Fremd shoots past Palatine with 4th quarter comeback
It was a story of hot and cold shooting down the stretch when host Fremd met crosstown rival Palatine in a Mid-Suburban League showdown Friday night.
Leading 41-33 late in the third quarter, the visiting Pirates could not contain a 22-7 run by the Vikings as Fremd built its biggest lead of the game at 55-48 with 2:14 to play.
Palatine (11-5, 3-0) did put together a late rally, but it was not enough as the Vikings (9-6, 2-2) held on for a 59-55 MSL West Division comeback victory.
The wildest sequence of the game before the raucous crowd came during a 57-second stretch of the fourth quarter when the two teams combined for four 3-pointers. But Fremd hit three of those four 3-pointers, including two by Cameron Kuhl (team-high 15 points, 4 rebounds) to tie the score at 46-46 with 5:59 remaining.
"You've got to give them credit for hitting some of the shots that they did. We knew that they could get hot and go on a run, and I thought we had some defensive breakdowns," said Palatine coach Eric Millstone, whose team was outscored 22-14 in the fourth quarter.
"But credit Fremd for capitalizing on those breakdowns. You have an 8-point lead toward the end of the third you like to think that with the experience that we have that we could have fundamentally finished the game. But Fremd played a full 32 minutes."
The third 3 of the game by Fremd's Ryan Sammons (9 points, 8 assists) made the score 53-48 before two free throws by Caiden Suchy (6 points, 4 assists) upped the score 55-48.
Palatine cut the gap to 57-55 when Connor May (game-high 23 points) banked in a 3-pointer with 16.9 seconds to go. But the Vikings hit 2 of 4 free throws in the final 14.3 seconds to seal the win.
"We brought a defensive mindset tonight and they're a tough guard, they've got a lot of kids that can score," said Fremd coach Bob Widlowski. "We really did a nice job finishing out the game down the stretch. We spread them out a little bit, and we executed against their zone."
Palatine's Tyler Swierczek also had a big game with 21 points while Fremd's Ryan Cox had 14 points and 3 assists. Fremd's Mark Braun scored 13 points while Palatine's Sam Millstone had 6 points.
"We were just going back and forth, everyone was kind of hitting their shots, and it was just a fun environment to be in," said Kuhl. "I think we controlled the ball a lot better in the fourth quarter, I believe we had less turnovers than every other quarter, and we kind of got the ball ahead which obviously gave people opportunities for shots which was huge."