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Oswego's Siarra O'Neill drives to the basket against Batavia defender Miranda Grizzaffi during the overtime portion of the third place game at the Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament in Oswego on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012. | Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times
After his team pulled out a thrilling, 69-68 overtime win in the third place game of the Oswego Holiday Classic against the host Panthers, Batavia girls basketball coach Kevin Jensen still couldn’t wrap his head around what he just witnessed.
“I felt like the game lasted seven years,” Jensen said. “I thought at one point we were going to lose by 15. I thought at one point we were going to win by 12. Then I thought we were going to lose by one, then we won by one. I’m still not exactly sure what transpired the last four minutes. It will be interesting watching the tape.”
Batavia (9-4) led most of the night before Oswego (7-6) stormed back to take a 46-45 lead on a Siarra O’Neill three-pointer with 5:04 left in the fourth. A three-pointer and two free throws from Batavia junior Liza Fruendt swung the lead back to Batavia, 50-46, and it was back-and-forth the rest of regulation.
Fruendt hit two free throws with 11 seconds left to give Batavia a 58-55 lead, only to see O’Neill drill a three in the final seconds to tie the game and force overtime. O’Neill then opened overtime with another three, followed by a pair of Amri Wilder buckets, and all of a sudden Oswego was up 65-58 in overtime.
“That’s so frustrating,” Fruendt said of O’Neill, who hit four threes in the fourth quarter and overtime. “We had someone defending her, but then people would get caught in the middle of two screens and not be able to pop out and she hit everything that she took. She did not miss down the stretch. I give her a lot of credit because she stepped up big for her team.”
But Fruendt was in the midst of the best game of her career and willed the Bulldogs back into the game. Her three-pointer with 53 seconds left cut the lead to 66-65 and then with 10 seconds left, she calmly hit a pair of free throws for the win.
“Her fight that she has, there’s not anybody else that can match it,” Jensen said. “She just kept going.”
Fruendt scored a career-high 32 points in the win. Hannah Frazier added 14 for Batavia. Wilder led Oswego with 21 points, with O’Neill scoring 17 and Erin Sinnott adding 12.
Rosary took fifth place, coming back from a 12-point deficit to beat Minooka, 42-39. Rachel Choice led the Royals with 10 points. Glenbard East topped Larkin, 42-24, for seventh place.