By Ken DeLaat
With a conference title on the line the Packers took care of business early against their game but undermanned and undersized Viking visitors.
Ben Schmidt took a Calvin Miller pass and scored the game’s first points and TC's Cameron Friend answered before Wyatt Kaastra scorched one from distance. FRiend hit for another 2 and it was Riley Krim who took his turn from beyond the arc. A Nicholas Poprawski basket pulled the Vikes within 2 but it was the closest they would be for the rest of the night.
The Packers held a 20-12 lead after one and in the second began to get the ball inside to Logan Karnemaat who absolutely ruled the paint on both ends. Kaastra, Krim and Bailey Baddis all took turns feeding the big guy in the middle and TC had no one to stop him.When they dropped off to try to prevent incoming passes Kaastra, Baddis and Jax Miller rifled in triples and the rout was on. By halftime it was 43-18.
To TC’s credit they came out of the break strong with Bryce Hallman and Chase Jelinski hitting triples but Fremont was scoring on nearly every trip down the court and Karnemaat was taking care of business on the defensive end swatting away numerous attempts made anywhere near the basket.When the dust cleared after the third the hosts had a 27 point lead and the Packer bench emptied.
The win combined with the Big Rapids victory over Chippewa Hills gives each team a share of the Gold crown as the co-champion Packers and Cardinals finish with identical conference records of 11-3. The teams also split their season series each winning on their home court.
"I'm proud of the resiliency this team has shown throughout the long league season as we have battled people being out for injury, sickness and other reasons and somebody always seems to step up in their place.," said Coach Zerfas. " Tonight was a total team effort."
All 13 Packer players entered the scorebook led by Karnemaat’s 19. Kaastra hit for 9, Krim 7, Calvin Miller and Baddis notched 6 each and Noah Christensen, Carter Moon and Jax Miller finished with 5 apiece. Rounding out the scoring for Fremont were Schmidt (4) Ben DeVries (3)Caleb Koomen (3) Micah Whittle (2) and Julian Echavarria (2)
For the Vikings Hallman paced the offense with 15 points, Jelinski hit for a dozen, and Poprawski finished with 10. Others in the book for TC were Friend (8) Jacob Kaltz (5) Macario Castillo (4) Hunter Merchant (2) and Hunter Blake (2).
Fremont will host Ludington Tuesday and travel to Montague Thursday as they close out the regular season before heading to Tri County Monday March 5th to bergin District play against these same Vikings.