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."

  Fremd's Caiden Suchy, center, eyes the basket under heavy Palatine pressure during Friday's boys basketball game in Palatine. Paul Valade/
  Fremd's Mark Braun looks to pass around Palatine's Tyler Swierczek (20) and Sam Millstone during Friday's boys basketball game in Palatine. Paul Valade/
  Palatine's Tyler Swierczek takes a shot over Fremd's Cameron Kuhl. Paul Valade/
  Palatine's Connor May (21) looks to take a shot during Friday's boys basketball game against Fremd in Palatine. Paul Valade/
  Fremd's Ryan Cox drives to the basket during Friday's boys basketball game against Palatine in Palatine. Paul Valade/
  Palatine's Sammy Hamilton, left, pressures Fremd's Ryan Cox during Friday's boys basketball game in Palatine. Paul Valade/
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