Ben Carlson led a fourth-quarter rally for Fremd, but the Vikings came up a bit short, dropping a 51-49 contest to Loyola on Friday at the Wheeling Hardwood Classic.
"It was team effort," said Carlson, who scored 9 of his 13 points in the final four minutes of the game. "I have to step up when it is my time. I am a captain and that is what coach expects."
Fremd (10-5) watched as Loyola went inside and out as the Ramblers built a 31-23 lead at the half.
"Number one (Kevin Kucera) broke us down on the dribble," Fremd coach Bob Widlowski said. "And that created some help situations. But our play in the second half gave us an opportunity to win the game."
Even though Fremd's defense picked up, the Ramblers extended their lead to 49-38 with 4:30 to play. That's when Fremd put the clamps on Loyola.
With Carlson leading the charge the Vikings scored the next 9 points. Carlson's steal at midcourt and layup pulled Fremd to 49-47 with 2:12 to play.
Kucera's jumper put the Ramblers up 51-47 with 1:50 left. But Carlson answered just 25 seconds later as the Vikings cut the lead to 51-49.
Fremd then forced a turnover, but the Vikings were called for an offensive foul on the subsequent possession. Kucera then missed the front end of a one and one with 19.3 seconds left, giving Fremd one last opportunity.
It actual turned into two chances as Sean Benka's 3-point attempt missed. Xavier Willams (8 points) came down with the rebound in just front of the free throw line, but his turnaround jumper also missed for the Vikings.
"I thought we played pretty well defensively after halftime," said Widlowski, whose team allowed just 20 points in the second half.
"I was just a bit disappointed we didn't win this game tonight."
Benka and Riley Glassmann each added 7 points for Fremd while Matt Ochoa and Michael Krupa each chipped in 6 points. Loyola (8-5) was led by Jack Morrissey, who had 21 points, including 4 three-pointers while James Clarke added 13 points.