As a junior, Fremd’s Xavier Williams burned Evanston’s basketball team with a 3-point shot at the buzzer that sent the game into overtime and resulted in a 3-point loss for the Wildkits.
Williams delivered another dagger Saturday at the War On The Shore Shootout at Loyola Academy.
The 6-foot-3 forward scored 5 points in the final 1.5 seconds to lift the Vikings to a 53-49 triumph over the Wildkits, finishing with a game-high 23 points.
Williams sank a 3-point basket from the corner with 1.5 seconds left on the clock, then added a pair of free throws following an ETHS turnover as the losers slipped to 15-7 on the season while coming up on the short end of a defensive duel.
Evanston clawed its way back from a 5-point defict to start the fourth quarter and grabbed a 49-48 lead behind 10 points in the period from sophomore Nojel Eastern (17 points). But guard Micquel Roseman missed 2 free throws with 17 seconds remaining and that opened the door just enough for the Vikings.
As a team, Evanston shot just 9-of-18 from the free throw line.
“There were opportunities there for us, and we didn’t cash in at the free throw line like we should have,” said Evanston coach Mike Ellis. “And not just down the stretch, either. There were also a lot of loose balls that we didn’t pick up. Fremd played tougher than we did.
“You’ve got to put teams away when it’s a back-and-forth game like this. You need to come out and get 3 stops in a row, and we didn’t do that. And for whatever reason, we weren’t in sync with our motion offense against them.”
Eastern sent the Kits to a 49-47 lead with 2 minutes, 46 seconds remaining in regulation. But he also misfired twice down the stretch at the free throw line and the losers didn’t score at all in the final 2:46.
Elijah Henry added 15 points and 4 rebounds for ETHS. The Kits were outscored 16-11 in the third quarter, but took the lead with 3:03 left on the clock when Malik Jenkins fed Dylan Mulvihill for a lay-in.