State Finals preview: Unbeaten Fremd joins the big boys

Conant's Daniel Ranallo (1) applies pressure on Kyle Sliwa (4) of Fremd. Worsom Robinson/ For the Sun-Times.

Three of the usual suspects have advanced to the Class 4A State Finals in Peoria this weekend. Then there is Fremd. The Vikings are 31-0, don’t have a Division I college prospect and play a very disciplined, patient style of basketball.

Fremd’s seniors have been playing together since fourth grade. They are program guys, but don’t underestimate them.

“It’s a rare group, it has been a rare set of circumstances,” Fremd coach Bob Widlowski said. “Our senior leadership has allowed us to battle through these games.”

Palatine showed up in force at the Sears Centre Supersectional on Tuesday, with somewhere between five and seven thousand fans in attendance. The Vikings aren’t especially great shooters and don’t dunk the ball, but it hard not to admire their chemistry and dogged persistence.

“They are very quiet kids, not boastful,” Widlowski said. “They have an inner confidence they have built through their work ethic. They get along well together and are friends off the floor. It’s rare.”

Kyle Sliwa is the star, he’s an unassuming, quick player that has hit five or six game-winners for Fremd. Shaan Patel, a 6-4 senior, is smart and versatile. He’s effective inside or outside. Point guard Luke Schofstall is solid and confident. Forward Brian Dompke did an excellent job on Jacobs big man Cameron Krutwig in the supersectional win. Junior Ryan Martin rounds out the starting five.

The No. 6 Vikings face a massive step up in quality in the Class 4A State Semifinals on Friday against No. 5 Young. Lucas Williamson, Javon Freeman and Justin Boyd have all stepped up to lead the Dolphins (25-7) at various points this season.

“Fremd isn’t 31-0 for nothing,” Young coach Tyrone Slaughter said. “It’s going to be a game of different styles. They want to play incredibly methodically and we want to play at a faster pace.”

CLASS 4A: No. 1 Simeon (29-3) vs. No. 2 Bolingbrook (29-1)
There will be high-level talent all over the floor. The Raiders play at a blistering pace and punish opponents with big runs. Nebraska-bound guard Nana Akenten is a problem out on the perimeter and Malik Binns can be dominant in the post. Bolingbrook’s young backcourt of Kaleb Thornton and Joseph Yesufu has been the key to the postseason run.

“[Yesufu] is explosive,” Bolingbrook coach Rob Brost said. “Quick is probably an understatement. His decision making has improved so much from the beginning of the season to now.”

The Wolverines will be the smaller team and Bolingbrook can match their quickness. But Simeon has the state tournament, big-game experience and is playing better than anyone in the state right now. Evan Gilyard seems to step up late when it matter, so watch the UTEP-bound guard in the fourth quarter.

CLASS 3A : No. 7 Fenwick (29-4) vs. Bloomington (26-4)
The Friars have two rock-solid seniors, Jamal Nixon and Jacob Keller, and DJ Steward, one of the state’s most promising freshmen. They are comfortable playing fast or slow, which should give them an advantage this weekend.

The Purple Raiders haven’t done so well against Chicago-area teams, losing to Benet, Curie and Wheaton-Warrenville South. Chris Payton, a 6-6 sophomore, is one of the state’s electric talents.

CLASS 3A: No. 3 Morgan Park (24-6) vs. Lanphier (28-3)
The Mustangs are good enough to win Class 4A and are the heavy Class 3A favorites this weekend. Junior point guard Ayo Dosunmu can control a game and coach Nick Irvin has several different options in the post, including Lenell Henry, Melo Burrell and Tamell Pearson.

Lanphier has three All-State candidates in junior Cardell McGee, senior Yaakema Rose and senior Aundrae Williams. Lions coach Blake Turner plans to make it a track meet with the Mustangs, which is dangerous.

“We are a team that likes to get up and down the floor,” Turner said. “I don’t think my kids will back down from the challenge of Morgan Park.”

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30 comments

  • West sub fan

    Looks like I gave the brook to much credit FAM

  • Del

    Cannot wait to see Fremd downstate. Great for the MSL to be represented. Young may kill them but should be an interesting game. Simeon vs bolingbrook easily best game of the day but I’m rooting for simeon only to shut this annoying man up. Bolingbrook can easily win state but don’t start eating you words tomorrow night buddy. Brook has not faced a team as deep and as well coached as simeon. Going to be a fun night tomorrow. Go Vikings!

    • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

      Calm down del it is gone b ok
      U sound like Auntie
      Simeon not deep at all
      Know your facts before u blurt out silly comments
      How long did it take u to text this garbage?

      Just cuz your team didn’t make it don’t be A Hater just fall back I’m gone get u a Bolingbrook T-shirt and hat cuz u sound like u want to jump on the bandwagon oops my bad no more room left SO GO JUMP ON SIMEON Bandwagon u just jumping on every where b safe on rides . Ha Ha

      • Im a simeon Auntie

        😂😂😂😂😂😊😊😊

      • HoopDreams

        Nice game by the Brook….da off da hook but could not make da magic happen……..tough game tomorrow with contrasting styles……If you aint first you might as well be last baby!

  • Coach Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

    This my new name since everybody else say they coaches

  • High School Hoops Fan

    The best teams money can buy and recruit. Not a huge Fremd fan, but hoping they win it. Not hard to be down there when your team can recruit anywhere or is loaded with transfers.

    • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

      Sounds 🔊Like a Hater is LERKING early this morning cuz their team season is over.

    • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

      If you feel money playing a part in the Winning then y’all or your school got to GET THEIR BANDS UP💵💵💵💵💵💵💵 or try to get a bag of 💰💰💰. Get another job and help the team out . They hiring at McDonalds all the time. Go flip a couple burgers 🍔 and donate your check to the school u like. I can’t b giving u this game all the time . The game is to b sold not told but I’ll give u a Lil bit just keep it on the low. B cool lil hoop fan wish u good luck fo real .

    • Leegs1

      Well said!

    • Coach Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

      This my new name since everyone can b a coach

  • Coach B

    Wanna beat Bolingbrook? Go watch Hales big win over them in the Dipper Title game from 2014. Their system isn’t hard to beat. This group can bully those teams from out there, but not a smart AND athletic team. #TheSimeonWay will prove too much:

    Simeon 55, Bolingbrook 48.

    • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

      Simeon coach ain’t even got faith in team enough said

    • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

      Coach B not even a Coach you just say that so people think u know basketball.
      I’m glad u got big dreams.
      You been day dreaming all week about Simeon winning you funny homie 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

    • Spartan Nation

      That was the Semifinal game Hales beat them in. But nevertheless….. HALES HALES HALES!!

      • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

        No doubt y’all won that game.
        Back in the day Hales had a nice player name Van he was nice . Hales had some nice 👍🏾 teams no doubt fam I know Real hoopers and Hales had some.

    • Jason

      Coach B what ate you talking about???? The offense Bolingbrook runs is totally grok other years

      • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

        Hey Jason coach B not even a coach he just say that so people think he know what he talking about . I’m gone say I’m a coach too . Just call me Coach Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK. Coach B is a funny guy he should go to Las Vegas and try to b a stand up comedian at the Laugh factory 🛑 Stop it coach B the job is up.

  • Duke Carnoustie

    I hate to say it but we have seen this script before. The two best teams are Simeon and Bolingbrook. Unfortunately, they meet in a semifinal. Meanwhile, Young will smash a Fremd team that is luckier than good. The Dolphins will be well rested and win it all after a cakewalk in the semifinals on cruise control.

    You heard it here first from the Duke!

    • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

      Duke young a winning nothing but a prize out of a Cracker Jack box 📦 Real talk
      Bolingbrook will DEFINITELY DEMOLISH Young any day of the week. Are u feeling ok cuz u must b sleep 😴 walking 🚶🏽 like leegs just chill lil duke don’t just say anything get your text game ready before u send these bogus text and saying heard it from duke first get some rest sounds like you have a headache 🤕 your brain isn’t working properly. Is anybody home up there

    • Leegs1

      I liked Young all year. Great coach!

      • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

        Leegs it’s 10:39pm I thought u was sleep 😴 by now u know u got to get some rest . Who is your team anyway ?
        Do u have a team
        You taught at the Brook but don’t show the Brook no love

        • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

          Leegs u sleep 😴 walking 🚶🏽 again go lay down before u walk into a wall or door. You almost 70 years old u got to get in the bed around 6:30pm u know what the nurse told u before !!! Get some sleep 😴 holla tomorrow at you tomorrow DOG !!! Dueces ✌️

  • West sub fan

    Simeon 66 Bolingbrook 58 final !!

    • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

      No good lil west suburb fan !!!
      You know Bolingbrook score 80 points or better
      You sound like leegs and Auntie.
      Auntie got all worked up about the game and her blood pressure was 400 over 💯 and she had to lay down for the rest of the night she was O.C. For real and leegs just b jumping in saying stuff when he b sleep 😴 walking 🚶🏽 so don’t b like them just saying anything think first get your thoughts together and speak the truth like just the facts
      Fall back and relax for the rest of the night
      Simeon will b taking a L Friday
      Simeon won’t b winning the championship this year at all , I’ll buy you a Bolingbrook T-shirt and hat that say champs and u can jump on the bandwagon for a few but then u got to still take that UBER to the crib

  • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

    Lil server Simeon us wack fam

    Lil server Simeon is Wack this ain’t that wit the Brook u got it Twisted fam. Simeon ain’t Deep or experience
    Not this team maybe experienced befor when Ben and Nick was there but not 2017 Simeon NO GOOD who u think these guys are NO Hoopers just watch the game and see Bolingbrook have they Way wit Simeon. Hey do ever see yourself DAYDREAMING ALL THE TIME
    That’s not good lil server . Bolingbrook Taking care of Business wit a IRON FIST 👊🏾 I tell y’all this all the time but u will see it Friday lil server when Simeon take that L !!!!! Your comment was wack just like Simeon hoop squad!!!

  • ESCCobserver

    Simeon will win it all. Too deep and experienced. Lanphier will win 3A. The championship is basically between them and Morgan Park in the semi’s.

    • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

      You say Lanphier will win 3a then u say it’s between them in Morgan park.
      Morgan park play Lanphier what are u talking about who do you want to win lil coserver
      Morgan park in 3A also are you confused like Auntie was yesterday when she was discombobulated.morgan park play Lanphier. You looking at two different games or what. I’m gone call just the facts so he can prepare your next statement was u 😴 sleep walking 🚶🏽 last night like leegs too?

  • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

    Bolingbrook gone Do What They Do
    Win Win Win
    Everybody enjoy the game and get a chance to look at some Division 1 players take care of Business 😡👿👿👿👿👿👿👿👿👿 The Brook on 🔥🔥🔥 and we gone go hard on Simeon. Bolingbrook ain’t no JOKE them boys Beast .

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