Ever get that feeling you can't miss?
That was how Fremd's Kyle Sliwa felt Saturday evening, especially in the first quarter.
"I didn't score in the first quarter the first two games, so it was really important to get off to a fast start," said the senior shooting guard, who poured in a game-high 15 points. "As a team, we started off really strong and kept the pressure on."
The Vikings in fact used a lot of pressure, ultimately forcing the Mustangs into 21 turnovers and helping spark a 75-30 victory over the hosts in the finale of the Mundelein Thanksgiving tournament.
Fremd claimed the first-place hardware after going 4-0 in the round-robin event to start the new season.
The Mustangs and Vikings traded buckets early in the first. Junior forward Jeff Bikus popped in 4 of his 8 points in the first couple of minutes. His layup with 4:50 left in the frame got Mundelein to within 7-6.
But then Sliwa got hot, scoring 13 consecutive points (including three 3s) to help produce a 13-0 run and give Fremd plenty of breathing room at 20-7 after the opening quarter.
"We moved the ball around pretty well," added Sliwa. "We can always do a better job of communicating and talking, though."
The Vikings' pressure defense held Mundelein to one-and-done possessions on numerous occasions.
After the tone was set in the first quarter, Fremd stayed the course and limited Mundelein to just 5 free throws in the second quarter as they took a 44-12 halftime cushion.
Senior point guard Luke Schoffstall picked up where Sliwa left off, canning all 8 of his points in the second quarter.
Senior forward Brian Dompke was instrumental in getting the inside game going, popping in 10 points to complement Sliwa.
"They beat us in every phase of the game," said Mustang coach Corey Knigge, whose team finished 1-3 in the tournament. "Their pressure made us panic and we took shots we're not normally supposed to take."
Mundelein could never really find the groove on offense and got out-muscled on the boards 32-15.
But even while they are still a pretty young bunch, you could tell this Mustangs team is going to produce a fair number of wins this season after only 2 a year ago.
"We're definitely better than last year. We just have to be more consistent and it has to be a daily thing," added Knigge.
Schoffstall, Dompke, and Sliwa were all named to the all-tournament team, and Sliwa was named tourney MVP.
Junior guards James Willman (7 points) and Tommy Marcotte (5 points) were named to the all-tournament team for Mundelein.