Barrington's girls basketball team was able to hang on and make enough free throws down the stretch to secure a 53-50 victory over Maine West on Saturday night in the 31st annual Charger Classic at Dundee-Crown.
With just 30 seconds left and leading only by a point, the Fillies' Bailee McDonald went 1 of 2 from the line. The rebound went to Maine West's Julia Huinker, who found teammate Brittany Collins down low on what looked like a game-tying basket -- until Barrington's Angie Kirchoff put Collins on the line.
Collins missed the first of a one-and-one and was boxed out of the rebound attempt, giving the Fillies the ball with 15 seconds left in the game. Kirchoff was fouled quickly, where she missed the first of a one-and-one. With the ball on the floor, McDonald (11 points, 5 rebounds) quickly jumped on top of it, forcing the Warriors to foul.
McDonald went 1 of 2 from the line and, despite an open look at a game-tying 3, Maine West could not get a shot off before the final buzzer sounded.
"I thought Bailee did an excellent job tonight," Barrington coach Babbi Barreiro said. "That rebound at the end of the game off the missed free throw by us was a huge part of the game. If we don't get that rebound, it could have been a very different outcome."
Though the ending was a nail-biter for Barrington (13-2), it appeared to be smooth sailing earlier in the game. Up by 6 at the half and leading by as many as 8, the Fillies were managing to stay in control thanks to stellar bench play.
"We like to say that we have about six or seven starters on our team right now," Barreiro said. "I think the kids have gotten used to the idea that it doesn't matter who starts, it matters what you do when you're out on the floor."
Brooke Gunderson led Fillies with 15 points off the bench, including 8 in the second quarter, while Aoife Callanan (6 points) scored in every quarter in which she played.
The Warriors (10-5) would not go quietly, however, fighting back in the third quarter and actually leading after an Erin Ross 3-pointer with 5 seconds left in the period.
"They got a lot of second- and third-chance points (in the first half) and they got a lot of loose balls, and we tried to stop them from doing that," Maine West coach Derril Kipp said. "We had to concentrate on getting those loose balls. We did a pretty good job in the second half defensively. It was just one of those games that whoever had the ball last could have won."
Collins had a big game for Maine West, getting a double-double with a game high 17 points and 12 rebounds. Huinker (16 points, 5 rebounds), also a forward, kept it close for the Warriors in the second half.
"They're two of our better players," Kipp said. "We try to go inside to them as much as we can."
Maine West will play Hononegah for seventh place at 3:30 p.m. Monday, while the Fillies find themselves in familiar territory, playing for fifth place against Stevenson at 5 p.m.
"I think (the girls) are ready for the challenge," Barreiro said. "Stevenson is never an easy game, so we'll have to bring it on Monday."