Fremd outlasts Buffalo Grove in OT
For the 12 boys basketball programs that make up the Mid-Suburban League there is one undeniable truth: if you're one of 10 teams playing on the final Tuesday of the regular season it means that you didn't qualify for the MSL Championship game that's played on Wednesday.
Despite not having reached that particular goal, there is the second season -- the upcoming IHSA state tournament where new dreams of championship glory are rekindled.
For a pair of MSL teams -- Buffalo Grove and Fremd -- there's history that proves such is possible.
The Bison won their lone sectional crown in 1984, having finished division winner in the MSL North that winter while the Vikings, who finished in the runner-up slot to Palatine nine years later, would undertake a magical run to Champaign where they ended up bringing home a fourth-place trophy.
"I keep preaching to our guys that we're not in (divisional play) anymore, but we can still keep getting better with the opportunity that hosting a regional (next week) brings," Buffalo Grove coach Keith Peterson said after his team's most recent win at Hersey 11 days ago.
"From there who knows what happens. In the playoffs anything is possible. It's about guys who want to believe."
Peterson would take pride leaving the Fremd field house Tuesday that his squad has that belief.
But, a win would not accompany that effort, which saw the Bison fall to the hosts 53-49 in overtime in the Mid-Suburban crossover which doubled up as the regular-season finale for both teams.
"(Buffalo Grove) came to play. They always do," Fremd coach Bob Widlowski said. "(Their) coach does a great job with those guys. They run a lot of things at you. It's a tough matchup and they can score. We feel very fortunate that we got out of here with a win tonight."
For Fremd (18-9), it needed to shake off a pesky Buffalo Grove effort that saw neither team tally a lead higher than 5 points in 36 minutes of play.
It also needed senior Eli Schoffstall's take over of the contest for the Vikings' fourth win in the last five games as he collected a 3-point play with 2:42 left in regulation that put them up 45-44.
After an Adidas Davis hoop that put BG (13-17) ahead 46-45 with 53 ticks left, he next forced the OT with a free throw that tied things up at 46.
Schoffstall then took the opening tip of overtime and drove the lane for a layup just 11 seconds in for a 48-46 lead. His game-high 20th point with 65 seconds remaining at the foul line, followed by a pair from Cameron Kuhl that gave Fremd a 51-46 cushion. BG got no closer than two on a Ross Tsevis 3-pointer with 16 seconds left. Tsevis (13 points) led the Bison effort followed by Davis' 11.
"BG put up a good fight. It was a good game. A lot of energy coming through here for us seniors. It was our last home game this season." Schoffstall said. "We just wanted to go out there and get the win."