24: At Buffalo Grove, Kate Bullman scored 22 points, and the Rams improved to 4-1 and 3-1 in the Bison Classic.
Amanda Kocialkowski added 8 points for Grayslake Central, which plays Buffalo Grove at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.