Fremd seniors Ben Carlson and Matt Ochoa had big smiles Saturday night following their nonconference home game against Carmel Catholic.
Carlson seemed to have the widest smile of all. As he emerged from the locker room following the Vikings' 54-45 win over the Corsairs, he came bouncing down the hall and let everyone know that the win was more than just another victory.
"We broke a school record tonight," Carlson said.
Indeed, the Vikings improved to 18-0, giving them their best start in school history. They started 17-0 in 2010.
"That was when I was in eighth grade. I remembered that team well," Cornell-bound senior Riley Glassmann said.
What Fremd fans might remember about the Vikings' win over Carmel (18-6) is a backbreaking second quarter that ultimately decided the outcome.
With the score tied 12-12 early in the quarter, the Vikings methodically took control with a 13-2 run over the next four minutes. Carmel managed just 3 shots and turned it over four times during the stretch.
"In a span of like 30-40 seconds, when things start to go south, you try and do too much individually, and against a team like (Fremd) you just can't do that," said Carmel coach Tim Bowen. "Fremd is just too good on both ends of the floor."
Glassmann was a major factor offensively with 11 of his game-high 21 points coming in the second half. But he had plenty of help from Carlson and senior big Matt Ochoa.
Ochoa was huge in the second quarter, scoring half of his 12 points, as Fremd outscored Carmel 20-8 en route to a 32-18 halftime advantage.
"I thought that second quarter was a big difference," said Fremd coach Bob Widlowski. "Our focus was on (Jack George) and I thought Ochoa, Carlson and (Thomas) Cordell did an excellent job. Our defense, as a whole, led to our offense in that quarter."
While the 6-foot-10 George was held to 2 points, Carmel got itself back in the game in the second half but never get any closer than 7 points the rest of the way.
The Corsairs closed within 37-30 late in the third on a pair of Billy Kirby free throws and had possession. But a forced turnover led to a pair of quick buckets for Fremd at the end of the quarter, and the hosts were back in control again at 41-30.
"Our defense leads to a lot of the things we do on offense," Ochoa said. "We've been playing together as a group for nine years now, and our defense has always been something we have worked hard at."
Chris Duff paced the Corsairs with 12 points, while senior Michael Barr tossed in 9 of his 11 points after halftime.