No suspense this time as Fremd rolls over Conant

After prevailing 57-55 in double overtime two weeks ago against Conant, you might say Fremd's girls basketball team was more zoned in this time.

Led by junior Maddy Fay (11 points), sophomore Brynn Eshoo (11) and junior Kace Urlacher (10), the host Vikings kept the suspense out of this one with a 53-25 triumph in the Mid-Suburban West.

State-ranked Fremd improved to 22-5 and 8-1 while Conant stands at 11-11 and 4-5.

"We have shown growth against zone defenses," said Fremd coach Dave Yates. "Ever since our (third conference) game with Palatine (29-27 win), the goal of our opponents has been to zone us. We were a work in progress so now I think we're finally figuring out how to attack zones.

"It was good to see Kace get to the rim and score a little bit. Brynn has been doing a great job coming off the bench and I think she is going to be really good. She is showing her potential. We have a lot of different kids. Bri (Brianna Wooldridge) picked up two quick fouls and we didn't miss a beat so that was nice to see."

A 3-point play by Urlacher and 2 free throws from IUPUI recruit Wooldridge put Fremd in front 5-0 but Conant answered with 2 free throws and an 18-footer by sophomore Asha Cobb to get within 5-4 with under three minutes in the first quarter. A bucket by freshman Ella Todd and two inside baskets by Fay helped stake Fremd to an 11-7 advantage heading into the second period.

An 8-4 run, capped by Anna Schmitt's steal and layup and 8-foot bank shot by Fay, led to a 22-12 lead and the hosts took their biggest advantage of the half at 27-12 when Eshoo drove to the hoop for a layup.

"We really had to come out strong because last time we went to double overtime," Eshoo said. "We had a lot of good passes for layups."

Todd (7 points) drove and pulled up for a 12-footer, and then hit a 3-pointer from the corner to make it 36-19. Eshoo's 3-point play extended the cushion to 39-19 with 3:05 left in the third quarter.

Urlacher pulled down a rebound and went coast-to-coast for a layup and 51-21 lead to start the running clock with 5:31 left in the final quarter.

"I think we moved the ball a lot better this game and we made better decisions offensively," Urlacher said. " And I don't think we had as many turnovers this time which made it much easier because they didn't have as many offensive opportunities."

Cobb, who had a 3-point play, led the Cougars with 8 points followed by freshman Aria Mazza and senior Emily Ytsen with 5 apiece.

Freshman Kanna Bradarich, Mazza and Ytsen accounted for the Cougars' 3 3-pointers.

"We are also playing better defense, "Yates said about Friday's win. "The first time we played them they hit 12 3-pointers. We wanted to do a much better job of getting out and contesting their 3-point shooters."

"I thought early on our energy and enthusiasm were there and we did a good job moving the basketball," said Conant coach Todd Strauch. "But they're just so tough and so physical. And they do such a good job of taking care of the basketball and throwing it inside. It wears you down a bit. We talked about how every little thing matters against a great team like that and I don't know if it was fatigue or physicality but we stopped doing the little things."

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