Barrington boys basketball head coach Bryan Tucker didn't want to bring attention to the fact that the heroics of Brad Zaumseil and Robby Vollman helped Tucker win the 300th game of his career.
In fact, Tucker solemnly tried escaping without any talk of the milestone but there was nothing escaping the bright red T-shirts with the number 300 the Broncos donned upon exiting the locker room after Barrington pulled off a dramatic 42-40 victory over Bartlett in the 13th annual Jacobs Holiday Classic in Algonquin Wednesday afternoon.
With 4.3 seconds left and the game tied at 40, Zaumseil broke loose in the left corner near the Barrington bench and launched a desperation 3-point attempt that missed completely. The ball cleanly sailed over the basket, not touching the rim. But Vollman, who wasn't boxed out, broke free on the weak side and skied for the tipped rebound and put back the miss with 0.9 seconds remaining to give the Broncos the win and Tucker the coaching milestone, just after Zaumseil nailed 3 free throws to tie the game.
"He was certainly opportunistic," Tucker said of Vollman. "Gave us 9 points, none bigger than the last two. And how about Brad stepping up, being clutch, knocking down those three free throws?"
Then Tucker focused on his milestone.
"It says I've been fortunate to coach a lot of good players and had a lot of good coaches around me. That's what it means to me, I've been really fortunate."
The Broncos were too, as they benefited from a few miscues, none more inflicting than the Hawks' inbound pass with 4.3 seconds that sailed high over Lance Whitaker's hands along the baseline at half-court, setting up the play underneath Barrington's hoop.
"I just happened to be in the right place at the right time," Vollman said. "We'll take the win any way we can get it. It was big for us. Real big for us,"
It puts Barrington (8-6) in great position with 2-0 record in pool play while Bartlett (9-5) fell to 1-1.
The Hawks had control with 1:13 left after Billy Kramer converted a layup for a 1-point lead. Barrington committed an offensive foul on the very next possession and sent Whitaker (12 points, 8 rebounds), who was 4-for-4 to that point, to the line with 36.2 seconds left. Whitaker missed both free throws, as Bartlett was just 9 of 18 from the line, including 3 misses in the fourth quarter.
"Forget the end of the game," Hawks coach Jim Wolfsmith said. "The game was decided by us at the free throw line. If we hit free throws like we're supposed to, like we should, we win that game by 7, 8 or 9 points."
Vollman could have given Barrington the lead with 18 seconds left on a wide open layup but Kramer came from behind with the rejection. Jon Moss (7 points) sank 2 free throws for a 40-37 Hawks lead with 12 seconds left. It seemed the Hawks dodged a bullet with the lead in hand and Barrington had one more possession.
But as time trickled down, Zaumseil (20 points, 4 rebounds) had to launch something from deep. When he did, the Bartlett defender knocked him down after the shot, stopping the clock.
"Obviously you don't want to foul the shooter at the end of the game like that," Wolfsmith said. "We got too close and (Zaumseil) did a nice job of taking the foul and hitting 3 free throws. Just clutch on the line."
After a Bartlett timeout, Kramer looked to go to Marcus Aluquin in the backcourt but was denied the ball so he threw deep to Whitaker.
When the ball soared over Whitaker out of bounds, Barrington got it at its end. Tucker called for time before going to Zaumseil again.
"We never gave up," Zaumseil said. "We just kept going, we didn't quit. that last play summed it up. Robby didn't quit on the ball and crashed the boards."
The lead changed 5 times in the fourth. Barrington only converted 2 field goals in the quarter. Bartlett managed a 22-19 lead at the half. Barrington shot 44 percent on 34 shots, making 11 of 18 free throws. Bartlett shot a 42 percent clip on 33 shots.
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