Fremd routs Hersey for fifth-straight regional title

Fremd boys basketball coach Bob Widlowski attributed his Vikings' fast start on Friday night to sharing the basketball.

"When we do that, good things happen," said the veteran of 20 seasons at Fremd.

The good things started when junior Ryan Sammons had a putback and a 3-pointer, followed by Caiden Suchy's short bank shot and a 3-pointer by senior Eli Schoffstall to open a 10-0 lead less than four minutes into the game.

The boys from Palatine never looked back in a 60-27 win that gave Fremd its fifth straight regional crown, eighth under Widlowski and 18th in program history.

The No. 5 seeded Vikings (20-9) will face No. 1 Barrington (25-4) in the semifinals of the Barrington sectional on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The teams split in Mid-Suburban West play.

Suchy completed an 8-0 by Fremd early in the second quarter with a big twisting move in the lane and then putting the ball off the window for a 24-8 lead. Hersey never got to within double digits the rest of the way.

"First of all, I thought Caiden Suchy did a fantastic job on their big guy (freshman Jackson Hupp, who had 21 points in the No. 14-seeded Huskies' win over No. 4 Palatine on Wednesday) with only one day of preparation," Widlowski said. " I know (Hupp) is only a freshman but that kid is a ton in there. I thought Caiden did a great job and I felt our backside help was very strong."

Suchy finished with a team-high 15 points while Schoffstall (6 steals, 4 rebounds, 2 assists) and Sammons (3 steals, 2 assists) each had 12 points and 3 3-pointers as the Vikes had 8 total 3s.

Mark Braun chipped in 9 points with 3 rebounds and 2 steals while Chris Smyros added 7 points with 3 rebounds and 2 assists for Fremd.

Senior Sevag Aroyan finished off the scoring for Fremd with a 3-pointer and fastbreak layup in the final 46 seconds for 5 points. Cameron Kuhl pulled down 3 rebounds and Aaron Orido had 2.

"It feels amazing to win a regional and as you can see, the whole team is celebrating," Suchy said. "We played hard and good defense which is why I think we won this game.

"(Hupp) is a pretty big kid so getting around in front of him was key and we shut him down with help defense. That 10-0 lead gave us momentum for the whole game. I felt that momentum, defense, rebounding and all of us playing together is what got us the win."

Suchy, a 6-foot-4 junior and second-year varsity player, averages about 8 points a game.

"He picked a great night to play really well at both ends of the floor," Widlowski said. "Winning regionals is never easy to do. I think Hersey battles every night. So I'm very pleased with how we played and competed tonight."

The Huskies (8-22) were led by Hupp's 8 points. Senior Breyden Smith added 5 and junior Johnny Ryg 4.

"I'm really proud of these guys," said Hersey coach Austin Scott. "They scraped and clawed all season and I'm really proud of that. And we had eight seniors who I really thought taught these younger guys a lot about being mature and battling through that. All the credit goes to Fremd. They're really a hard team to play against and they're a great defensive team. And best of luck to them in the sectional."

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