For Mid-Suburban West boys basketball co-champions Palatine and Barrington, Friday's Class 4A regional title at Waukegan High School settled the season series.
Each team won on its home floor during the regular season.
Thanks to a never-say-die attitude, the No. 2-seeded Broncos prevailed over the No. 7 Pirates 55-51 in overtime to earn their first regional in eight seasons, and a ticket to Tuesday's second semifinal at Lake Zurich. The Broncos will play No. 10 Fremd at 7:30 p.m.
The Vikings (17-11) advanced by topping No. 3 Stevenson 55-41 at Buffalo Grove.
"We talked about how a game has its ups and downs, and how you can make your way back," said Barrington coach Bryan Tucker. "Our kids never gave up. Our seniors come up big for us. They helped us deliver what we needed."
The Broncos (23-5) found themselves down 46-38 with 3:56 left in regulation after Lamon Berry found Jake Moertl inside for 2 of his 12 points.
Barrington began its rally with 3-pointer from one of those seniors, Anthony Spann, just 12 seconds later to cut the deficit to 46-41.
Then, free throws buoyed Barrington's comeback as it made six straight with junior Mark Johnson hitting the first pair followed by four straight from senior Jack Reinhard. That closed the deficit to 49-47 with 1:57 left in the game.
Junior Jason Boock then found the basket from 12 feet out, giving him 15 points, and knotting the score at 49 with 80 seconds remaining.
The Broncos defense withstood three misses by the Pirates (17-13) in the waning seconds of regulation before a game-saving rebound by Spann.
After Luke Garrett fed Cortez Hogans inside for 2 of game-high 18 for both Palatine's last score, the 6-foot-8 Reinhard took over the game.
First he tied it at 51 after taking a pass from senior teammate Justin Alperin with 1:55 remaining in the extra session.
Reinhard then produced a key rebound (his ninth) after a Palatine miss and was was fouled in the process with nine seconds to go. Reinhard, who turned 18 on Friday, calmly sank his sixth and seventh consecutive free throws to give Barrington the lead for good at 53-51.
After the Pirates missed a 3, Spann sealed the deal with 2 free throws.
They were the 12th and 13th straight free throws Barrngton made in the second half and overtime combined as they clinched the 23rd regional title in program history.
Reinhard, who finished with 13 points, attributes his squad's free throw proficiency to a daily practice routine.
"We shoot 40 a day," Reinhard said. "It's the things that you do in practice that prepare you for game situations that you come up against.
"We've been down before. We know about how to keep our composure and how to be smart in attacking on both sides of the floor, and it showed tonight."
For Palatine, which missed 8 of its last 10 shots in the game's final eight minutes, it was simply a matter of the attempts not falling, according to coach Eric Millstone.
"We got some good looks," Millstone said. "We had our opportunities but give all the credit to Barrington. They made the plays when they had to be made."
Millstone paid homage to his 10 departing seniors: Evan Daly, Jake Moertl, Johnny O'Shea, Sean Dell, A.J. Grana, Martize Walker and Leo Donlin, in addition to Berry, Garrett, and Hogans.
"We always said that you win with seniors," Millstone said. "They helped us win a lot of games this year that we would've lost last year. They showed both tremendous growth and maturity."
Barrington heads back to work for Tuesday's matchup with Fremd. It will have a similar dynamic in that both teams split their two matches during divisional play, with each squad winning at home.
"We know having played them twice how tough it will be playing them a third time," Reinhard said. "They like to get up in your face on defense while they're very strong in how they attack offensively."