Fruendt scores 32 in Batavias OT winner to take 3rd at Oswego
Siarra O'Neill nearly broke Batavia's heart twice.
Liza Fruendt, though, got the last laugh.
Fruendt's two free throws with 10.4 seconds left in overtime capped a career-high 32-point night, and No. 20 Batavia held on for a 69-68 win over Oswego in Saturday's third-place game of the Oswego Holiday Classic.
Oswego sophomore O'Neill, who scored 15 of her 17 in the fourth quarter and overtime with four 3-pointers, hit a tying 3 as time expired in regulation, and started overtime with another 3.
Then she rolled in a teardrop of a runner to give the Panthers (7-6) a 68-67 lead.
But Fruendt was fouled in the backcourt, and calmly sank both free throws. O'Neill never got a final shot, Oswego missing a long 3 on its final possession.
"It was crazy," said Fruendt, 6-for-6 from the line in the fourth quarter and overtime. "It was so frustrating watching (O'Neill). She hit everything. She did not miss down the stretch. It just feels great to get the win."
It was a wild one, for sure.
Batavia (9-4) had a 35-26 third-quarter lead erased, then trailed 65-58 with 2:15 left in overtime before rallying behind Fruendt.
"It felt like the game lasted seven years," laughed off Batavia coach Kevin Jensen. "I thought at one point we were going to win by 15 and at one point we were going to lose by 12. I'm still not exactly sure what all transpired the last four minutes."
Fruendt, whose previous personal-best was 26 points, scored 14 in the first half, Batavia breaking out to a 30-22 halftime lead.
She had a quiet third quarter, but came alive down the stretch. And needed to. Fruendt kept Batavia afloat in the fourth quarter, and kept it going on into overtime. If it wasn't a shot it was a steal or an assist. Fruendt scored 16 of her 32 in the fourth quarter and overtime.
"Her fight that she has, there's not really anyone else that can match it," Jensen said. "I don't know that I'll ever have another kid who fights as much as she does."
Down 7 in overtime, Fruendt hit a runner to start the rally. Batavia stole the ball on the inbounds and Hannah Frazier scored on a putback. After a Batavia missed free throw, Fruendt hit a 3, and a pair of Frazier free throws with 24.9 seconds left pushed the Bulldogs ahead 67-66.
Freshman forward Frazier had 16 points and 8 rebounds.
Fruendt is just a junior, but with two of Batavia's top six players freshmen she clearly is who her teammates look to to make a play late.
"I've stepped into a role to do my all for this team and take them under my wings," Fruendt said. "I just thought to myself 'you know what do do, you've been put in this situation many times, just do what you know how to do.'"
Amri Wilder, one of four sophomores who start for Oswego, scored 21 points, but missed a pair of front ends of ones-and-ones in the final minute of overtime. But it was the shot-making of O'Neill, the only one of the sophomores who didn't play varsity as a freshman, that spurred the Panthers' near-comeback win.
"She has so much heart," Oswego coach Chad Pohlmann said. "That was just a great basketball game. Somebody had to lose it, but I was so proud of my team."
The win allowed Batavia to secure a 3-1 finish at Oswego, a nice boost in a busy December.
The Bulldogs play Elgin and Streamwood next week, then open play in the loaded Montini Tournament Dec. 26 against Bogan. A win in that game, and Batavia could draw No. 1 Montini.
"I told the girls in a four-day tournament, no matter how you got there if you go 3-1 you got to feel like you did something right," Jensen said.
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