Although unbeaten, Fremd just wants to keep improving.
The Vikings took a step in that direction, scoring a narrow escape in a 38-36 Mid-Suburban West basketball win Thursday night at Conant in what coach Bob Widlowski called "a tremendous Mid-Suburban League battle."
And Fremd needed a tremendous effort from its biggest guns to get the win against a Conant team that relentlessly got in the Vikings' faces on defense.
"I think both teams battled," said Widlowski, whose team got a floating lay-in from Riley Glassmann with 2.8 seconds left in overtime with D'Angelo McBride all over him despite having 4 fouls.
For Glassmann, coming out of a timeout after being stripped of the ball for a game-tying layup by Conant point guard Joey Ranallo, such plays are getting to be norm.
"I was supposed to penetrate," and if the shot wasn't there, dish, he explained calmly after the game.
Glassmann praised Conant's defense for holding the Vikings to 38 points on 16-of-47 shooting and just 6 free throw attempts.
"Credit to Conant," he said, noting that it was his team's "focus and offensive rebounding" that enabled the win.
The taller Vikings (8-0, 2-0) did outrebound the Cougars 27-16, and second chances were key all game long. Glassmann and big center Ben Carlson (11 points) paced that effort. Off the bench, Tom Cordell and Patrick Benka had big 3-pointers.
But Conant wouldn't go away, finally forging ahead in the fourth on Ryan Blaha's follow after yet another Ranallo steal. But a Matt Ochoa putback forced overtime for a Fremd team that led most of the way.
Conant (4-3, 1-1) hung around on the strength of its defensive effort that enabled it to chip away after falling behind 11-5 after the first quarter.
"I thought we controlled everything from the first quarter to the overtime," said veteran Conant coach Tom McCormack. "I thought our kids battled and battled and battled."
They just didn't get a lot of clean looks against Fremd's rugged defense and lengthy defenders and the quickness of Garrett Groot, Jalen Roundy and Xavier Williams. Conant only made 11 of 16 free throws in losing by 2.
"We only shot 31 percent," McCormack said.
Kevin Copher made a clutch 3 to close the third quarter and begin a 7-point run to help Conant forge ahead, ever so briefly.
"We made some big stops," Widlowski said though, including deflecting the ball away without letting Conant get a shot off after Glassmann's clinching basket.
And now, Fremd's hoping to keep it up.
"We've just got to stay focused," stay Glassmann.