YORK — Freeport High’s girls’ basketball team continued its surge Tuesday night, overwhelming York for its eighth consecutive victory.

Junior Rachel Wall scored a career-high 27 points as the Falcons used a dominating inside game to defeat the Wildcats 56-42 at Butler Gymnasium.

“This was an exciting one for sure,” said Freeport senior guard Caroline Smith, who added 14 points. “We knew they had been playing really good basketball. We knew it was going to be a battle. We were lucky to win by that margin.”

Freeport, top-ranked in Class B South, is 12-3. York, ranked fourth in Class A South, dropped to 10-5.

The taller Falcons used an excellent interior defense to disrupt York’s offense all night. And the Wildcats, who never led, had no one to stop Wall, who scored 11 points in the first quarter when Freeport took a 15-11 lead.

“We have a lot of height on our team and our teammates were really good at getting the ball inside tonight,” said Wall. “And that was pretty helpful. We just ran everything smoothly, like it was supposed to, and we executed great plays.”

Freeport Coach Seth Farrington said Wall certainly earned her points.

“Rachel has come a long way, she’s put her time in,” he said. “Going into her sophomore year she was just a kid coming up from the jayvee and became third-team all-conference (last year). Now she’s one of the best players in the conference.

“Just through hard work, pride, every day getting better. She’s a phenomenal kid to coach.”

Freeport got the first four points of the second quarter – an inside move by Wall and a steal and layup by Smith – to lead 19-12. After a 3-pointer by York’s Kristen Leroux (13 points), Mason Baker-Schlendering scored inside, Wall scored inside and Smith hit a 3-pointer to make it 26-15.

Nina Howe scored on a layup for York, then Freeport went on a 10-0 run for a 36-19 lead at the half.

York Coach Jess Stacy said Freeport’s defense really controlled the game.

“They did a good job of forcing us outside,” she said. “And if you’re having an off-night, that’s not going to help. They shut down the middle on us. It was hard for us to get to the basket.”

While Wall and Smith provided most of the scoring for Freeport, other players contributed in other ways. Baker-Schlendering had 13 rebounds. Senior guard Catriona Gould guarded Howe (York’s most dangerous offensive player) and never let her get untracked.

“Shout out to Catriona,” said Smith. “She does a lot of things that don’t show up in the box score.”

“Working as a team is a huge part of our success,” said Wall. “Something that makes our team special is that we all work really well together.”

And, said Farrington, they rise to the challenge.

“That’s the best we’ve played in a long time,” he said. “They’ve been in big games, won big games, lost some big games. They’re not afraid of the moment.”

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