Haley Gorecki had 21 points, six rebounds and three assists and combined with Brianna Lewis and Hannah LaBarge to make 10 consecutive free throws in the final 1:41 as No. 7 Fremd defeated No. 6 Rolling Meadows 49-42 in the Mid-Suburban League championship game Wednesday in Palatine.
Bryana Hopkins added nine points and seven rebounds and LaBarge had seven points as Fremd won its second straight MSL title over Rolling Meadows.
“People who needed to get rebounds got rebounds this game,” Gorecki said. “People who needed to take care of the ball I thought they did a good job taking care of the ball. We did the little things and it got us the win.”
In contrast to the first meeting between the two teams earlier in the season won by Meadows 71-68, Wednesday’s game never threatened to become a battle of offenses.
Fremd (24-3) did use an 11-2 run spanning the first and second quarters to take a 13-7 lead before Meadows fought back to tie at 17-17 on a conventional three-point play by Jenny Vliet (13 points, nine rebounds).
Gorecki hit from well behind the three-point line to give Fremd a 20-17 lead with 1:10 remaining in the second quarter, but Vliet answered with a 22-footer right before the halftime horn.
Jackie Kemph found Ashley Montanez under the basket to give Rolling Meadows (23-4) a 29-27 lead with 3:16 remaining in the third quarter, but the lead would be short-lived and the Mustangs’ last.
Fremd closed the quarter on a 6-0 run and never trailed again.
“I didn’t think we played well,” Rolling Meadows coach Ryan Kirkorsky said. “A lot of 50-50 balls, a lot of rebounds that we had a chance to win quickly, I just felt they there were some of those balls they got to quicker than us.
“We know each other so well, we both know what each other is running,” he added. “The game turns into a possession by possession game. We’re used to playing a faster pace. They were able to make more plays than us.”
Kemph led Rolling Meadows with 14 points and six assists and Ashley Montanez added eight points and 10 rebounds. Northwestern recruit Alexis Glasgow did not score.
The two teams could meet again at the Barrington sectional in two weeks, and Gorecki said Wednesday’s win was a big confidence booster.
“We’re a young team and this gets our confidence up,” she said. “We’re a good team, but beating Meadows, they’re one of the top teams in the area and in the state, so I think once our team realizes we can beat a good team it will help us realize were a good team also.”