Fremd junior forward Riley Glassmann scored a career-high 28 points in helping lead the Vikings to a 56-51 win over Hoffman Estates in Palatine on Thursday night.
The win keeps Fremd (13-6, 5-2) atop the wild Mid-Suburban West -- but only after quite a tussle with the Hawks.
"We knew that Hoffman would bring it to us tonight," said Fremd coach Bob Widlowski, "and they did. They came out with alot of energy and played good defense. I told the players they better get used to it because this is how it's going to be down the stretch."
The night, though, belonged to Glassmann. He made 10 of 15 shots from the field and 7 of 10 from the free throw line.
"Riley played a complete game for us," said Widlowski. "He played good defense for us and scored."
"He had a heckuva game," said Hoffman Estates coach Luke Yanule. "He shot the ball well tonight. He's a contributor. They went to him when the bell rang."
The Hawks (3-15, 0-7) played gritty basketball for the contest and hung tough the whole way.
"We feel when we play, that the game is winnable," said Yanule. "What hurt us tonight is that we had a few poor shots and then a turnover in the last 1:11. We just need to have better execution down the stretch."
Glassmann was the back-breaker for the Hawks. He kept Fremd's offense in the game with 7 first-quarter points even though the Vikings trailed 15-12 after the period. Glassmann finished with 13 of Fremd's 22 first-half points.
A Glassmann basket on an assist from Kevin Kubis with :25 left in the half gave Fremd a 22-21 halftime lead.
Glassmann broke a 23-23 tie with 5:50 left in the third quarter for a 27-25 lead on an assist from Ben Carlson, who scored 6 second-half points. Fremd never trailed after that point.
The Hawks' Joe Biko (17 points, 6 rebounds) connected on a 3-point basket and a short jumper to make the score 44-40. Following a steal and basket by Olu Adelaja, Hoffman Estates cut the lead to 44-42 with 3:31 left.
Glassmann came through with a basket to stop the run and hit 2 free throws moments later to give Fremd a 51-47 lead with 2:03 left. Fremd made 5 of 9 free throws down the stretch to preserve the lead.
"My teammates did a good job setting me up for shots by setting good screens and getting me they ball when I got open," said Glassmann. "The key for us is to play defense. That's the recipe for us to keep winning."