The balloons and posters were ready. The Speed Limit 1000 points T-shirts were ready. The plaque was ready. The Hogan family was ready.
But was the star of the show, Fred Hogan, ready to furnish one of the signature moments of his superb basketball career at Lynn English High School?
Not only was Fred ready but he gained entry in to the 1,000-point club in dramatic fashion, netting 21 points (19 in the second half) to lead the Bulldogs to a come-from-behind 71-66 victory over two-time defending Division 3 state champion Danvers before a huge crowd at the Falcons’ fieldhouse.
And let’s give credit to head coach Mike Carr for his contribution to a great win on the road and the Hogan milestone. The second half was simply one of the finest-coached halves you’ll ever see. Trailing 33-22, the Bulldogs were a re-energized group in the second half, putting 49 points on the scoreboard while creating all kinds of havoc with their pressing defense.
Fred Hogan was immense in the second half and it was fitting that the senior captain netted the game-sealing free throws with 23 seconds left to play. His milestone-reaching hoop put the Bulldogs ahead to stay.
Hogan said he felt some anxiety heading into the game and was happy to put the milestone in the rear view mirror.
“I feel more relaxed now,” said Hogan. “Now I can play my game. The milestone meant a lot. It’s a big accomplishment in my basketball career. I’ve been looking forward to this since I was a little kid.”
Carr, whose Bulldogs are 11-3 following a 68-57 win over Salem Friday night, praised Fred Hogan’s performance in the victory over Danvers.
“Freddy’s a great passer who sees the floor, a true point guard and a special player – he really is,” said Carr. “I’m thrilled with the win. Johnny Hilaire (13 points) and Danny Lukanda (16 points) really stepped up, too.”
Carr said he envisioned a 1,000-point scenario for Hogan in the Bulldogs’ program that looms as a Division 1 state title contender this season.
“We knew it. Freddy has always been such a hard worker – he’s a gym rat,” said Carr. “He loves to shoot but he’s a player, too. He’s worked so hard and I’m thrilled for him. He’s been an absolute joy to coach. He’s a leader by example. He’s an outstanding kid and he’s deserving of all the accolades that he’s getting tonight.”