Fremd fends off Antioch's comeback bid

When Antioch sophomore Marshall Gehrke drove in for layup in an opening-round game of the 44th annual Wheeling Hardwood Classic on Tuesday night, the Sequoits had narrowed Fremd's 10-point second-half lead to 43-41 with 6:25 left.

"At Fremd, we just always try to have poise," said Vikings senior guard Ryan Sammons. "So we knew we still had the lead and we just wanted to have good possessions. As long as we have good possessions we're fine."

And things were fine for coach Bob Widlowski's boys in the final six minutes as they pulled away again to a 13-point lead in the last minute en route to a 60-54 triumph.

Fremd (7-4) advances to Wednesday's 7:15 p.m. quarterfinal against Prospect (6-5), which won 66-54 over Niles North (9-2) behind 13 points apiece from Alex Georgakas and Frankie Poshnjari and 11 each from Ben Schneider and Drew Terpins.

"We kept our composure and finished very well down the stretch," Widlowski said. "We've got to be ready to play because they're (Prospect) going to bring it."

Fremd and Antioch brought the 3-pointers in the first quarter.

The Vikings hit six of them and led 20-15, with 9 of the Sequoits' points coming from long distance.

Antioch hit two more in the second quarter, the second by Carter Webb (11 points and three of the Sequoits' seven 3-pointers) which gave Antioch its last lead of the game at 21-20.

Sophomore Samuel Hirsch then hit one of his two 3-pointers to give Fremd the lead for good as the Vikings went on a 12-3 run for a 32-24 advantage at intermission.

"I think we're one of the best shooting teams around so we can heat up really fast," Sammons (season-high 19 points, three of the Vikes' eight 3-pointers). "We have a bunch of guys on our team who can play. They're good players and have good shots."

The Vikes made their shots at the end to answer the Sequoits' late rally.

A 3-pointer by Caiden Suchy (11 points, 7 rebounds) made it 46-41. Suchy then took a charge and the Vikings came back with a driving layup from Mark Braun for a 48-41 cushion. Antioch never got closer than 5 points,

Braun (8 points, 5 rebounds) had 2 big boards in the final three minutes.

A baseline drive and bank shot by Suchy and a big move by Cameron Kuhl (9 points, 5 rebounds) from near the top of the key led to his layup and 54-45 advantage. Suchy's putback with 31.2 seconds left put Fremd in front 60-47.

The Sequoits (4-8) got inside buckets from Kyle Glassman (9 points), Emmy Zamudio (13 points) and a 30-foot 3-pointer by Zamudio at the buzzer to score the game's final 7 points.

"After the first quarter, things settled down and both teams competed," said Antioch coach Sean Conner, who got 12 points from Gehrke. "For the majority of the game, we executed our game plan but when you have good teams in a great tournament like this, if you're not on the spot all the time, you're going to get burned and I think the little lapses we had hurt. And we had some turnovers down the stretch that I wish we could get back.

"We are very athletic and like to get to the rim. We found the post. So when we play good shooting teams we need to limit the 3s because teams we know we're not going to shoot 20 3s. They start four lefties and have one who comes off the bench. So you've got to adjust to that, too. The good thing is we settled down and didn't let it (3s) kill us the rest of the game."

Widlowski said defense was the difference for his team.

"We were just trading baskets and then we settled in defensively and that gave us a little gap there." he said. "That was the difference maker."

Sammons' career-high is 30 points last season against Buffalo Grove.

"He has been solid all season," Widlowski said. "And he got all his points within our offense. He shared the ball and moved it. And our kids found him when he got going."

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.