Gritty effort comes up short for Fremd vs. Deerfield
Tournament consolation games can be a time to determine what the character that your team has.
Fremd showed it has plenty.
After both Luke Schoffstalll and Chris Smyros fouled out, the Vikings battled through two overtimes before succumbing to Deerfield 77-70 in the fifth-place game of the Wheeling Hardwood Classic Thursday.
"That was like a regional championship game," Fremd coach Bob Widlowski said. "It was a battle out there tonight. Both teams had a competitive attitude. To play three game, three days in a row and have a double-overtime game like that is a testament to how hard our guys played and how competitive they are."
Fremd (10-4) looked like it would win in regulation. The Vikings led 57-55 with less than 20 seconds to play. But they turned the ball over and Deerfield (10-3) was able to convert a layup to send it to overtime.
In overtime, Fremd led 61-57 with 3:19 left.
Deerfield cut the margin to 61-59 and on the play, Fremd was called for a pair of technical fouls. The Deerfield free throws put the Warriors up 64-61 with 2:21 left.
Fremd was able to rally to lead on free throws by Ryan Simmons and a basket by Aaron Orido with 21 seconds left. Deerfield was then able to send it into a second overtime as Luke Woodson (31 points) hit 1 of 2 free throws with five seconds left.
Fremd again took the lead in the second overtime. Sammons' pull up jumper gave the Vikings a 68-67 lead with 2:24 left.
But the Vikings couldn't maintain the lead as Deerfield converted 8 free throws and a basket down the stretch for the win.
Widlowski said this game revealed his team's character.
"We had three opportunities to win the game," Widlowski said. "I just told the kids that you play three days in a holiday tournament and then you battle like this. They were determined."
Sammons, who had 15 points, said it didn't matter that his team was playing in a consolation bracket game.
"I want to win every game," Sammons said. "Every game is equally important to me. I wanted to win that game in the worst way. It is a shame that we lost it."
Caiden Suchy, who had 12 points and 6 rebounds said: "We are all pretty upset because we really wanted to win. We had multiple opportunities to win that game. I think this shows that we can stay in any game with anybody and still fight. But we need to keep our composure."
Schoffstalll led Fremd with 20 points, 3 assists and 3 steals. Orido had 9 points and Smyros finished with 8 points,