Fremd outlasts Buffalo Grove in OT
It wasn't exactly raining 3s Monday night in the Fremd vs. Buffalo Grove boys basketball game at the Wheeling Hardwood Classic.
As a matter of fact, the teams were a combined 2-of-22 behind the arc through the first 23 minutes of the contest.
Enter Vikings senior guard Russ Beaupre.
Beaupre came off the bench to hit two 3-pointers in the final minute of the third quarter, then another to open the fourth.
That gave Fremd an 8-point lead, and the Vikings needed every one of those points to hold off the Bison.
Fremd won 52-48 in overtime.
"Russ was the difference," said Fremd coach Bob Widlowski. "He had a sequence there that really gave us a cushion. I thought he played fantastic and did a really nice job on both ends of the floor when we were kind of stuck on a number."
Senior forward Kayman Hopkins scored 16 points for Fremd and came up with a huge defensive play at the end of regulation, while Kam Craft had a game-high 21 points and 11 rebounds for BG.
"I was really pleased tonight with the effort of our kids," said BG coach Keith Peterson. "It was a tough first round matchup, and they (Fremd) came up with some big shots at the end."
Craft and teammate Matt Brunelli (7 points in the final period) led a fourth quarter BG comeback, and with the score tied at 42-42, the Bison had the ball at the end of regulation looking for a final game-winning shot.
Then the tough defense of Hopkins forced a five-second call on BG and sent the game to overtime.
"That was huge," said Fremd senior guard Max Wexley. "It's one of the best defensive plays I've ever seen."
Hopkins put the Vikings up early in OT with a strong offensive rebound and putback, then Wexley had 4 rebounds in the final minute and a half of overtime and also sank 3 free throws as Fremd built a 49-44 advantage.
A layup from BG's Nate Cole brought the Bison closer, but more free throws from Charlie Towns and Jake Schoffstall at the end closed out the win for the Vikings.
Brunelli scored 9 for the Bison while Cole added 6 points and teammate Kyle Brosnahan finished with 5.
Beaupre had 9 points for Fremd while Schoffstall and Wexley scored 8 apiece.
""We understood that they were trying to get up and down the floor," said Fremd forward Tafara Okammor of the Bison game plan, "so controlling the pace of the game was a big focus for us.
"We also focused on taking care of the ball," added the senior. " That's something we've been working on all year, I think honestly that we did that and that's why we came away with the win."