To say that senior guard Zach Monaghan stole the show would be redundant.
Monaghan scored 30 points and had 5 steals, 4 in the second half, as Fremd edged McHenry 56-54 in a nonconference game in Palatine on Tuesday night.
The Vikings snapped the Warriors' five-game win streak.
"Zach is back into the flow that he had before the car accident," said Vikings coach Bob Widlowski of the crash that sidelined Monaghan for four games in December.
Monaghan scored 20 points in the second half that helped keep Fremd, now 11-6, in the lead.
"Monaghan is a nice player and I think we did a good job on him," said McHenry coach Tim Paddock. "I know it's strange to say that when he scored 30 points, but he earned all of them."
"It was a slow start for both teams," said Monaghan of Fremd's 9-4 lead after the first quarter. "We knew that in watching a game film of them that they like to shoot quickly. We rebounded well and our offense got going because of our defense."
Senior reserve Joe Leaf converted a offensive rebound with 3:49 left in the first half to put Fremd ahead for good at 15-14. Leaf's basket helped Fremd put together a 10-3 run to lead 23-17 before a pair of free throws by McHenry's Kyle Melton (13 points) ended the quarter.
Monaghan started the second half for Fremd with a steal and layup. Quinton Brown hit the back end of 2 free throws before Monaghan's top-of-the-key jumper gave Fremd a 28-19 lead.
McHenry (11-3) came back and trailed 32-29 with 4:02 left in the quarter.
Leaf hit 2 free throws that began an 8-0 Vikings spurt for a 40-29 lead with 2:20 left.
The Warriors pulled to within 48-47 with 4:27 left in the game on a free throw by Jimmy Bellich.
Monaghan hit 2 free throws, and then one more following a steal, before putting the icing on the cake with a steal and score with 23 seconds left for a 55-49 lead.
Brian Madson scored on a 3-point play with 13 seconds left and Robert Tonyan's basket at the buzzer gave the Warriors their final points.
"I think I have a good basketball IQ," said Monaghan. "I just tried to anticipate what their offense would do with the steals. They are a very good team."
"I'm pretty happy where we are as a team," said Widlowski. "There's a big difference as to where we were at Thanksgiving and where we are now. You just need to keep improving month by month."
Jim Scharfe added 9 points and Leaf 6 points off the bench for the Vikings.
"We felt we would have a decent team this year," said Paddock. "Fremd had a opening in their schedule and you want to play good competition. We'll be a better team because of that."
Hoffman 53, Lakes 49: Austin Terry scored a game-high 18 points and Joey Havel added a career-high 13 points for Hoffman Estates (4-11) in the nonconference home victory.
Terry also had 9 rebounds as the Hawks took control in the middle quarters and built a 49-35 lead. Mark Roberts and Alex Bonds added 8 points apiece and Eric Saubert scored 6 points.
New Trier 64, Buffalo Grove 60: A fourth-quarter rally by Buffalo Grove (10-6) fell short in the nonconference loss in Winnetka.
Nick Prus (14 points), Dan Recht (13 points) and Jeff Zabrin (12 points) led a balanced attack for the Bison. Connor Boehm, a 6-7 junior, scored 24 points for New Trier (7-8).
Christian Liberty 48, Faith Lutheran 30: Kiefer Bennett led the way with 9 points as nine players from Christian Liberty scored in a decisive victory over visiting Faith Lutheran in nonconference play.
Luke Comerouski and Matthew Litzenberger each had 8 points for the Chargers (5-8).
Highland Park 51, Elk Grove 36: The Grenadiers (4-12) suffered their fifth straight loss in the nonconference home game.
St. Viator schedule changes: St. Viator's game at Joliet Catholic, which was postponed Saturday because of a water main break, has been rescheduled to Jan. 24.
The Lions' nonconference home game with Senn on Jan. 29 has been cancelled.
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