Any coach will tell you that if you can set the tempo in addition to building an early lead, your chances of winning improve dramatically.
Such was the scenario for Barrington's 53-30 win at Schaumburg on Friday night on the opening night of Mid-Suburban West play for both teams.
After opening up an 8-point first quarter advantage, the Broncos maintained a steady lead between 3 and 9 points until a 14-0 run over a five-minute span that covered the final 1:53 of the third quarter and the first three minutes of the fourth that put the game away for the visiting team.
"We got ourselves off to a good early start," Barrington coach Brian Tucker said. "Then we were able to hold a very talented Schaumburg team to just 11 second-half points. It makes for good team basketball."
Tucker liked the foundation his team set in the first five and a half minutes of the game. After an Anthony Spann layup got the Broncos (4-1, 1-0) on the board to start the contest, back-to-back triples by Miles Lester (game-high 14 points) followed by a Justin Alperin putback gave Barrington a 10-2 lead with 2:38 left in the opening period.
"Miles got a couple of good looks," Tucker said. "It helped to get us off on the right track."
After host Schaumburg (2-5,0-1) pulled within 20-17 on a Dom Tyler 3 with 4:09 left in the first half, a 6-2 surge capped by 4 of junior guard Will Raider's 11 points left Barrington ahead 26-19 at the break.
Jason Boock's third trey began to break things open for Barrington at 37-26 with 1:19 left in third, and the Broncos led by double-digits the rest of the way. By the time the decisive surge was completed by a Raider 3 with 5:07 to play, the Barrington advantage was 48-26.
"Coach talks to us in practice about using our strengths to our advantage," Lester said. "My teammates were doing it on both ends of the floor and you could see with all of the assists we had. Justin, (Jack) Reinhard, Spann, (Mark) Johnson, Boock -- I was glad to see everyone helping each other out there."
Tucker, whose club travels to Wheeling for an MSL crossover Tuesday night, likes the direction his team is headed.
"We're fortunate to have a good group that plays well as a team," Tucker said. "They aren't selfish. They see the floor well. We've also had luck on our side. We know that as we go on, we'll have our hands full like we did tonight with a well-coached Schaumburg team."
Schaumburg coach Wade Heisler gave credit to Barrington's all-around performance.
"You got to tip your hat to them." Heisler said. "I thought that their experience proved to be a factor in the way they handled the tempo of the game."
Junior guard Heze Trotter led the Saxons with 11 points.
Schaumburg travels to two-time reigning MSL East champion Prospect for an MSL crossover match Tuesday.