Barrington comes up big against Warren

  • Barrington's Rapolas Ivanauskas, left, and Warren's Zach Schultz (32) fight for a rebound during Monday's tournament game at Mundelein.

      Barrington's Rapolas Ivanauskas, left, and Warren's Zach Schultz (32) fight for a rebound during Monday's tournament game at Mundelein. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Warren's Jovan Jokic (23) heads to the hoop against Barrington during Monday's tournament game at Mundelein.

      Warren's Jovan Jokic (23) heads to the hoop against Barrington during Monday's tournament game at Mundelein. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Warren's Nick Turner (44) looks to take a shot past Barrington's Will Reinhard during Monday's tournament game at Mundelein.

      Warren's Nick Turner (44) looks to take a shot past Barrington's Will Reinhard during Monday's tournament game at Mundelein. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
By Bill Pemstein
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 11/24/2014 7:44 PM

They just don't grow them like that in Barrington.

It's only the junior year for Barrington center Rapolas Ivanauskas, and he already stands 6-foot-9.

 

"I'm a good eater,'' Ivanauskas said. "And it's in my genes. We are from Lithuania. We are Northern people and we are tall. My dad is 6-6."

In game one of the Mundelein Thanksgiving Tournament, Barrington jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead over Warren. And then the two teams battled to the end. Ivanauskas led his team with 12 points in the 47-43 win over the Blue Devils.

Ivanauskas was pleased with his team's win but knows his own game can still improve.

"I could have done a lot better,'' he said. "I missed a lot of shots. I might have been a little nervous but my teammates helped. This was a good team win."

Barrington won just 12 games a year ago but it appears this team's height will give coach Bryan Tucker's club a good start this season.

"Rapolas is much improved this year,'' Tucker said. "We've been trying to grow his game -- pardon the pun. He had really good focus tonight. And he gave us a big block, which gave us some momentum."

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Both teams are rebuilding after saying so long to a big senior class. Warren senior Jovan Jokic has made the transition from being a forward a year ago to point guard this season.

"We still have work on the little things,'' Jokic said. "We still need to show more maturity. This was a tough one."

After the Broncos raced to a quick 5-0 lead, Warren closed the quarter on a 9-4 run. Two 3-pointers from senior Jake Falish helped the Warren cause.

The Blue Devils' lead was 18-14 after a fastbreak hoop from Jovic midway through the second quarter. That's when Barrington answered with a 3-point attack of their own. Mickey O'Donnell opened the trey shooting in the second quarter. Ben Weber had back-to-back 3s to put his team ahead. Chris Lester (10 points) closed the half with another 3-pointer, and Barrington's halftime lead was 6 points at 29-23.

"Both teams fought and scrapped,'' Tucker said. "And you could tell that this was the first night of the season. There were first-night mistakes."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Barrington did not have another 3 the rest of the contest. And the Blue Devils took advantage of that. On a short hook shot from CJ Payawall, Warren reclaimed the lead at 30-29. Again, Barrington took advantage of its height, as 6-foot-6 Lester (10 points) and Ivanauskas had rebound buckets. Barrington rebuilt its lead to 38-31 heading to the final quarter.

"We didn't let it snowball,'' Tucker noted.

On another Lester bucket, the Barrington lead looked safe at 44-35 halfway through the fourth quarter. And then Warren surged back behind the play of promising junior, Maurice Chambers. He led all scorers with 14 points.

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