Schaumburg surprises Fremd, takes over MSL West lead

 
By Dick Quagliano
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 1/11/2019 9:59 PM

Schaumburg turned the tables on Fremd Friday in Palatine.

The Saxons came up with their best defensive effort of the season to squeeze the Vikings in a 50-36 boys basketball victory. With the win, the Saxons (13-5, 5-0) took over sole possession of first place in the Mid-Suburban League West with the first half of conference play completed.

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"It was an awesome effort by our team," Schaumburg coach Wade Heisler said. "Our guys were so bought in. I thought we competed on every single possession of the game."

Schaumburg smothered Fremd on defense.

The Saxons limited Fremd to 33 percent shooting (15-of-46) and just 1-of-13 outside the arc while forcing 12 turnovers.

"I thought we took a big step forward," Heisler said. "I thought we ended (the) York (tournament) real well. It is testament to our leadership. We have very good leadership this year."

Some of that leadership comes from 4-year starter Heze Trotter, who scored 5 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter.

"We just came out with some intensity," said Trotter, who should score his 1,000th career point in the next week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"We take pride in our defense. Yes we can score points, but if we are not getting stops on defense it doesn't matter."

Schaumburg scored the first 7 points of the game and never trailed.

Fremd (12-4, 4-1) got within 3 in the second quarter and trailed 19-15 at the half.

But poor shooting and lackluster play plagued the Vikings.

"Our poor shooting was one of the reasons," Fremd coach Bob Widlowski said. "Schaumburg came out ready to play from the tip and we didn't. I thought we got off to a slow start and really couldn't get things going."

Another one of the reasons was the play of 6-foot-8 Chris Hodges. The sophomore gave Fremd problems inside, as Schaumburg continued to go inside and the Vikings had difficulty matching up.

"All week long we have been focusing on getting the ball inside out," said Hodges, who finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds. "Not even like passing, but driving the lanes and making the defense collapse and then expand again."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Fremd had an opportunity to get back into the game in the fourth quarter.

Schaumburg led 33-27 and missed 5 of its next free throws. But Fremd failed to capitalize on the opportunity and Schaumburg converted 8 of its next free throws to close out the game.

"Our goal is always to be great defensively," Heisler said. "That starts with effort and I thought we did that tonight."

Michael Hodges added 8 points for Schaumburg while Jared Schoo scored 6 points on a pair of 3-pointers.

Fremd was led by Bryce Hopkins, who had 17 points and 7 rebounds, while John Smyros had 8 points and Kayman Hopkins added 7 points.

At halftime, Fremd's competitive dance team, which won the MSL title for the first time on Thursday at Hersey, showed off its winning routine for the crowd.

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