Fremd's defense stellar again in win over Palatine

 
By Greg Swiderski
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/14/2018 11:48 PM
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  • Fremd's Dean Ganas works his way around Palatine's David Balanganayi as he drives to the basket in the boys varsity basketball matchup at Palatine High School on Friday.

      Fremd's Dean Ganas works his way around Palatine's David Balanganayi as he drives to the basket in the boys varsity basketball matchup at Palatine High School on Friday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Fremd's John Smyros plows over Palatine's David Balanganayi as he lays in two points in the third period of the boys varsity basketball matchup at Palatine High School on Friday.

      Fremd's John Smyros plows over Palatine's David Balanganayi as he lays in two points in the third period of the boys varsity basketball matchup at Palatine High School on Friday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Fremd's Bryce Hopkins splits Palatine defense as he flies to the basket in the boys varsity basketball matchup at Palatine High School on Friday.

      Fremd's Bryce Hopkins splits Palatine defense as he flies to the basket in the boys varsity basketball matchup at Palatine High School on Friday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

Most basketball teams would rather take their chances with a glue trap instead of Fremd's defense.

Such was the case at Palatine High School Friday night when the Vikings stifled the Pirates 40-23 in a Mid-Suburban West boys game.

"Fremd is an easy team to prepare for," said Palatine coach Eric Millstone. "But, then you have to play them and they don't give an inch. You have very little margin for error on offense when you play them."

While the Vikings (7-2, 3-0), who have now won five in a row, didn't fair well from the floor, shooting 15 of 39 for 39 percent. they held the Pirates (2-6, 0-3) to 30 percent on 9 of 30 shooting.

"We always pride ourselves on defense," said Fremd junior guard Jake Schoffstall. "When our defense is clicking we can hold teams to low numbers. By getting the lead we can control the game and keep the train moving. It means a lot to us to win this rivalry game away from home."

Palatine's Julian Campbell, who has been averaging in the high teens, knew this would be a tough matchup.

"Their defense was very good," said Campbell. "They kept me to 8 points. They fronted me and it was difficult to get the ball. I knew it was going to be tough playing them."

Fremd junior Kayman Hopkins was a key player in the Vikings' defensive scheme.

"Kayman did a fantastic job on Campbell," said Fremd head coach Bob Widlowski, who picked up his 298th career win.

"He has really stepped up in his last five games. He has really elevated his play. He's worked very hard to be able to step up the offense and contribute."

"I've become more confident in my game," said Hopkins. "My job tonight was to cover the post on defense and help put pressure on the ball and I think we did a good job following the game plan."

Fremd started out the game fast with a 8-0 run in the first 4:40.

The Pirates closed the gap to 10-6 to end the first quarter.

The Vikings doubled up the lead at halftime, going ahead 20-10 as Hopkins scored on a tip-in and a basket to end the Vikings' second quarter scoring.

After Campbell scored to open the second half for Palatine the Vikings went on a 13-0 run for a 33-12 lead.

"That run of ours," said Widlowski, "created some separation. We knew that Palatine can score points, so that run of ours was big."

Schoffstall hit for a 3-pointer, assisted a Bryce Hopkins (8 points) score, and scored the last basket of the run.

John Smyros tied Schoffstall for high scoring honors with 11 points. Dean Ganas added 6 points for Fremd.

Palatine returns to the court Saturday afternoon in Niles to face Northridge Prep.

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