A couple of missed practices because of illness this week kept Barrington sophomore Rapolas Ivanauskas out of the starting lineup for the first time this season in Friday night's Mid-Suburban West boys basketball game with visiting Hoffman Estates.
But the 6-foot-8 Ivanauskas didn't miss much with shooting that turned out to be contagious. His career-high 16 points led four Broncos in double figures in their 63-50 victory.
"At practice (Thursday), I felt a lot better," Ivanauskas said after surpassing his previous high of 14 points. "It helped that I got to see what our opponents got to do and I was able to prepare mentally."
Ivanauskas didn't score until there were 17 seconds left in the first quarter, but that was the first of his 8 points in a 14-point run that gave Barrington (4-4, 2-0) a 29-12 lead that never dropped below double figures. He hit his first 7 shots from the field before missing his last two.
"I thought today we worked really well together as a team and we really saw each other, too," Ivanauskas said.
"Rapolas has had some good nights and tonight he did a nice job of scoring off transition, getting in the flow and running the floor really well," said Barrington coach Bryan Tucker. "It's nice to see a kid run the floor and the kids reward him."
But he wasn't the only one rewarded as the Broncos shot 60.5 percent overall from the field (26-for-43) and 69.4 percent inside the 3-point line (25-for-36). Junior guard Scott Bennett had 13 points, senior Zach Bart had 12 points and 6 assists and Austin Madrzyk added 11 points.
"If we work hard and play together as a team ... anyone could have a really great game," Ivanauskas said.
"I thought some things went our way early and we got a little confidence and got on a little roll," Tucker said. "We got a lot of points in close and defensively we created some turnovers. That was encouraging."
Which kept Hoffman (3-4, 0-2) from getting no closer than 38-28 in the third quarter on a 3-point play off a miss by sophomore Dante Cleveland (9 points). Senior Jordan Robinson had a game-high 21 points on 7-for-13 shooting and sophomore Jorden Thornton had 8 of his 12 and two 3-pointers in the fourth.
"We were concerned about their backcuts and backscreens and they scored on backcuts and backscreens," said Hoffman coach Luke Yanule. "But we don't quit and that's good.
"Barrington took advantage of a lot of things we were concerned about ... but now they've seen it and experienced it. By experiencing this kind of thing it can make us a lot better."
Barrington hopes this was a step in that direction.
"Hoffman played a really good game out there," Ivanauskas said. "But as teammates we worked together to meet our common goal of winning the game and going to 2-0 in the conference."
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- Hoffman Estates
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