Fremd knocks off Palatine in rivalry game

  • Fremd's Ruthie Montella goes to the floor against Palatine defenders including Julianna Mandarino, top, during Tuesday's game in Palatine.

      Fremd's Ruthie Montella goes to the floor against Palatine defenders including Julianna Mandarino, top, during Tuesday's game in Palatine. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Fremd's Caroline Cochran drives to the basket against Palatine defenders, from left, Olivia Radtke, Julianna Mandarino and Brenna Wiseman during Tuesday's game in Palatine.

      Fremd's Caroline Cochran drives to the basket against Palatine defenders, from left, Olivia Radtke, Julianna Mandarino and Brenna Wiseman during Tuesday's game in Palatine. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Fremd's Ruthie Montella drives to the basket for a layup as Palatine's Brenna Wisman defends during Tuesday's game in Palatine.

      Fremd's Ruthie Montella drives to the basket for a layup as Palatine's Brenna Wisman defends during Tuesday's game in Palatine. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Palatine's Madi Stark tries to get around pressure by Fremd's Ruthie Montella, right, and Liz Prigge during Tuesday's game in Palatine.

      Palatine's Madi Stark tries to get around pressure by Fremd's Ruthie Montella, right, and Liz Prigge during Tuesday's game in Palatine. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Palatine's Melanie Simon grabs a rebound alongside teammate Kayla Miotk during Tuesday's game at Fremd.

      Palatine's Melanie Simon grabs a rebound alongside teammate Kayla Miotk during Tuesday's game at Fremd. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Palatine's Kayla Miotk, left, and Olivia Riley try to take the ball from Fremd's Emily Klaczek during Tuesday's game in Palatine.

      Palatine's Kayla Miotk, left, and Olivia Riley try to take the ball from Fremd's Emily Klaczek during Tuesday's game in Palatine. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Palatine girls basketball coach Mark Johnson talks to his team during a timeout during Tuesday's game at Fremd.

      Palatine girls basketball coach Mark Johnson talks to his team during a timeout during Tuesday's game at Fremd. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Fremd girls basketball coach Dave Yates watches the Vikings play during Tuesday's home game against Palatine.

      Fremd girls basketball coach Dave Yates watches the Vikings play during Tuesday's home game against Palatine. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Fremd's Olivia Hill shoots for a layup past Palatine's Kayla Miotk during Tuesday's game in Palatine.

      Fremd's Olivia Hill shoots for a layup past Palatine's Kayla Miotk during Tuesday's game in Palatine. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
By Bill Esbrook
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 1/21/2020 10:19 PM

Rivalry games can be special, and Fremd guard Ruthie Montella weighed in on just that after the Vikings' girls basketball team defeated visiting Palatine 52-39 Tuesday night in a Mid-Suburban West matchup.

"You grow up going to these games," said Montella, "and when you're little you go to school with everybody and you wind up playing each other year after year -- and every year it gets more exciting. I'm really glad we played well, everybody was super excited about this game and I think that was reflected in our first quarter."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The first eight minutes for Fremd against the Pirates was a great blend of depth and teamwork. Ten players from the Vikings saw court time in the first period -- seven of them seniors, by the way -- and each of the 10 contributed with either points, rebounds, steals or blocked shots in the stanza.

Junior guard Grace LaBarge had 6 points and 3 take-aways in the opening minutes to pace Fremd to a quick 17-0 lead.

"We really needed a start like this," said LaBarge, "because lately we haven't been starting great. Then in the second quarter we just had to keep it going."

Montella scored 9 of her 11 points in the second period as Fremd extended the advantage to 37-14.

The Pirates actually had a strong beginning to the game as well, but just couldn't get any shots to fall.

"I know the scoreboard showed that we were down 17 to nothing," said Palatine coach Mark Johnson," but we were playing well. We just couldn't make a basket and they (Fremd) couldn't miss.

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"At halftime we talked about winning the second half," added Johnson. "You always want to win the game of course, but we wanted to win the second half to get some momentum going forward. We battled back, started chipping away and were able to cut into the lead."

Pirates senior guard Olivia Radtke started the third quarter with two 3-pointers, and when she hit another 3 midway through, Palatine was down just 41-27.

But Fremd (15-6, 6-0) was able to extend the lead and used great ball movement in the final stanza to keep Palatine at bay, and just a flurry of points in the final minute of the contest from the Pirates -- including a 3-pointer from Yunah Shin -- accounted for the final score.

Radtke finished with a game-high 18 points while seniors Olivia Hill (11 points and 7 rebounds) and Caroline Cochran (7 points) paced the Vikings.

LaBarge had 6 points, while Fremd seniors Emily Klaczek and Ella Burns each scored 5.

"The kids did a great job the entire first half," said Fremd coach Dave Yates. "They were very consistent and that was nice to see."

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