Carlson’s 39 leads Batavia past Fremd into Morton title game

Brooke Carlson’s best move on Friday night occurred on the sidelines.

After putting together an awe-inspiring performance to lead Batavia to a program-building victory over Fremd, Carlson left the court in the final seconds to a raucous applause.

The Colorado State recruit torched the Vikings for 39 points – three points shy of her career high set against St. Charles North last season. She celebrated the highlight-filled display by immediately jetting to the bench, twisting and turning her way through each one of her teammates and coaches along the sidelines.

Carlson added to her stellar career with another signature big-time outing, leading the Bulldogs to a 72-61 win over Fremd at the third annual Morton College Girls Basketball Christmas Tournament semifinals in Cicero.

Carlson called Friday’s victory even sweeter than blowing out Benet on its homecourt earlier this season.

“It was amazing, and all my teammates love each other, so this win was the biggest win of the season and gives us confidence for the rest of the season,” Carlson said.

Addie Prewitt had eight points and Kylee Gehrt chipped in with six points to help knock off Fremd (13-4). Ella Todd and Coco Urlacher both scored 15 points for the Vikings.

The Bulldogs (14-2) advance to Saturday’s 8:15 p.m. championship game against the winner of Peoria Notre Dame and Alton.

Carlson is inching closer to the 2,000-point career mark. She had her stamp all over the rare win over Fremd. She helped the Bulldogs erase a 6-0 deficit with eight points in a quick flurry. The Colorado State recruit overwhelmed Fremd with her quickness, ability to absorb contact on drives and perimeter shooting. Carlson was all over the court, slinging passes to open teammates, hitting three 3-pointers, playing tough defense and weaving her way through Fremd’s defense.

Batavia coach Kevin Jensen, who was soaked from a post-game locker room dousing, said it was a typical big-game effort by Carlson.

“I’m glad she’s on my team,” Jensen said, smiling. “Her best comes out in games like this. She was going to will herself to a lot of things tonight. When it all took off, it was when we played together.”

Carlson entered the game averaging 21.5 points per game, but she blew past her average late in the third quarter. Carlson took advantage of Fremd junior point guard Urlacher picking up her fourth foul at the midpoint of the third.

Carlson also benefited from Vikings losing track of her several times while in their zone defense once Urlacher went to the bench.

“My teammates found me the ball, and (Fremd) wasn’t really looking where we were,” Carlson said. “We were all moving well. I also tried to attack (Urlacher) because she was one of their better players. That was one of the key things I was looking at. I feel a lot of people doubted us and we showed we can play with anybody in the state.”

The Bulldogs execution, particularly in the final 14 minutes, turned the tide in the game. Batavia fixed its turnover issues which bothered them in the fourth quarter, scoring points on 17 of their 19 possessions until finally missing a shot with 1:11 left.

“I think we had a lot of energy,” Batavia’s Addie Prewitt said. “We were all hyped up on defense, so I just tried to step up and help the team. When Brooke is playing very well, it just brings us so much energy.”

Jensen called it a memorable victory over Fremd.

“This was another new challenge,” Jensen said. “This one was one we marked on the calendar hoping we would have an opportunity for this, when the tournament bracket came out. This is a program type win for us. Anybody in the state knows (Fremd), and I would like to think they are getting some news on us.”

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