By BLAKE TOPPMEYER
Herald-Whig Sports Writer
Quincy Notre Dame's Jordan Frericks has finished third in the voting for Illinois Ms. Basketball.
The Chicago Tribune announced Monday evening that Mt. Carmel's Tyra Buss won the award, which is given annually to the state's best girls basketball player, according to voting by media and coaches from around the state. The award is presented by the Tribune, in conjunction with the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association.
"It's a great honor," Frericks said of finishing third. "I'm just really proud that I was able to finish that high. It's exciting."
A 6-foot-2 senior forward, Frericks averaged 16.4 points, eight rebounds, 5.1 steals, 3.4 assists and 2.8 blocks per game this season. She made 62.7 percent of her field-goal attempts. Frericks helped QND go 30-0 and win the Class 3A state championship.
It marked QND's third straight state title, as the Lady Raiders won the 2A crown in Frericks' sophomore and junior seasons. QND went 124-5 during Frericks' four seasons. She was a starter every year. Frericks signed last fall with Missouri for women's basketball.
"(Finishing third) is definitely not as big as what we did as a team, but it's a good accomplishment as an individual," Frericks said.
Frericks said winning Ms. Basketball was never a priority for her but added that "it's kind of cool to see what other people think."
Frericks, a unanimous first-team Associated Press Class 3A all-state selection, finished with 92 points in voting. Buss collected 255 points, and Whitney Young senior guard Linnae Harper, a Kentucky signee, was second with 194 points.
"It bodes well for Jordan that she was well-respected as one of the top three players in the state," QND coach Eric Orne said.
Buss, a junior guard who has committed to Indiana, becomes the first player outside the Chicagoland to win Ms. Basketball since Brittany Johnson of Olney East Richland won in 2007.
Rounding out the top five were Freeport Aquin's Sophie Brunner (87 points) and Edwardsville's Emmonnie Henderson (70 points).
First-place votes were worth five points, second-place votes three and third-place votes one.
Buss averaged 38.9 points, 6.1 steals, 3.2 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game this season, according to the Tribune. She was a unanimous AP Class 2A all-state selection. Buss, who finished third in the voting last year, broke the Illinois single-season scoring record this year with 1,285 points. Mt. Carmel reached the championship of the 2A Newtown Sectional, where it lost 57-34 to Teutopolis.
QND senior guard Kassidy Gengenbacher finished 12th in the voting with 20 points after she averaged a team-best 17.7 points per game this season. She shot 44 percent from 3-point range, making 55 3-pointers.
QND was the only school to have two players finish in the top 15.