Fremd shuts down Hoffman Estates
A Fremd team that may have lost its "Hop," sure still has a lot of spring.
Yes, star center Kayman Hopkins is out for the season, but Fremd's depth, focus and execution are what will carry the Vikings the rest of the way. They showed it Friday night in a 42-19 Mid-Suburban West boys basketball win at Hoffman Estates, relying on suffocating defense and patient but pinpoint shooting.
"Our depth is as good as it's been in many years," said co-high scorer Jake Schoffstall (11 points) after the game.
The senior point guard hit his first four shots, three of them 3-pointers, as Fremd ran out to a 15-6 first-quarter lead and forced Hoffman into more turnovers than it had points in the period.
The athletic point guard had plenty of help. Junior Jack Walsh, starting for Hopkins, had 5 points, plugged the middle on defense and grabbed half of Fremd's 11 rebounds. That's all the Vikings needed. They only missed 9 shots in 26 attempts.
The Vikings (10-8, 4-2), already leading 25-10 at halftime, pulled further away in period three as co-high scorer Matt Wingen got involved, scoring three buckets, two on beautiful feeds from Russ Beaupre, starting for Charlie Towns, and Max Wexley, the latter for a 3-point play to open the half.
In the end, officially, Fremd got 5 points off the bench. Unofficially, with usual reserves Beaupre and Walsh starting, they got 14 off the bench.
"It's amazing," said Schoffstall. "Our depth just keeps stepping up," in the persons aforementioned and in Towns, who is playing himself back into starting through measured minutes off the bench.
Head coach Bob Widlowski couldn't be more pleased, especially with the concentration on defense.
"They did a really nice job with the scouting report and focusing on their shooters," he said, as guards Levent Sertesen and Vatsal Pandya combined for 12 points, but on 4 of 11 shooting.
"I like the way we executed."
Flu-ridden Hoffman (6-10, 0-5), also missing two starters, only got off 19 shots all game.
"Fifteen turnovers in the first half didn't help," noted head coach Luke Yanule, whose guys, what he had left, gave it what they had but couldn't keep up on the boards, couldn't generate many open looks and committed 23 turnovers all told.
"Give them credit," he said of the Vikings. "They were tough."