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Flexibly, Fremd handles Hersey
 

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Flexibly, Fremd handles Hersey
Howard Schlossberg

Nothing seems to faze Fremd.

Doesn't matter how the opponent wants to play -- physical, fast, slowdown, or combinations thereof.

Story Continues Below

The Vikings showed Tuesday night they're ready for any style in the Class 4A boys basketball state, pretty much coasting to a 64-42 win over host Hersey in the regional semifinal.

"I really liked the attitude in preparation this week," said Fremd coach Bob Widlowski. "They did a very good job of executing."

The Vikings used their height advantage to rack up a 24-9 rebounding bulge, giving no second shots to the Huskies while pounding the offensive boards. When Riley Glassmann wasn't hitting medium-range jumpers or twisting layups on fastbreaks en route to 22 points, he was clamping down on Hersey sharpshooter Payton Haas, who didn't score in the first half with Glassmann hounding him as Fremd built a 32-15 lead.

But it was a true team effort for the Vikings. Ben Carlson and Matt Ochoa played volleyball at times around the offensive rim and Carlson was particularly sharp distributing the ball. He's comfortable scoring, rebounding or facilitating.

"It doesn't really matter," said the 6-foot-6 senior. "Whatever it takes to get the win."

Fremd did most of that in the first half. They extended their 20-11 first-quarter lead by holding Hersey without a field goal in the second quarter. And they got key contributions off the bench from Thomas Cordell (6 points) and Pat Benka (4) when Carlson picked up two quick fouls.

But that's part of Fremd's keys to winning.

"Our depth and ability to play together," Carlson specified.

And as for the 4-point, no-field goal second quarter, "Our defense is something we take pride in," he added.

The Vikings extended the lead as far as 40-17 when Haas finally hit a 3-pointer with 3:45 left in the third, Hersey's first field goal since the last minute of the first quarter. Haas and Alex Mueller paced Hersey with 9 points apiece.

"They definitely played well," Hersey coach Steve Messer said of the Vikings.

But even when the Huskies forced a missed shot, Fremd followed with putbacks.

"Defensively, we had a good plan. We forced some misses," Messer noted of his young team, which starts three juniors and brings three more and a freshman, Joey Coffaro, off the bench.

Next year should be better for the 12-13 Huskies.

"Still have some work to do," Messer noted.

Next up for Fremd in Friday's regional final is Lake Zurich, which ousted Prospect 52-48.

"We've played all different styles," said Widlowski, who knows his seniors -- Glassmann, Carlson, Ochoa, Jason Roundy, Garrett Groot and Cordell -- always come to play. "They're experienced."

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