Fremd routs Palatine for 25th regional crown

After easily beating crosstown rival Palatine twice in the regular season, No. 8-ranked Fremd was not about to let it guard down when the Vikings faced the Pirates for the Buffalo Grove Class 4A regional championship Thursday night.

And top-seeded Fremd (26-6) was impressive from start to finish as the Vikings led 21-10 after the first quarter, 42-19 at halftime, and 59-28 after three quarters before coasting to a 65-35 victory for their 26th regional crown.

With the win, Fremd will host No. 4-seeded Schaumburg in its own sectional semifinals at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Palatine (16-14) could not contain the Vikings' balanced scoring attack as they scored 21 points in each of the first two quarters. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Isabelle Zavilla and Coco Urlacher gave Fremd its biggest lead at 39-17 with 2:36 left in the first half.

“That's what we want. We want balance on offense and I thought we played some pretty good defense,” said Fremd coach Dave Yates, whose team hit 17-for-18 (94.4%) from the foul line. “When we can create turnovers and get the game in an up-tempo fashion that benefits us.”

Junior Ella Todd led the Vikings with a team-high 15 points while Zavilla (11 points) and Ellie Thompson (10 points) also reached double figures. Fremd also got 8 points from Brynn Eshoo and 6 points from Urlacher.

“That was just a game we had to take care of. Now it's onto the next and we're just focusing on one game and one practice at a time,” said Todd, whose team beat Schaumburg twice in the regular season. “I think the key is going to be staying focused, playing our game and not letting other teams speed us up.”

Palatine junior Halle Onyekonwu scored 12 of her game-high 17 points in the first half while teammate Frankie Henderson scored 7 points. Grace Kline had 5 points for the Pirates while Fremd's Greta Thompson added 4 points on 4-for-4 free throw shooting.

“Fremd's a great team. We knew that going into it. They're very quick, extremely good shooters, well coached, and well disciplined so we knew we had a challenge going into tonight,” said Palatine coach Sarah Davis.

“We battled a lot of injuries. I think our senior point guard Frankie (Henderson) was really the heart and soul of our team from the start of our season to now the end of it. She really kept everybody together and composed as much as she could so we're really going to miss her.”

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