Lauren Prochaska got her second wind in the second half, and No. 3 Trinity outscored Batavia 12-7 over the final 3:39 to survive a major scare in the quarterfinals of the Montini Christmas Tournament Thursday in Lombard.
Prochasa finished with 23 points – all but three in the second half – and Annie McKenna added 20 points as Trinity advanced to Friday’s 6:30 p.m. semifinal with a 66-64 victory over the No. 17 Bulldogs.
“That was Intense,” Prochaska said. “I didn’t play that well. I had three points in the first half. We all had to come together at the end. Annie (McKenna) had some tremendous steals. Amber (Reese) played well. Everyone banded together. When we pick it up, there’s no stopping us.”
Prochaska was assigned to hound the Bulldogs’ Liza Fruendt, who put on a dazzling first-half display for Batavia. Among her 17 first-half points was a 37-footer at the first-quarter buzzer that gave the Bulldogs a 15-14 lead, and with time winding down in the first half, she picked off a Trinity (13-0) pass and drove the length of the floor for a layup and a 33-30 lead.
“Chasing Fruendt around wore me out,” Prochaska said. “She’s such a good player. She’s always moving, she has such a fast trigger. I was tired chasing her around.”
But Fruendt picked up two fouls in a span of 15 seconds of the third quarter and went to the bench with the Bulldogs clinging to a 45-40 lead with 1:21 remaining in the period.
Batavia (11-3) still led 57-54 when Fruendt entered the game, but Trinity scored the next six points including a three-pointer and two free throws by McKenna.
Fruendt finished with 25 points , 6-2 sophomore Hannah Frazier had 15 points and seven rebounds and Bethany Orman added 10 points for Batavia.
“I’m going to remember the things at the end a little more,” Batavia coach Kevin Jensen said. “A free throw here, not finding the shooter there, a couple of silly turnovers off easy inbounds plays, things like that. You don’t have the luxury of doing those things and beating a team like that.
“Overall, I think we played fantastic,” he added. “I can’t be mad at that. I think we’re getting close to some of these teams, but we got to beat one of them to take the next step. Our girls played their hearts out. We did about everything we could. A couple of bounces slightly here or there and you never know.”