Buffalo Grove toughs out win over Barrington
The scratch on Kam Craft's neck, right over his Adam's apple, was deep and red and fresh, barely crusted over, and still a little oozie.
"I'm not even sure how it happened," Craft said. "I've got to go to the trainer and get it checked out."
Meanwhile, Craft's teammate, Tyler Fricke, was nursing a busted lip and a dislocated tooth that looked like it was on the verge of falling out. He tried to take a charge.
Buffalo Grove boys basketball coach Keith Peterson could see this coming.
Well, maybe not flesh wounds and busted teeth, but he knew that Barrington would show some spunk and pride in the second half of Tuesday's Mid-Suburban League crossover at Buffalo Grove.
Peterson's team had Barrington down by 19 at halftime and held Barrington to just 3 points in the first quarter.
"We knew that they were going to try to come back and be physical with us to get back into the game," Peterson said.
Barrington did just that, scratching and clawing away at its big deficit. The Broncos got as close as 6 points in the fourth quarter but Buffalo Grove's big cushion proved insurmountable as the Bison hung on for a 66-57 win.
Buffalo Grove, which got a game-high 27 points out of Craft, improves to 12-3 while Barrington drops to 11-3.
"We came out with great energy. We made shots and we played really good defense with steals. And we pushed the ball," Craft said. "We just put them away in the first half.
"We were excited to play. We haven't played in a while (since Christmas), and we were hungry for a win. We came out and performed. We got a little lackadaisical on defense (in the second half) and we didn't finish some possessions but toward the end, we were able to pull away."
Buffalo Grove, which also got double figures out of Nate Cole (14 points) and 9 points apiece from Matt Brunelli and reserve Stephen Harris, outscored Barrington 16-3 in the first quarter, thanks in part to 6 points from Craft. Barrington's only points came on a 3-pointer by Charlie Loomis. But the Broncos' main problem was ball security as they turned the ball over 11 times in the first quarter alone, and 18 times by halftime.
"(Buffalo Grove) played great defense and we were really bad with the basketball," Barrington coach Bryan Tucker said. "We just started to try different guys. And maybe when they had to sit because they weren't ready to play, maybe that woke some guys up."
Down 36-17 at halftime, a feisty Barrington team slowly but surely chipped away in the second half. Junior guard Damian Zivak seemed to have renewed focus and scored 12 of his team-high 14 points in the second half.
"At halftime, one of our coaches basically just yelled at us to wake up," Zivak said. "We won the second half (40-30). I think if we had played that way the entire game, we definitely would have won.
"I'm really proud of my guys. It's really tough when you're down by like 20 at halftime to come back. But we kept fighting and that took a lot of grit and courage."
Barrington also got double-figures out of Will Grudzinski. He finished with 12 points.