Coming off a tough home loss to Bartlett on Tuesday, Barrington boys basketball coach Brian Tucker knew his squad had to move past that setback with trips to Schaumburg and Grant on back-to-back nights this weekend.
Plus, the Broncos had hopes of a possible top-five seed in the Class 4A Elk Grove sectional complex.
The Broncos got off to a good start this weekend as they held off a gutsy Saxon team 48-46 in Mid-Suburban West play Friday night in Schaumburg.
"Our kids showed great resiliency tonight," said a beaming Tucker. "To come off that loss (48-41) on Tuesday on our senior night was very difficult, but our players responded to that challenge with three of the best practices we've had this season. And it showed when we needed it out there against a team that we knew would give us a battle."
That battle commenced as the host school (9-14, 3-6) rallied back from a 9-point deficit late in the first half.
After four straight points from Jackson Perkins (team-high 15 points), Barrington (15-9, 5-4) held a 26-17 advantage with 1:40 left in the first half.
Senior guard Aaron Kline started the Saxons' comeback with a steal and layup in the half's closing seconds for 2 of his 12 points that pulled Schaumburg within 26-19.
Then it was the 6-1 sophomore duo of Heze Trotter (12 points) and Michael Hodges (game-high 16 points) that accelerated the rally with 8 of Schaumburg's 13 third-quarter points.
The Saxons took a 32-30 lead on Kline's layup with 1:22 remaining in the period.
After a Bart Susol free throw cut the Saxon lead in half at quarter's end, it became the launching point for an 8-2 surge that gave the Broncos the lead for good at 40-34 with 3:45 remaining on a Jack Reinhard 3-pointer off a Perkins' assist.
The Saxons, however, chipped away at the Barrington edge all the way until the game's final seconds.
A chance at a tie went by the wayside on a missed shot that went around the rim and out.
Perkins snared his ninth and final rebound and made two game-clinching free throws after being fouled with four seconds to play in regulation, making it 48-44.
Hodges drove the lane for an uncontested layup as time expired for the game's final score.
"We have great respect for Wade (Heisler, Schaumburg coach) and his team," Tucker added. "They make you run. They're well-prepared and they do a good job of forcing you to work hard in order to match their effort."
A point that Perkins, his 6-foot-7 junior center, concurs with.
"They're a great team," Perkins said. "They do a great job of mixing their defensive schemes that really gave me a hard time early on. However it creates openings for my teammates to attack the basket and it becomes a plus for us as a team."
Anthony Spann added 14 points and 5 rebounds for the Broncos who head north toward Fox Lake for a 5:30 p.m. Saturday tip against Grant, the Northern Lake County Conference leader.
"They're a tough team," Tucker says. "We've got to play the way we did tonight because they are in the same boat that we're in with regards to seeding. We have an opportunity to convince others that we belong in that top five."
For Schaumburg, a road trip to rival Conant will complete MSL West play next Friday.
"I felt like we played better overall than we did up there (in a 43-29 loss Jan. 6) last month," Heisler said. "We were much better in attacking their zones. I also liked the way we were unselfish in transition. Our schedule overall is tough and it toughens you up. We're a better-prepared team as we finish up our regular-season schedule."