Fremd holds off Barrington's late rally to stay undefeated
There was a lot of tension in the air when defending state champion Fremd met visiting Barrington Friday night in a Mid-Suburban West showdown between two undefeated girls basketball teams.
The No. 2-ranked Vikings stormed out to an 18-8 lead late in the opening quarter only to see the Fillies rally back strongly to cut the deficit to 26-25 at halftime.
But Fremd (5-0, 5-0) outscored Barrington 16-8 in the third quarter before holding off a late rally by the Fillies to capture a 55-47 victory in the pressure-packed game.
Barrington (4-1, 4-1) trailed 42-33 after three quarters before sophomore guard Sophie Swanson (team-high 19 points, 5 steals) hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 48-41 with 6:01 to play.
Fremd junior standout Brianna Wooldridge (team-high 19 points) hit two free throws with 4:24 remaining to boost the lead to 50-41 before Wooldridge suffered a left leg injury after being fouled with 3:54 to play. Wooldridge did not return to the game after that point while leaving on crutches with a leg brace.
But the Fillies were never able to seriously cut into the Vikings' lead after that point as two free throws by Fremd senior Ruthie Montella (10 points) made the score 54-43 with 1:07 to go.
"We were super-excited about playing Barrington, they have a lot of great players, and Bri did some great things for us," said Montella, whose team led 18-12 after one quarter. "We were all prepared, and by the fourth quarter we got adjusted to their press-break and settled down in the end."
Swanson scored 16 of her 19 points in the first half before getting into some foul trouble in the third quarter while Wooldridge had 13 of her 19 points in the first half.
Junior Laura Mahlum also had a big offensive game for the Fillies with 15 points, including four 3-pointers, while freshman teammate Gwen Adler had 5 points and 9 rebounds.
"Give Fremd credit, Wooldridge played a heck of a game and (freshman) Molly (O'Riordan) is going to have a great career,- she battled tonight," said Barrington coach Babbi Barreiro, whose team hosts Rolling Meadows Saturday. "It was a battle no doubt, and we had a little bit of youth out there that I think showed at times."
Fremd senior Grace LaBarge had 8 points while teammate Maddy Fay added 6 points. O'Riordan scored 6 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as Barrington's center.
"Barrington is a good team so we came into this game expecting a battle, but I was proud of our kids and I thought we dug in and played much better defense in the second half," said Fremd coach Dave Yates. "We toughed it out, we got some big stops, and it was one of the only close games we've been in."
Yates' team hosts Prospect on Saturday.
"I thought Brianna was dominating the game," added Yates. "And Ruthie answered down the stretch and made plays that helped us win the game."