Girls Basketball: Fremd rallies past Marian Catholic 63-62
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media December 14, 2013 10:32PM
Updated: January 16, 2014 7:02AM
A nine-point deficit with just two minutes to go against the defending state champs.
A situation that might rattle some teams, but not Fremd.
Trailing 60-51 with two-plus minutes to go Saturday at the Young ChiTown Showdown, the Vikings never faltered.
Junior guard Haley Gorecki put the team on her back, scoring eight points late including the game-winner with 24 seconds to go, to lift Fremd to a 63-62 thriller over Marian Catholic.
“We always wanted to come in thinking ‘We’ve still got this,’ ” Gorecki said. “It’s never over. Our main focus was keep on playing. We’ve been in situations like this before so we had to stick with it.”
Finishing with 23 points to lead Fremd (8-1), Gorecki saved her best for last Saturday. Down nine points, Gorecki strung together back-to-back three-point plays, drawing Fremd to within 60-57 with 1:45 to go.
A nine-point deficit? Tougher to handle. A three-point deficit? Very doable.
“We kept saying ‘Just get a stop,’ ” Fremd coach Dave Yates said. “The pressure wasn’t on us, and we felt like all we needed was a couple stops. We wanted to get it down to a couple possessions.”
Two Ashton Millender free throws extended Marian’s lead back to five at 62-57, but the Vikings weren’t done yet. Bryana Hopkins scored on a hard drive into the lane, and Brianna Lewis (13 points) connected on two free throws with 35 seconds to go.
A frenetic pace got to Marian, the Fremd defense capitalizing. In a scrum at halfcourt, Hopkins came up with the ball and again drove hard to the hoop.
The sophomore dished off to Gorecki, who scored her easiest points of the day on a wide-open layup for the game-winner with 24 seconds to go.
“We got the win,” Gorecki said. “Bryana did a great job setting that up. We were running one of our press zones, and it worked.”
With one last chance, Millender (11 points) missed a midrange jumper with less than 10 seconds to go. Fremd’s Lewis rebounded and dribbled out the clock.
Teniya Page (14 points), Dajhae Mullins (12 points, 8 rebounds) and Kauai Bradley (11 points) led Marian (6-2), who played earlier in the day and won at the Oswego Invitational against Proviso East.
“We have to understand the value of points on every possession,” Marian Catholic coach Dan Murray said. “That cost us. We had a nine-point lead and didn’t value the basketball. (Giving up) the three-point plays was unacceptable.”