Being in control for most of a game is overrated.
Schaumburg had the lead most of the way from midway through the second quarter on Friday night at Barrington.
And then Austin Madrzyk went from the guy setting the backscreen to the guy cutting to the basket on an inbounds play with 1.7 seconds left as the Broncos rallied for a 38-36 Mid-Suburban West-opening win.
"Zach (Bart) was the first option," Madrzyk said after the game. But Schaumburg had Bart (14 points) blanketed around the basket, where he'd hurt them all night.
So Madrzyk (11 points) did the logical thing -- he went to the basket. Calvin Goldsmith threaded a pass to him through a sea of flailing hands and Madrzyk scooped it in at the buzzer.
"We just kept going. We knew the shots were going to fall," Madrzyk said of rallying back, and on his birthday no less.
Beyond the celebration, though, it was all very rewarding for Madrzyk and Barrington (2-4, 1-0). He and Bart are now the senior leaders on a team that puts five underclassmen on the floor out of its first eight, including three starters.
"Our seniors carried us," said Barrington coach Bryan Tucker. "They've been through the battles."
Last year, Madrzyk said, he and Bart were the students. Now he's finding it gratifying to watch the underclassmen improve in that same role.
"It's a lot of young guys. It's definitely a learning curve," he said.
Young but talented. Six-foot-eight sophomore center Rapolas Ivanauskas had 6 of his 8 points in the third quarter, as Barrington began to dominate play. Goldsmith, a 6-5 junior, had his only basket in the frame.
But to that point, Schaumburg's quickness and perimeter shooting kept them ahead. Junior point guard Marquis Woodard (9 points) controlled tempo and generated turnovers. Seniors Bryce Carlson (6 points) and Josh Rahn (9) helped Schaumburg maintain balanced scoring, distribute the ball and stay even on the boards with the taller Broncos. Senior center Johnnie Flynn offset Ivanauskas most of the game.
But then came that decisive fourth quarter. Schaumburg (2-3, 0-1) appeared in control after Carlson's second 3-pointer made it 34-30 in a game where points were tough to come by.
"I thought it was a hard-fought game," said Schaumburg coach Matt Walsh. "We were 0-for-5 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter. We gave up some huge offensive rebounds."
"It was a typical Mid-Suburban game," Tucker said of the grueling, physical nature. "The defense kind of kept us in the game."
And Madrzyk kind of won it with his buzzer-beater layup.
"I had the easy part," he said of his layup. "Calvin threw me a great pass.