Conant has no answer for Schoffstall, Fremd

 
By Patrick Z. McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 3/2/2021 10:20 PM

Eli Schoffstall is the natural heir.

The Fremd junior is the fourth and youngest brother who excels at basketball and soccer.

 

"I always try to find ways to score," he said.

The 5-foot-11 guard is dynamic off the dribble and a top-notch shooter.

Conant had little answers against him Tuesday night in Mid-Suburban West play in Palatine.

Schoffstall scored 21 points and added 6 rebounds and 3 assists in the Vikings' 59-49 victory.

Behind the outstanding play of 6-foot-7 center Sean Beckman, the Cougars mounted a serious challenge. Beckman scored 20 points, demonstrating a feathery touch in making four 3-pointers and also the size and agility around the basket.

Schoffstall scored 10 points in the fourth quarter that closed the deal for the Vikings (8-2, 7-1).

His 11 points in the first half pushed Fremd out to the 25-18 lead at the break.

Conant (2-8, 1-7) responded with superb execution and ball movement at the start of the third quarter.

Beckman ignited a run of 3 consecutive 3-pointers that narrowed the gap to 31-29 midway through the frame.

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"Conant came out and they executed their stuff well the whole game," Fremd coach Bob Widlowski said. "They came out in the third quarter and hit some big shots. Fortunately we kept our composure, had some stops and we had some big baskets at the end."

Fremd extended its pressure and forced 3 consecutive Conant turnovers that yielded crucial transition points and a restorative 8-point spread (40-32) at the start of the fourth quarter.

"They came back, but I think one of the best things about our team is that we never get rattled, even when teams are making a run against us," Schoffstall said. "We just have to come back with a run on our own."

Schoffstall is the orchestrator, using his quickness off the dribble. His game beautifully overlaps with guard Chris Smyros, whose perimeter scoring opens the floor for Schoffstall to operate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The two hit back-to-back 3s for the Vikings' largest lead, at 52-38, with just over 6 minutes to play.

Smyros scored 8 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter.

"We've been playing together since middle school, so naturally the chemistry between us is always going to be there," Schoffstall said.

The third dynamic force for the Vikings was 6-foot-5 Jack Walsh. His wide frame and athletic grace creates the perfect pick-and-roll collaborator for Schoffstall.

Walsh ended with 12 points and 7 rebounds.

This game I had a pretty big mismatch, and I just ran our big man Walsh in the post, and he was setting ball screens and I just used those," Schoffstall said.

Tyler Burkland, Brandon Schroyer, and Isaac Hanley scored 6 points apiece for the Cougars.

Fremd had too many weapons.

"When we play as a team we create difficult matchups with Jack's size and the quickness of the guards," Widlowski said.

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