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Riley Glassmann has played on Fremd’s varsity boys basketball team for four years.
The senior wanted to make sure his final game in Palatine was a memorable one.
Glassmann attacked the basket and hit from the outside scoring 24 points as the Vikings held off a furious late shooting barrage by Prospect to claim the Mid-Suburban League championship 55-52 on Wednesday night.
“On our home court, this is amazing,” said Glassmann, who scored 16 points in the first half. “With all my friends and family here, this is awesome.”
Fremd became the first MSL team to go undefeated in the regular season.
The Vikings matched the 2004 Hoffman Estates team with 25 wins during the regular season.
It was the first MSL title for the Vikings in four years.
“I thought Riley really stepped up for us,” said Fremd coach Bob Widlowski. “He has done that in big games. And he did it on both ends of the court.”
The victory was especially sweet for Widlowski, whose teams have now won two MSL titles.
Wednesday’s win was his 200th career victory in his 11-year tenure as head coach.
“No. 200 was a little more exciting,” Widlowski said. “I still remember my first win against Carmel. But this is a special team this year, and we are excited to keep things going one game at a time.”
Fremd looked to have the game well in hand early in the third quarter.
With Glassmann leading the way, the Vikings opened up 38-24 lead on a 3-pointer by Xavier Williams (9 points) with 6:06 left in the third quarter.
Prospect nearly lost the ball on the ensuing possession.
But after a mad scramble which saw 6 players from both teams on the floor chasing after the ball, Prospect was able to retain possession.
Invigorated by that play, the Knights inserted Grant Miller into the lineup and he promptly buried a 3-pointer.
“It is not the make-up of this team to quit,” Prospect coach John Camardella said. “Our kids are used to dealing with the swings of a game.
“We had to have that extra guy step up and (Grant) Miller and (Kyle) Formanski did just that.”
The Knights began to close the gap on the Vikings by tossing long-distance bombs.
Prospect converted 7 of 11 three-pointers as it chipped away at the lead.
Formanski hit his third 3-pointer to make it 48-45 with 2:38 to play. Glassmann scored the Vikings’ only basket in the final quarter to make 50-45 with 2:05 left.
From there, it was Fremd’s free-throw shooting against Prospect’s 3-point shooting.
Fremd converter 2 free throws and Prospect answered with a 3-pointer on two occasions, the last when Miller (9 points) found himself wide open and nailed his third triple of the game to close the gap to 54-52 with 17 seconds.
Fremd’s Ben Carlson hit 1 of 2 two free throws with 12.2 seconds left to make it 55-52.
After two Fremd fouls helped run the clock down to just four seconds, Kyle Beyak (6 points) attempted a 3-pointer to tie the game from the right corner, but his shot hit off the rim.
“That speaks to the character of our guys,” Camardella said. “I couldn’t be more proud of our guys and how they played in a MSL title game.”
The Vikings converted 10 of 12 free throws to clinch the victory.
Bobby Frasco led the East champs with 21 points and Formanski finished with 15.
“They hit a lot of clutch threes and it was getting kind of frustrating” Glassmann said. “But we were able to stay calm, play our game and hit our free throws at the end.”
Glassmann and Fremd were in control early, hitting 5 of their first 6 shots.
With the game tied at 2, the Vikings scored 10 unanswered points, as Glassmann hit a pair of 3-pointers.
“We got off to a great start,” Glassmann said. “We have five guys out there that just play consistently.”
Fremd continued to be in control, leading 20-10 early in the second quarter.
Even when Prospect (15-11) closed to 22-17 with 4:01 left in the second quarter on a pair of free throws by Max Cahill, the Vikings didn’t flinch. Led by Glassmann and Matt Ochoa, the Vikings went on a 9-2 run to open up a 31-19 lead just before the end of the first half.
“We tried to get the ball inside,” said Ochoa, who finished with 9 points and 5 rebounds. “We did a good job of that in the first half.”
Garret Groot left the game briefly in the third quarter when he had part of his front teeth knocked out diving for a loose ball. He returned later and finished with 8 points.
“You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to get the win,” said Groot, showing off his new smile.