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Fremd stayed calm, cool and collected in the face of South Elgin’s pressure defense Monday.
The Storm cranked up the tempo on both ends of the court from start to finish, but it was the Vikings who ran away to a 63-48 victory in the season opener for both teams at the Fenton Tournament.
Fremd handled South Elgin’s half-court trap particularly well down the stretch, outscoring the Storm 16-5 in the fourth quarter. Junior guard Riley Glassmann poured in 24 points for the Vikings to lead all scorers.
“Whoever’s man came and trapped us, we circled through and gave it back to him,” Glassmann said. “We did a good job of handling the pressure, sharing the ball and getting open layups.”
Neither team led by more than seven points through the first three quarters, and the score was tied at 43 late in the third when momentum started to turn in Fremd’s favor.The Vikings scored two quick buckets in the final minute of the quarter, including one off a turnover in the closing seconds, to pull ahead 47-43.
The surge continued when action resumed in the fourth as Fremd scored eight of the first 10 points for what amounted to a 12-2 run and a 55-45 lead. South Elgin never recovered, trailing by at least nine points the rest the way.
“We turned the ball over 21 times on just careless turnovers like throwing the ball out of bounds,” South Elgin coach Chaz Taft said. “I think some of the loose balls we let go and they scored on were momentum changers.”
Ben Carlson contributed 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists for Fremd, which shot 52.8 percent (25-for-48) from the field. Michael Krupa and Sean Benka chipped in with nine points apiece.
Junior Darius Wells paced South Elgin with 14 points and freshman Matt Smith added 10 points in his debut as a varsity starter. Coming off the bench, Matt McClure tallied 10 points and Robert Grant had six points and a game-high 10 rebounds for the Storm.
“I liked what I saw for the first three quarters,” Taft said. “We were battling and were really getting up into them defensively. Offensively we were making some nice extra passes and getting the ball to the post. But all of it has to come together as one if we’re going to come out and win.”
FREMD 63, SOUTH ELGIN 48
Glassmann 9 4-5 24, Carlson 5 1-3 11, Krupa 3 3-4 9, Benka 4 1-2 9, Kubis 2 0-4 4, Cordell 1 2-2 4, Groot 1 0-0 2. Totals 25 11-20 63.
South Elgin (0-1)
Wells 5 2-5 14, Smith 5 0-2 10, McClure 4 1-2 10, Grant 3 0-0 6, Lundy 2 2-3 6, Winsel 0 2-2 2. Totals 19 7-14 48.
Fremd 14 15 18 16 -- 63
South Elgin 19 10 14 5 -- 48
Three-point goals: Fremd (2): Glassmann. South Elgin (3): Wells 2, McClure.