Fremd knocks off Hersey in OT

It wasn't the championship game for Mid-Suburban League girls basketball on Tuesday but it sure was of championship caliber.

State-ranked Hersey and host Fremd went down to the wire and the MSL second-place crossover required overtime before the Vikings survived 58-55 in a rematch of last March's title game won by Hersey.

Freshman Ella Todd had the Vikes' first and last buckets of the extra session and junior Nikki Gonnella's 2 free throws made it 58-55 before junior Katy Eidle's well-defended 30-foot 3-point attempt bounced off the rim as time expired.

The Michigan recruit Eidle finished with a game-high 29 points while IUPUI-bound Brianna Wooldridge and junior Maddy Fay each tossed in 15 for Fremd (26-6).

"It's insane to think about, it just doesn't seem real to me," said Wooldridge about her final home game at Fremd, where she started as a freshman. "And Hersey is amazing."

After back-to-back 3-point plays by Eidle and Wooldridge, the score was tied at 8-8.

Eidle and Wooldridge exchanged inside buckets to tie it at 10-10 before Eidle connected on a 45-footer just before the buzzer to give the visitors a 13-10 lead heading into the second quarter.

"Katy played amazing," Wooldridge added. "She hits shots a lot of people can't hit. She hit them over me and Maddy (Fay) while we were helping. It was a great game and I'm really happy that we came out and won."

Neither team led by more than 3 points in the final seven minutes of the half. A 3-pointer by Hersey junior Natalie Alesia tied it at 19-19 before Eidle went nearly coast-to-coast for a layup and 21-19 lead.

Todd (11 points) hit a 14-foot floater from the elbow before Alesia (9 points) hit a pair of free throws and a layup (following a rebound by Sabrina DiVito and assist from Eidle) for Hersey's 25-21 lead at intermission.

Coach Mary Fendley's Huskies (25-5) gained the biggest lead by either team when Eidle whipped a cross-court pass to classmate Kelsey Neary, who hit a 3-pointer to make it 31-21.

But the Vikings answered with three straight buckets from Todd, Maddy Fay and Sam Bodensteiner to get within 31-27 at the mask timeout.

Eidle's 3-pointer extended Hersey's lead to 36-29 before Fay rebounded her own shot and banked it home to make it 36-31 after three quarters.

Hersey went up 42-34 but Kace Urlacher's 7-foot floater and Todd's 3-pointer got the hosts to within 42-39 at the mask timeout of the final period.

After a layup by sophomore Annika Manthy (10 points) gave Hersey a 50-48 lead with 35 seconds left, Fay's rebound layup with 23.4 seconds left accounted for the final points of regulation as Hersey missed a 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds left.

A 15-footer by Val Allen (6 points) from the baseline gave Hersey a 55-54 lead in OT but Todd's driving layup with 44 seconds left put Fremd in front 56-55.

"That was a good battle between two really good teams (both ranked in the Top Ten of Class 4A state poll)," said Fremd coach Dave Yates. "Back and forth. Back and forth. It's what we expected and honestly I was pretty happy with our kids for hanging in there. We told our kids going into overtime 'you got yourselves back to even, let's see if you can win it'. And I thought we did a nice job to make some plays there to win it."

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