West test goes to Fremd
A typical game for Sean Benka entails chasing around the other team's best player.
The senior did just that on Friday night at Barrington, using his 6-foot-5 frame to hound Barrington standout point guard Brad Zaumseil for most of the night.
And Benka found ways to contribute on the offensive end with a team-high 8 points, including the go-ahead basket in the fourth quarter as Fremd beat Barrington 39-34 to move into a first place tie with the Broncos in the Mid-Suburban West.
"We really brought a great attitude to tonight's game and executed the game plan in their gymnasium," said Fremd coach Bob Widlowski. "We are very pleased with how we played today."
After Barrington's Raymond Tolentino grabbed an offensive rebound and flipped a no-look pass to Zach Bart for a layup, Benka drove to the hole for a tough layup to put Fremd (9-3, 3-1) ahead to stay at 33-32 lead with 3:46 left.
Ben Carlson, who also had 8 points, then drained an 18-footer and sophomore Xavier Williams sunk 3-of-4 from the foul line down the stretch to seal it.
Benka held Zaumseil to 10 points on 3-of-10 from the floor.
"I love guarding the little guys, and coach gives me the opportunity to guard everyone," Benka said. "I love playing defense. Our team loves playing defense."
That much was evident in the first half as Fremd held Barrington (6-6, 3-1) to 5-of-16 shooting before intermission.
The Vikings were 5-of-13 from the floor through two quarters but committed 10 of their 13 turnovers and trailed 14-12 at halftime.
Fremd actually would've went into the break in single digits if it weren't for Kevin Kubis' 3-pointer two seconds before the second quarter buzzer.
That shot seemed to energize the Vikings as big baskets from Matt Ochoa and Benka capped off a third quarter in which they outscored the Broncos 17-9.
"We didn't put 32 minutes together," said Barrington coach Bryan Tucker. "We had a lapse, and they took advantage."
Scott Nelson helped hold Fremd's leading scorer Riley Glassmann to 4 points, but Barrington shot 34 percent from the field.
"We usually single (Nelson) out to take the opponent's best player," Tucker said. "He gave us a chance, but the whole team just didn't get it done."
Bart added 9 points for the hosts while Michael Krupa's 7 rebounds were part of a 21-16 edge on the boards for Fremd.
"We have six more (conference games), but it's a great feeling to be on top right now," Benka said. "Hopefully we can finish on top."
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