After a Jekyll-like performance in the first half, Schaumburg ran away and managed to hide from Fremd in the second half Friday night, en route to a 45-24 win that sets up a Mid-Suburban West showdown against Palatine next week.
The Saxons (15-9, 7-2) scored but 11 first-half points against a stingy Fremd defensive effort.
“We were flat. We didn’t have the intensity,” said Saxons high-scorer Kyle Bolger (19 points).
But they ran off 14 straight points in the second half, sparked in good part by Cole Reyes’ steal of a crosscourt pass and breakaway delivery of a layin for a 20-19 lead it would never relinquish after it seemed the Saxons might have trouble scoring 20 points all night.
“We fed off our defensive intensity,” said Schaumburg coach Matt Walsh as Reyes kept the flame lit with a behind-the-back save of a ball heading out of bounds to preserve another possession.
“That was big,” Bolger said of Reyes’ defensive hustle, particularly the crosscourt gem.
The Saxons limited Fremd to 10 second-half points, 4-of-17 shooting and out-rebounded the taller Vikings 15-2 in the final two quarters.
And they boosted their shooting percentage by attacking the rim instead of hauling up and settling for perimeter shots. Bolger paced that with his frequent spinning moves to the basket. And it got contagious, as 6-foot-6 Jimmy Lundquist (9 points) did the same. Carlos Sarasti provided a lift off the bench, including an old-fashioned 3-point play.
Fremd, meanwhile, just couldn’t get a shot to fall, despite generating some decent looks. Riley Glassmann had 11 points to lead the Vikings and Sean Benka had a pair of 3-pointers (16-8, 5-4), but Fremd didn’t have a fourth-quarter field goal until he laid one in with 2:24 left. By then, Fremd had been trailing by double digits since late in the third quarter anyway.
It was particularly frustrating after the defensive gem of a first half, limiting Schaumburg to 4-of-14 shooting, 1-of-8 on 3-pointers.
“I thought we did a real good defensively in the first half,” said Fremd coach Bob Widlowski, calling it his team’s best defensive half of the season. “We came out with a very competitive attitude.”
As good as their effort was, they struggled equally that much with their second-half shooting.
“We had a couple that rolled off early,” in the second half and that sort of set the tone, he noted.
Schaumburg now has clinched a share of yet another division title and would take the West outright with a win over Palatine.
“It feels great,” to have done that, said Bolger. “Now, we’ve to keep going.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.