LAKE ZURICH – Fremd junior forward Maddy Fay wanted to send a message late in Tuesday’s game against Montini.
After the two teams combined for 11 points, including three 3-pointers, in the final 59 seconds of regulation to force overtime, Fay put her own stamp on the game by going to work in the paint. Fay scored the first four points of the overtime to lift the Vikings to a thrilling 65-63 overtime win over the Broncos at the Exam Jamm hosted by Lake Zurich.
The Vikings (6-3) secured the victory by grabbing three offensive rebounds in the final minute of overtime to go with Ella Todd hitting two free throws. Fay’s strong start in the overtime was critical to hold off the Broncos, with Montini missing a potential tying shot at the buzzer.
The 6-foot-2 Fay has been instrumental helping Fremd survive a brutal schedule, especially with star forward Brianna Wooldridge on the sidelines with an injury. Fay tallied 13 points and eight rebounds against Montini.
“I just knew I had to pick it up,” Fay said. “I’m trying to be a leader on this team. I had a really rough game, especially in the second half when I couldn’t make anything. I knew I had to step it up in overtime to get us going.”
Montini junior forward Shannon Blacher finished with 14 points, including two key assists in the final 60 seconds of regulation. Senior guard Sam Mogilinski managed to be in the right spot at the right time during several key moments. She led the Broncos (6-3) with 19 points, hitting five 3-pointers.
“That was a great game to play in and was really exciting,” Montini coach Shannon Spanos said. “Both teams worked really hard, but hats off to Fremd. They hit a big shot at the end and did the little things to win the game. Sam had a super game. She’s so lethal from the 3-point line, and hit some big shots tonight and took two or three charges. That’s a complete game.”
Fremd’s Jill Sheehan forced overtime by burying a 3-pointer with 25 seconds left.
“It was a gutsy game for our kids,” Fremd coach Dave Yates said. “Montini hit big shot after big shot, but our kids stuck around and kept answering. Jill Sheehan hit a huge 3-pointer. Coming out in overtime was big, with Maddy scoring. This group is young. We’ve played a very tough schedule. Montini did a lot of good things, but we found a way to win which is good for a young group.”
Whenever Montini needed a big basket to shift the momentum in a tight game against Class 4A defending state champion Fremd, Mogilinski answered with one. In many cases, it was a 3-pointer. Yet, the game wasn’t a typical well-played game.
The rare nonconference game between two powerhouses programs with recent state championships was filled with missed free throws, rushed shots and uneven play typical of an early-season game.
In the first quarter, Fremd led for the first few minutes before Montini went on a 12-2 run to seize a 17-10 lead. Blacher sparked the run with 4 straight points, highlighted by a drive through the paint for a lay-in.
With both teams struggling to control the ball, the Vikings slowly clawed back when Anna Schmitt went on a scoring spree to even the game at 26-26 at halftime.
As former Montini coach Jason Nichols, who won four state titles in his tenure in Lombard, watched from the stands scouting for Morton College, the Broncos had three players finish in double figures. Victoria Matulevicius scored 12 points while the Vikings received 11 points each from Todd and Schmitt.