Fenton keeps getting better, beats West Chicago

Updated 12/20/2019 11:10 PM

A basketball coach can find things to critique even after a nice win.

"That's all we're talking about, is how we could get better," said Fenton boys coach Chaz Taft.


He would be reassured to know his players felt the same after the Bison's 65-49 Upstate Eight Conference victory Friday at West Chicago.

"The day you start to gloat is the day you start to lose," said forward Diamon King, who scored 18 points with 13 rebounds, part of a 39-22 Fenton rebounding advantage.

Fenton (7-3, 3-1) grabbed 17 offensive rebounds, 6 from Frank Krygier, who came off the bench to grab 14 overall.

King and 230-pound Gerell Wilson showed their experience and size in the paint, as the Bison made 23 of 35 2-point field-goal attempts.

"We dominated for the most part on the inside," King said. "But there still are little mistakes -- offensive calls, the charges we need to work on. Finishing strong we still need to work on. Then closing out the game with free throws of course."

Handling the Bison's inside strength and 1-3-1 zone defense were two of coach Bill Recchia's keys for West Chicago (0-9, 0-4). It took time for Ryan Schmidt and Christian Krahenbuhl to find gaps in the zone behind King and Wilson, who rested a strained foot the second half after a 12-point first half.

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"Anytime we see a 1-3-1 like that, if you can, work it to the middle," said Schmidt, who scored 17 points with 6 rebounds. Krahenbuhl scored 13 points.

"About midgame I had noticed that I could find a hole in there sometimes depending where the ball is. Raed (Haroon) and Jacob (Lim) did an especially good job of getting me the ball," Schmidt said.

Again, a Bison player took responsibility.

"I wasn't moving my feet enough to get to where I'm supposed to be to stop that pass from getting to another spot and then making a shot. We did it good, but we just need to work on moving our feet a lot more," Wilson said.

That said, once Wilson lost his man for an easy basket and 4-3 lead, the Wildcats were chasing from then on.

A drive by 16-point scorer Andre Reed gave the Bison a 29-19 halftime lead. Fenton forced 8 Wildcats turnovers to go up 42-27 entering the fourth, and led 52-33 after a hustle play by Tristan Hausen.


Three Haroon 3s pulled West Chicago within 58-47 but the Wildcats couldn't get closer than 11 as Patrick Block and Reed made 7 of 8 free throws in the last 1:35.

"These boys aren't going to quit, they're not going to stop playing hard," Recchia said.

"The good thing is we get to play them again."

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