Freshman Zach Keaton played the hero for Fremont Tuesday night, banking in a lay-up with 3.6 seconds left to lift the Tigers to a 58-57 win over Omaha Burke Tuesday night.
“We showed some growth and got a lot of nice contributions from a lot of guys,” said Fremont coach Mark Williams.
For much of the night, it appeared that Keaton’s heroics would have been unnecessary.
The Tigers built up a nine-point lead in the first half and maintained it through a high-scoring third frame.
“We got rattled that third quarter, but I told them, ‘At the end of the half we were up nine and at the end of the third we were up nine,’” Williams said.
Fremont’s lead slowly eroded away in the fourth quarter until a four-point swing pulled the Bulldogs in front for the first time since the opening period.
Terrance Nelson’s lay-up made it a 57-56 game and gave the Tigers just 28.7 seconds to work with.
The initial play call for Fremont on their final play was to feed freshman Coriahnn Gallatin on a back door pass, but with that option covered up, the Tigers swung the ball around with Williams keeping his final timeout in his pocket
“We had them in a little bit of a scramble mode,” Williams said.
The ball eventually landed in the hands of Keaton as the seconds drained off the clock.
The freshman took two dribbles into the paint then sliced his way through a pair of Burke defenders to get the game-winning shot off.
“He just made a beautiful drive, kissed it off the square and put it down,” Williams said.
Keaton finished with 11 points, setting a new career best and marking the first time the freshman had cracked double-figures for the Tigers.
Burke turned the ball over on the ensuing inbounds play, sealing Fremont’s bounce back win to move to 3-13 on the year. .
“If you told me we were going to have a one-point win before the game started, I would have taken it no matter how we got there,” Williams said.
Burke jumped out to an early 8-0 lead before senior Dane Morem connected on a three-point shot to kick off the Tigers’ offense on senior night. Morem and Kaden Karnatz, the Tigers two seniors, were honored prior to tip-off.
Fremont erased the early deficit and led 14-13 after the opening quarter. The Tigers doubled up the Bulldogs in the second quarter 15-7 to lead 29-20 at the break.
“We played really, really good team basketball in that first half,” Williams said.
Nine different Fremont players found their way into the scorer’s book led by Gallatin with 18 points.
The Tigers (3-13) return to action Friday, traveling to Lincoln Southeast (9-6). Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.
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