RED OAK – Carmen Subbert scored 27 points to lead Stanton past Fremont-Mills 52-29 in the Class 1A girls regional girls basketball final Friday in Red Oak.
Subbert’s 27 points came on 11-of-19 shooting. The senior added seven rebounds and three blocks to put the Viqueens in the regional finals and one game from a state tournament bid.
“It feels good,” Subbert said after the game. “It’s been a long time since we’ve been to the finals. Just to get this far is a great accomplishment.”
Subbert’s 27 points is her highest total against Fremont-Mills this season. Subbert scored nine points in the Knights’ 55-52 Corner Conference championship win back on Jan. 9.
“I think I just got it in my mind that I’m not ready for my season to be over,” Subbert said.
Fremont-Mills played Friday without point guard and leading scorer Macy Williams, who was out with an illness. With Williams out, the Knights were forced to change their strategy on offense – and it showed. Fremont-Mills’ 29 points were a season low.
“It was huge because I wanted to get the ball out of Taryn’s (Williams) hands and put her back to doing her job and that’s scoring,” Fremont-Mills Coach Rod Williams said. “Every time I took the ball out of her hands and into somebody else’s hands, it wasn’t working.”
Both teams got off to slow starts in the game. However, an 11-2 run in the final five minutes of the first quarter gave Stanton the 13-5 lead. Subbert was responsible for 10 of those Stanton points.
Fremont-Mills acquired momentum early in the second quarter, scoring seven of the next 10 points to trail by just three-points with more than five minutes left in the quarter.
But Stanton halted the Fremont-Mills attack and responded with an offensive explosion of its own, going on a 13-4 run to take a 28-16 lead heading into halftime. Stanton Coach Bruce Subbert said the key to the Viqueens’ second quarter drive was his team’s focus on defense and protecting the ball.
“We just had to concentrate and focus on our defensive end,” Coach Subbert said. “That’s been our key the whole year, doesn’t matter who we’re playing.”
Fremont-Mills continued to struggle during the third quarter as the Viqueens continue to build on their halftime lead. Much like the second quarter, Stanton pushed the tempo on offense and used their fast break swell its lead to 43-22 heading into the fourth quarter.
“I thought our girls played really hard,” Williams said. “We just played a very good team.”
Andrea McClary finished the game as Fremont-Mills’ leading scorer, recording 15 points. Taryn Williams added 10 points.
With Fremont-Mills losing only one senior during from this year’s squad, the Knights return plenty of varsity experience next season, including their top three scorers and four starters. After the game, Williams offered a challenge to his team.
“I told them I needed all of them. It’s not at the end of October when we start practice,” he said. “It’s from here to October.”
TABOR - With one starter out with mononucleosis and three other starters suffering flu-like symptoms, the Fremont-Mills girls played the first quarter of its Class 1, regional quarterfinal last Tuesday like a team under-the-weather.
The Knights scored just six points, hit 2-of-10 shots and turned the ball over five times the first eight minutes of the game. Fortunately, for the Knights they got healthy in the second quarter and overcame a scrappy Essex squad in a 50-43 victory at the Lied Gymnasium.
It was never easy for the Knights. Head coach Rod Williams found out the day before the game, his daughter and starting point guard Macy Williams was done for the season after being diagnosed with mono. To make matters just a little more difficult for the No. 15 rated Knights, starters Taryn Williams and sister Ashley and Andrea McClary have been struggling with the flu all week.
“Andrea was throwing up an hour before the game,” Coach Williams said.
The Trojanns, who lost their three previous meetings with Fremont-Mills this season by an average 37 points, came out aggressive the first quarter, determined to run right at the heavily favored Knights.
Essex led 6-0 before the Knights got on the board with 4:39 to go in that opening frame and led 14-6 at the end of the quarter.
“We felt like if we backed off we’d have to play four full quarters and I asked the girls if they had enough in their tanks to go full-court, all out the first quarter and get a lead and we’d starting subbing from there,” said Coach Williams after the game. “But we weren’t hitting and we couldn’t get our press set up like we hoped.”
But the Knights began the slow process to recovery midway through the second quarter. Keyed by a steal and a layup by Taryn Williams, Fremont-Mills rattled off eight straight points to tie the game at 14-14. They took their first lead of the game on Haylee Chambers’ jumper with 2:28 to go in the half.
Williams said that 16-4 run the final four minutes of the half keyed the momentum shift his ailing team needed.
“I could see it the girls eyes at the end of the first quarter we weren’t doing very well and we could lose them altogether,” Coach Williams said. “Taryn was white as a ghost and it looked like she might not want to go anymore. And I thought our subs stepped in and played well for us when we needed them.”
The Knights led 22-18 at halftime and would hold it’s slim lead throughout the third and into the fourth quarter.
But Essex wouldn’t go away. Jescenia Mosley’s layup with just over five minutes to go trimmed what was once a seven-point Knight lead to 40-37.
After sitting out the entire third quarter, Coach Williams sent Taryn Williams back into the game to settle the Knights. It worked.
Taryn Williams took over primary ball handling duties and her runner with 3:01 to go extended the lead to 43-39. Nursing a six-point lead in the final minute, Taryn hit 6-of-6 free throws down the stretch to ice the win.
“She really gutted it out,” Coach Williams said of his junior guard, who scored a game-high 23 points. “Really, all of our girls did. But she had those four fouls down the stretch and she sat on the bench the whole third quarter and went back in and gutted it out. She’s a heck of a free throw shooter and I wanted her to have the ball in her hands.”
Seana Perkins paced Essex with 13 points.