Crystal Lake South's boy basketball team saved its best for last.
Outscoring Barrington 31-19 in the fourth quarter, the Gators advanced to the championship game of the Jacobs Boys Basketball Holiday Classic for the first time in 11 years with an impressive 68-59 win over Barrington Friday night in Algonquin.
"We showed unbelievable resiliency tonight," said South coach Matt LePage. "I am so proud of the kids. We got knocked down but refused to give in. Tonight, my team refused to lose. We were on a mission and the kids played with great confidence in the fourth quarter."
Trailing 40-37 after 3 quarters, the Gators (5-6) grabbed the lead for good 55-52 on a 3-pointer from Max Meitzler with 5:55 left in the game.
Barrington (9-7) couldn't get any closer as the Gators iced the game at the free-throw line, making 10 of 12 in the final 1:22. Nick Geske was 4-for-6 from the line while Meitzler, Austin Rogers and Eric Schiller were each 2-for-2.
Meitzler, who didn't miss a shot in the second half, scored 17 of his 20 points in the final 16 minutes. He was 5-for-5 from the floor including 3 of 3 from 3-point range.
"My teammates set the tone in the first half and I was able to hit some shots in the second half," he said. "I got some confidence and it was nice to help the team win. This was a great win against a very good Barrington team."
Rogers led the Gators with 21 points, 10 in the first half.
"Austin Rogers was unguardable at times," said LePage. "He played a great overall game for four quarters.
Geske added 17 points, including 11 of 14 from the line for CL South, which plays crosstown rival Crystal Lake Central for the championship at 7:30 p.m. today.
Brad Zausmeil paced the Broncos with 21 points while Zach Bart scored 16 with 8 rebounds.
"They knocked down shots in the fourth quarter and Meitzler got hot," said Barrington coach Bryan Tucker. "He has a very quick release and couldn't miss. It came down to they made shots and we didn't make enough plays. We didn't execute in the fourth quarter and they exploited our weaknesses."
The Broncos will play Lakes at 6 p.m. for third place.
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