By Tim Froehlig – editorial@nwherald.comComments ()
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Cary-Grove’s Meg Straumann makes a break for the basket after stealing the ball from Fremd in the second quarter on Monday. (Lauren M. Anderson –landerson@nwherald.com)

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LAKE ZURICH – Cary-Grove girls basketball coach Rod Saffert might haveoffered the bestdescription ofhis team’s 45-41 loss to Fremd, at the Dundee-Crown Thanksgiving Tournament, Monday night.

“It was a chess game,” Saffert said.

Unfortunately for Cary-Grove (3-1), Fremd saved its best moves for last.The Vikings shot 13 for 14 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter – and finished 20 for 24 for the game –to hang on and give C-G its first loss of the season.

The Trojans didn’t suffer their first loss last season until late December. However, Monday’ssetback certainly wasn’tdue toa lack of effort.

Fremd sophomore guard Ashley McConnell made 7 of 8foul shots during the final 49 seconds of the game to keep the Trojans just out of reach.

“I tried to freeze [McConnell] out by calling that timeout [with 49 seconds left], but it didn’t work,” Saffert said.“And then they just kept making free throws.”

Senior Claire Jakubicek led her team in scoring, notched a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, and drained a clutch layup with 39 seconds remaining in the game after two McConnell free throws. It pulled C-G within two of Fremd, 40-38.

“I think we worked really hard tonight, but it didn’t seem like anything was going quite the way we wanted down the stretch,” Jakubicek said. “Fremd is a really good team.”

With Fremd (3-0) ahead by two, McConnell was fouled and madeone oftwo from the line with 29 seconds left to play, only to have Jakubiceksinkone of her two foul shots at the other end after a hard drive to the basket– with 25 seconds to go – keeping it a two-point Vikings’ lead. McConnell then sank two more foul shots with 15 seconds remaining, giving Fremd a 43-39 edge.

Claire’s youngersister, sophomore Olivia Jakubicek (seven points, six rebounds), again cut Fremd’s lead to two, 43-41, with seven seconds remaining, but the Trojans ultimately ran out of time.

“You gotta give credit where it’s due,” C-G senior guard Meg Straumann (10 points, two assists) said. “Our main goal was to win this tournament. We played hard tonight, but sometimes you have to fail to succeed.”

There were plenty of positives for C-G. Offensively, the Trojans shot 50 percent from the field in the fourth quarter (6 for 12).Defensively, theyheld Fremd to 11 of 38 from the field for the game.

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