Don’t ask Fremd what it’s goals are. Or what the pressure feels like being 24-0.
Or the same about finishing 10-0 in the Mid-Suburban West, gearing up for a league-championship battle with Prospect next Wednesday.
The Vikings boys basketball team is the true portrait of being above all that. They played like it Friday night in a regular season-ending 52-30 win at Barrington.
If there’s any pressure being undefeated, the Vikings are not wilting under it. They’re not even discussing it.
“We haven’t talked about it,” said Fremd coach Bob Widlowski, very calmly handling the question.
Either have his players.
“We’re not really concerned with being undefeated,” said point guard Garrett Groot, who had 4 field goals and 9 points, including a first half buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give the Vikings a 33-18 lead.
“We play them one at a time. We’ve got Prospect coming up,” for the Mid-Suburban title, he noted very matter-of-factly.
And Fremd plays just that way. After falling behind 8-4 on 3-pointers by the hosts’ Austin Madrzyk and Zach Bart, the Vikings almost effortlessly reeled off 13 straight points and were never challenged again. And they did it from all over.
Riley Glassmann (16 points) hit three straight shots in the run, Matt Ochoa had a couple of buckets and Groot keyed everything with his quick hands, forcing steals and turnovers and hitting 4-of-5 first-half field goal attempts.
The key was clear to Widlowski.
“Our defensive effort,” he said. “Limiting their looks. We did a good job.”
Everyone chipped in. Widlowski singled out the rebounding of Ben Carlson and Ochoa and noted that, “Groot brought great energy.” Off the bench, Conner Peters, Pat Benka, Joseph Weber and John Magnani maintained the pressure the starters delivered from the outset.
Barrington (10-17, 3-7) started like it would give Fremd a game but lost its shooting touch after the first quarter. Senior co-captains Madrzyk (team-high 7 points) and Bart never did any damage after the opening stanza as the Broncos lost their seventh straight West Division game. Tristen Becker looked good, hitting a pair of 3-pointers late.
But this game, like this season, is all about a Fremd team with unstated goals, pursuing them like a silent assassin.
“Every game is big,” said Groot.