Balanced Fremd dumps Conant
Fremd overcame a virtual one-man show in Friday night's Mid-Suburban West boys basketball game at Conant.
Conant junior Devon Ellis showed his skills on both ends of the court finishing with a game-high 20 points, a pair of blocked shots and a spectacular dunk.
But Fremd made him work hard for each and every point, especially in the second half, when Jake Schoffstall was given the defensive assignment.
The visiting Vikings (5-3, 1-1) won their third game in a row, 51-30, thanks to a balanced attack and their trademark defense.
Ellis scored 13 of Conant's 15 first-half points.
"We knew were going to take turns guarding him," Fremd coach Bob Widlowski said. "You had a 4-minute span to guard him. After the second or third switch, Jake did a really nice job of staying with him. We decided to keep him on (Ellis) the rest of the game."
"He's a great player," Schoffstall said. "I respect him. He's taller than me. He's got everything on me. We're playing more team defense, which is great."
Fremd stretched its lead to 17-8 in the final 23 seconds of the first quarter when Charlie Towns (10 points) scored twice, once off a steal, and Kayman Hopkins (14 points) dropped in a bucket with 4 seconds left.
The Vikings led 27-15 at halftime and created more breathing room in the third quarter, thanks to an 8-point burst by Hopkins, stretching their lead to 42-21.
Fremd starters Schoffstall (8 points), Matt Wingen (7) and Max Wexley (6) made it difficult for the Cougars (0-7, 0-2) to leave anyone unguarded.
"One thing we like to put on the floor is five guys you've got to guard," Widlowski said. "That was the case tonight. You had to guard all five of our guys tonight, and I thought they shared the ball very well."
"That's the great part about our team is any given night, any guy can step up and put 15-20 points down," Towns said. "That's a great weapon that we have. If you have 3-4 guys in double digits, that's really tough for other teams to guard."
Fremd held a 28-11 rebounding edge.
"Tafara (Okammor) and Kayman rebounded really well for us today, and Charlie did a nice job rebounding," Widlowski said. "And we scored in transition in the first half."
"We had hopes for a little closer ballgame," Conant coach Jim Maley said. "We just seemed like we came out flat and never recovered.
"They play very tough defense," Maley said. "We did expect that. We've got to come out a little tougher than we did.
"We've got to run our offense better and get our points out of the offense. If we do that, then everybody will make a little contribution.
"Today was a step back," Maley said "We played pretty well against Schaumburg. We're a young team, but we don't want to wait till next year. We hope it will click a little bit later this year. We have a few issues we've got to overcome."