Fremd plays Notre Dame tough, but falls in end
Fremd came up a bit short in the score and on the boys basketball court Tuesday in Palatine.
The Vikings were short-handed without starting forwards Kayman Hopkins and Charlie Towns, who were both out with injuries. Fremd nearly pulled off a late rally, but fell to Notre Dame 49-44.
"It was a great effort, but we still have to play four quarters to beat a team like that," Fremd coach Bob Widlowski said. "I thought we played well for three quarters, especially in the fourth quarter."
Fremd (9-8) led 18-15 with 2:44 left in the first half when the wheels fell off for the Vikings. They went scoreless for the next 10:29, missing 9 shots and 4 free throws while turning the ball over six times.
Notre Dame (16-2), the state's top-ranked Class 3A team, scored the next 13 points to lead 31-18. The Dons appeared to be in complete command when they led 40-28 with 6:12 to play.
Fremd refused to give in.
Widlowski put a smaller lineup on the floor and it gave the Dons fits.
"We were looking for a different matchup," Widlowski said. "Once we went small, it gave us a chance to speed things up a bit and obviously Russ Beaupre did a fantastic job."
Beaupre, who had nailed a pair of 3-pointers earlier in the quarter, heated up like a supernova. He drilled another 3, canned 3 free throws and then had a layup off a steal and suddenly it was 42-36 with 4:13 to play.
"I went 0-for-2 to start the game and I just kept shooting," said Beaupre, a senior, who had a career-high 16 points.
"I made one and the rest came. It was confidence. All confidence."
Fremd got the deficit to 4 at 45-41 on a basket by Matt Wingen with 1:33 left. The Vikings then got it to three on a trey by Jake Schoffstall (8 points) that made it 47-44 with 29.4 seconds left. But the Vikings couldn't convert from there while the Dons knocked down a pair of free throws to secure the win.
"We fell short in the third quarter and that hurt us," said Fremd's Max Wexley, who finished with 11 points. "We have had a couple of games where we get down in a hole and battle back. But unfortunately tonight was not enough."
Widlowski liked how his Vikings battled back.
"I thought our effort was good, our attitude was good and our comeback was very nice," Widlowski said. "It was a one-possession game coming down the stretch. But we would have taken a little bit of pressure off of that last two minutes if we had been more efficient in the third quarter."
Anthony Sayles led Notre Dame with 18 points, Troy D'Amico had 15 points and Louis Lesmond had 10 points for the Dons.