Liza Fruendt, Batavia defense stifle Zion-Benton

SHARE Liza Fruendt, Batavia defense stifle Zion-Benton

Batavia looked like it needed a wake-up call in the early going against Zion-Benton on Monday.

But in the end the Bulldogs put their opponents to sleep with a great effort in the second and third quarters en route to a 49-34 victory in the opening round of the Montini Christmas Tournament.

“I think in the first quarter we were a little bit asleep,” Batavia guard Liza Fruendt said. “Everything was just a little off and in the second quarter we just got on a roll and we just played our basketball.

Zion-Benton led 15-8 when Krystal Walker sank a three-pointer to end the first quarter. But the Zee-Bees (8-2) mustered just five points in the second quarter and were held to a season-low point total.

After shooting 2-for-11 in the first quarter, Batavia began the second quarter with an 11-0 run. Bethany Orman got it started with a three-pointer and then Fruendt tallied eight straight points to put the Bulldogs ahead.

Fruendt scored 19 of her game-high 24 points over the middle two quarters, including a three-pointer that gave the Bulldogs (11-2) its largest lead 40-22 with 1:40 remaining in the third quarter. The Missouri State recruit also had six steals, four rebounds and three assists.

“For the first couple minutes our focus wasn’t perfect and that kind of affects your effort,” Batavia coach Kevin Jensen said. “As we kind of honed in it was, ‘okay, we’re here, let’s wake up now that we’re at the game.’ Our energy was up a little bit and then when Liza starts making a few plays we kind of feed off her.”

Hannah Frazier had nine points and eight rebounds and Erin Bayram chipped in eight points, five boards and two blocks for Batavia, which will face Trinity (12-0), which beat Plainfield East 86-29, in Thursday’s quarterfinals. Auri Hampton led Zion-Benton with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

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