Batavia's Fruendt reaches 1,000 points
Batavia teammates cheer for Liza Fruendt, center, after she scored her 1,000th career point Thursday against Larkin at Batavia.
Rick West | Staff Photographer
The last thing Liza Fruendt expected when she began her career at Batavia was a night like Thursday.
But not only did that night arrive — when Fruendt reached the 1,000-point milestone — she accomplished it early enough in her career it's a good bet there's more records to come.
Batavia hosted Larkin with Fruendt needing 6 points. The first three came on a 3-point basket that opened the scoring in Batavia's 80-29 win.
Moments later Fruendt passed into the post to her best friend Erin Bayram who kicked the ball back to Fruendt for another 3 from the wing and her 1,000th point.
Fruendt finished with four 3-pointers and 25 points despite sitting out half the game. She now has 1,019 points in her career.
"It's part of my game," Fruendt said of reaching it with a 3-pointer. "Me and Erin, I said I'll pass it into you in the post and you can try to pass it out and it worked. Erin is my best friend, we were joking around, but it actually happened which is cool."
Batavia coach Kevin Jensen called timeout with 4:48 left in the first quarter as her teammates congratulated her and a crowd that included her older sister Sara back for the night from the University of Dubuque cheering her on.
"I didn't know she was coming," Liza Fruendt said. "It was really cool. It means so much. It made me a little nervous because there are so many special people here. It really means a lot to know that I have so many people behind me and so many random people saying congratulations to me."
Fruendt becomes the fourth Batavia girls player to reach 1,000 points joining Katy Issel, Natalie Tarter and Kelly Pollard. Batavia coaches are trying to nail down an exact total for Issel but believe it is in the 1,500 to 1,600 range.
At her current 20-point per game clip and with at least seven games left this year, Fruendt could be around 1,200 points heading into her senior season.
If she scores at the rate she has this year — let alone make the 5-plus point-per-game jump she has from her sophomore to junior season — becoming Batavia's all-time leading girls basketball scorer isn't the only thing in her sight.
Those kind of numbers would have her approaching her older brother Nick who wound up trailing only Corey Williams in Batavia's storied boys basketball history with 1,849 points.
"That would be really awesome, that's the next goal I guess," Fruendt said.
"It's (1,000 points) a really big accomplishment which not a lot of people do, which I had no idea I would do coming into high school to be honest. I didn't even think about it until this year."
Fruendt's coaches and teammates were just as happy for her, posing for photos after the game and signing and presenting her the game ball.
"She's going to tell you she wants to win first like all of us do but it's got to be special for her," Jensen said. "It's a milestone for her and all the work she's put in, she's basketball 365 days a year. But it's a milestone for our program and our current team. She doesn't do that without the support of her teammates as well. It's special for all of us."
Fruendt certainly echoed that sentiment.
"It's awesome to have teammates like I do who are so excited for me," Fruendt said. "I'm very thankful to have the team I do. The girls are my best friends and it's awesome."
As for the game, Sami Villarreal and Miranda Grizaffi also made early 3s as Batavia scored the first 15 points of the game from beyond the arc. The Bulldogs (14-8, 5-3) led 24-3 after one quarter and 48-5 at halftime.
Hannah Frazier finished with 13 points, Villarreal 10, Bayram 9, and Grizaffi and Grace Andrews both scored 8.
"I thought we played well," Jensen said. "We got everyone some solid minutes, we got up and down the floor well. It was nice to get back to things with the stress of finals being over and getting back on the court after the tough loss to Geneva (last Friday)."
Quixmia Washington led Larkin (2-18, 1-8) with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
"We're just trying to jell as a team and keep them positive as possible," Larkin coach Ruben Flores said. "When you meet a good team like Batavia tonight it's pretty tough. We just weren't shooting tonight. In the second half it started to click a little bit better. The girls have a positive attitude. Their camaraderie is really nice. That's what keeps us going."
Follow John Lemon on Twitter at jlemonDH
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