Fremd's 'Enzones' spark win over Palatine
The Enzones are guards who watch over the Greek parliament. Fremd's boys basketball team has its own version that defend the Viking court.
Guards John Smyros and Dean Ganas, who are introduced with a Greek flag flying in the student section, combined for 26 points as host Fremd rallied past Palatine 51-37 Friday in a Mid-Suburban West game at Palatine.
"We really love it," said Smyros, who had 10 of his 16 points in the second half. "The crowd is really into it. Everyone knows that Ganas and I am Greek. It's just fun coming out there."
Ganas, who finished with 10 points, scored 5 of those in the first quarter to keep Fremd in the game with an energetic Palatine team.
"The first half was exciting," Ganas said. "We just stayed with it and stayed together and we were able to come away with it at the end."
The Enzones, along with Jake Schoffstall, were able to be the difference against a much larger Palatine team.
Fremd coach Bob Widlowski said that his guard play was key to the Vikings (15-4, 6-1) staying even with Schaumburg in the MSL West.
"Our guard play was very strong all the way around," Widlowski said. "It was led by John Smyros. He had an efficient day at both ends of the floor."
Palatine (8-13, 2-5) led 24-21 early in the third quarter. Smyros then sparked the Vikings to score 9 unanswered points on their way to an 18-3 run to lead 39-27 with 6:58 to play.
"I knew someone had to take over this game," Smyros said, "I attacked the rim and found my teammates."
Fremd then spread the floor and slowed the tempo for the remainder of the game as the Vikings swept crosstown rival Palatine this season.
"We talked to our seniors at halftime and had them set the pace," Widlowski said. "They did a good job of settling down and rebounding better in the second half and put the game at a much better pace for us and gave us some transition baskets."
That wasn't the case early for the Vikings.
Palatine had its own duo in Marshawn Rayford and Julian Campbell as they combined for 16 of Palatine's 22 first half points.
Fremd then turned up the defense, making a concerted effort to slow both Rayford and Campbell down as each player scored just 2 points in the second half. Palatine converted just 6-of-20 field goals in that half.
"You've got to play almost error-free for 32 minutes against them," Palatine coach Eric Millstone said of Fremd. "We are doing a lot of good things for stretches of time. We just have to do that for longer."
Rayford finished with 11 points, Campbell with 9 points and 7 rebounds and Ben Storm had 7 points for Palatine.
Fremd got 9 points from Bryce Hopkins while Schoffstall and Kayman Hopkins each had 7 points.