Fremd continues mastery of Schaumburg

On Thursday night, Fremd's girls basketball created a space cushion and rode to smooth sailing on the Schaumburg hardwood driving past the hosts 66-35 to open up a two-game cushion in the Mid-Suburban West standings over the Saxons.

It also marked the 22nd consecutive time dating back to January of 2013 that the Vikings (16-5, 6-0) have beaten the Saxons (18-4, 4-2).

"(What) we've really been stressing lately is playing better as a team and not worrying about your own shot (but) worrying more about (taking) the best shot," Fremd junior forward Ella Todd said.

"I think we did a really good job of that tonight. It was a really well played game as a team."

The visitors got things started in the right direction by opening the game on a 13-0 run over the first 4:06 led by 7 of Brynn Eshoo's game-high 17.

After consecutive hoops from Utah commit Todd (16 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists) had Fremd ahead 19-3 with 2:05 left in the quarter, Schaumburg got seven straight points from their leading scorer Jada Branch (10 points) to pull within 19-10.

An Ellie Thompson trey gave the Vikings a 22-10 advantage heading into the second that became 34-17 at the break.

A 13-5 run to commence half number two resolved all matters as the Vikings would go on to hold Schaumburg to 13-of-48 shooting (27%) from the floor and outrebound them 29-13 for the game.

"We really played good defense," Fremd coach Dave Yates said. "We gave up 70 (points) in back-to-back games over Christmas (break) and we've been spending time with our kids on (practicing) man-to-man defense and working on defending people, so it was really cool to see that carry over to a game like this because that led to a lot of easy scores."

Coco Urlacher added 13 points and 8 rebounds while Isabelle Zavilla chipped in nine for the Vikings.

Senior guard Grace Schluckbier added nine points for Schaumburg who entered the contest having put together the program's best start since the 2007-08 season. That year the Saxons won their first 16 under Bill Murmann en route to a 28-6 finish that landed them in a third straight sectional final.

"Today was one of those days," Saxons coach Jacquie Strauch said. "I just felt like there was like a disconnect. These moments stink but you got to get over them and move on. You got to go look at what's ahead. We've got 8 more games in the regular season and a lot of opportunity (ahead)."

Which is something Yates concurs.

"We've challenged ourselves,“ Yates said. ”These kids have played top teams from out of state. They're getting tested and sometimes when you get tested, you learn and that's what we challenge them about: Are we going to continue to learn aggressiveness (and) is this the opportunity to kind of catapult ourselves to a whole new level? We'll see."

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