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Article updated: 3/12/2014 11:26 PM
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Fantastic Four gives Fremd more in 28th win
 

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Fantastic Four gives Fremd more in 28th win
  • From left, Fremd starters including Matt Ochoa, Garrett Groot, Xavier Williams, Riley Glassmann and Ben Carlson cheer after a basket near the end of during Wednesday's Class 4A sectional semifinal victory over Highland Park at Lake Zurich.

    Purchase Photo | From left, Fremd starters including Matt Ochoa, Garrett Groot, Xavier Williams, Riley Glassmann and Ben Carlson cheer after a basket near the end of during Wednesday's Class 4A sectional semifinal victory over Highland Park at Lake Zurich. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

Fremd's 'Fantastic Four' don't sit idly on the bench, waiting to be summoned.

Instead, they stare intently at the action taking place on the court, waiting to fly from their cushioned chairs to the hardwood court.

And when Jalon Roundy, Thomas Cordell, Conner Peters and Patrick Benka get the call from coach Bob Widlowski, they jump at the opportunity to turn any little play into a big one for Fremd.

The group did just that on Wednesday night, entering the game one at a time, late in the first quarter and into the second quarter.

And once on the floor, they gave the Vikings the spark they needed to help Fremd stay unbeaten and roll past Highland Park 47-26 at the Lake Zurich Class 4A sectional.

"Just starting the game we are excited to get in there," said Roundy, a guard who was the first sub off the bench on Wednesday. "We are observing and feeling the game out. When we get in we are just ready to hit the floor."

Having the bench play well on Wednesday was important for the Vikings with top scorer Riley Glassmann limited to just 4 points.

"We have played good team ball all year," Widlowski said. "And it was not Riley's best night, and I thought our team played real well."

It was Peters who got the bench and the Vikings rolling.

He hit a short jumper after coming up with an offensive rebound that put the Vikings up for good 7-6 late in the first quarter.

It also sparked at 17-0 run by Fremd which saw the Vikes hold Highland Park scoreless for 8:15.

During that span with most of the bench players on the court, Fremd forced 6 turnovers as Highland Park missed 10 consecutive shots.

"We bring a lot of intensity on defense and offense," Peters said. "Coach subs us in for whoever needs it to pick up the slack and go for any loose balls. "

Fremd led 24-11 at the half.

Benka, Peters, Roundy and Cordell accounted for half the Vikings' points in the first half and the group outscored all of Highland Park.

"We really came out strong today, "said Cordell, who added 6 points. "We know that our second team can help out in a big way. We have so much confidence coming off the bench.

Peters say that he likes to see what happens on the court to get him ready to play.

"We get to see it first," Peters said. "We get to see those openings and then take those openings."

Cordell says that he would rather be on the bench at the start of the game as well.

"I don't mind coming off the bench at all," Cordell said. "I get a feel for the game before I go in, and it's nice."

Benka, who is a 6-foot-6 sophomore, says that he would rather come off the bench and play on the varsity.

"We pride ourselves in having a deep bench," Benka said. "This has been so much better for me. I go up against two 6-6 guys every day in practice. That makes it easy for me when I get into the games."

Widlowski, whose trademark in his 11 years at Fremd is to play deep into his bench, saw that philosophy bear fruit on Wednesday as the Vikings tied a school record with their 28th win. It equals the mark set by the 1997-98 Fremd team that lost in the supersectionals to East Aurora.

"It can wear on opponents to play this many kids," Widlowski said. "Also, if you get in foul trouble, guys that step in can get it done."

Fremd will need all of their players ready Friday when it meets top-seeded Stevenson (29-1).

"We have guys that have got it done for us all year long," Widlowski said. "Now it is time to get it done with the bright lights on you."

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