2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 3/3/2017 10:27 PM

Fremd stays in form, halts Hersey

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By Dick Quagliano
Daily Herald Correspondent

Fremd continues to roll.

The Vikings remain unbeaten thanks to solid play from their five starters, as Fremd knocked off Hersey 56-41 Friday in the Class 4A boys basketball regional final at Hoffman Estates.

Fremd (28-0), which was top-seeded in the Robert Morris University sectional, will take on fifth-seeded Grant on Tuesday. Grant advanced to the sectionals by beating Lake Zurich 51-47.

All season, Fremd has had its players step up when needed. And on Friday against Hersey, it was no exception.

"It was a great team effort," Fremd coach Bob Widlowski said. "As a team, we played very well when we needed to. Guys have stepped up when we needed them to."

Brian Dompke was among those taking the largest steps for the Vikings, as he scored a career-high 19 points. Kyle Sliwa, the captain of the Daily Herald's Northwest all-area team, had 21.

"The guards were able to find me," Dompke said. "I knocked down some jump shots. On any given day, anyone can have a big contribution to the team."

Luke Schoffstall, who ran the Vikings' offense and controlled the tempo, especially in the second quarter, finished with 9 points for Fremd.

Not showing up huge on the scoreboard for Fremd was Shaan Patel, who had 4 points and Ryan Martin, who tallied just 3. But the duo did lots of the dirty work. Patel had 10 rebounds, 4 blocks and 3 assists, while Martin limited Hersey's Joey Coffaro to 8 points on 3-for-16 shooting.

"I am doing whatever it takes for our team to win," said Martin, who was holding an ice bag to his right eye to get the swelling down after taking an elbow there along the way. "I just established that role at the beginning and I did my best to keep their best player down."

Patel came alive on the boards in the second quarter after Hersey had taken a 16-15 lead following the first period.

"I just do whatever our team needs," said Patel, who had 5 rebounds in the second quarter as the Vikings spurted to a 27-20 halftime advantage. "Scoring is not everything to the game. Rebounding is big."

Widlowski would agree.

"Offensive rebounding was an issue for us," Widlowski said. "Once we settled in, I thought we did a nice job to rest of the way."

The Vikings' defense also came alive in the second and third quarters. After allowing those 16 first-quarter points, Fremd did not allow Hersey to equal that amount until two minutes were gone in the final quarter.

"As a team, we rotated very well tonight," Widlowski said. "That was key for us."

Led by Ken Hasley (17 points) and Grant Wagner (12), Hersey was able to stay close. The Huskies (16-12) pulled to 32-29 on a rebound basket by Coffaro with 2:49 left in the third quarter.

The Vikings then scored 6 unanswered points to open up 38-29 lead on a driving basket by Schoffstall. Fremd pulled away as Sliwa, who finished 13-for-14 from the free throw line, went 11-for-12 on foul shots in the final quarter.

"We just all play well together," said Sliwa, who now has 990 career points. "It is different guys at different times, and that is one of the reasons we are so successful."

Hersey coach Steve Messer said he was proud of his team's effort all season, and especially on Friday.

"I was really happy with our execution tonight," Messer said. "And I thought we never panicked. Fremd has a way to get teams to that point, but our kids never panicked.

"It was a very good season for us. I am proud of our guys."

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