Schaumburg holds on for 2-point win over Fremd
There was a lot new things on display at the main gymnasium on the campus of Schaumburg High School Friday night as the Saxons hosted Fremd in the MSL West opener for both teams.
First, it marked the home debut of new Saxons coach Jason Tucker.
Next came the unveiling of the Saxons new home uniforms in white that featured accents of the school colors Maroon and Gold mixed in.
To top it all off was a new video board which went out of service during the Fremd-Schaumburg varsity girls basketball game but after some work turned back on for the second half of the boys game.
Once it did, it along with those in attendance were treated to pulse-pounding, heart-stopping 16 minutes of play that saw the visitors from Palatine's Southside nearly pull off a comeback from an 11 point late-third quarter deficit as it saw both a game-winning as well as game-tying opportunity go by boards as the host Saxons held on for a 55-53 win.
"This is a great moment," an emotionally-spent Tucker said shortly after the horn sounded. "My coaching staff did a phenomenal job all week preparing with the kids. This is a great win for us, a huge win for our program. We just did a great job against a very good, well-coached basketball team."
That effort got going for Schaumburg (3-2, 1-0) after a Ryan Cox 3-pointer pulled the Vikings within 27-25 90 ticks into half number two.
It was at that point Jordan Tunis, a 5-11 sophomore who was the lone starter returning from last season's squad, connected on a pair from beyond the arc. Those surrounded a Javonte McCoy layup putting the home team on the scoreboard ahead 35-27 with 4:50 left in the period.
That lead grew to 39-28 when Tunis fed senior Matthias Mackrie at the 2:18 mark. It had followed another McCoy layup.
After a Michael Tancredi trey kept the advantage at eight (47-39) with 4:59 left, Fremd (3-2, 0-1) began their rally on back-to-back triples by Cox (team-high 15 points) followed by a successful pair of charity tosses by Mark Braun that had them within 47-44 with 2:46 left.
After Cameron Kuhl connected on free throws that brought them within 55-53 with just nine ticks left in regulation, the Vikings got their chance at victory when it rebounded a missed Tancredi free throw setting Cox up for a potential game-winning 3 that hit the front of the rim.
After Ryan Sammoms snared the rebound, his 15-footer went in that would have tied the game and forced overtime.
Unfortunately for the Vikings, it was deemed by the officials to have gone off just after the horn sounded nullifying the attempt.
Tunis led the way for Schaumburg with a game-high 23 points followed by McCoy with 13 and 7 rebounds.
"We had a good walk-through before the game and I felt all that good energy before the game," Tunis said. "Then we did what we needed to do to win. It's a good start but we got to put this behind us and get ready for our next game."