Fremd in rare position: undefeated underdog

Heart-stopping wins have become a habit for Fremd. Sort of.

The undefeated Vikings’ 36-35 overtime victory against Jacobs at Tuesday’s Hoffman Estates Supersectional was their second thriller in a row after Kyle Sliwa’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer knocked off Conant 43-42 in the Robert Morris Sectional final.

That win was a near repeat of Sliwa’s four-point play that defeated Conant in their second of three meetings. The Vikings also defeated Prospect by two in the Mid-Suburban League championship game, and Notre Dame by one in OT for the title at the Wheeling Hardwood Classic.

Those five victories have given the Vikings a narrative of a team that regularly squeaks out wins. In their other 26 games, however, they won by an average of 18.5 points, including margins of 33, 34, 45, 31, 32 and 41.

“There was a sequence there where we didn’t win by less than 12 points for about a month,” Fremd coach Bob Widlowski said.

Each of the Vikings’ five starters, four of whom are seniors who began playing together as fourth-graders in Fremd’s feeder system, shoots better than 50 percent from the field. The collective precision of their passing and shooting has led to team averages of .523 overall and .394 on 3-pointers. Brian Dompke’s .634 field-goal average leads the team. Sliwa, the team’s only double-figure scorer at 16.5 points per game, shoots .518 from the field and .435 (70-for-161) on 3s.

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