Barrington bounces back, beats Bolingbrook for third place
CHAMPAIGN -- Barrington dug deep.
After an emotional and physically tolling loss in the semifinals to Whitney Young, Barrington had to come back just five hours later for the third place game of the Class 4A state tournament.
Barrington ignored the tired legs and cramps to come home with the third-place trophy with a satisfying 59-54 win over Bolingbrook late Friday evening at State Farm Center.
"We knew it was going to take some guts," Barrington coach Bryan Tucker said. "This just shows the type of character of these kids. After losing earlier today and to pay like this is something special."
Bolingbrook, which lost its semifinal game to Glenbard West 77-47 right after the Broncos' semifinal game, was also making a quick turnaround.
Will Grudzinski, who would finish with 15 points, left his mark on Barrington basketball. His trio of 3-pointers in the game gave him a school-record 102 for the season.
The legs on both teams were obviously strained, especially Grudzinski who sat out the final minutes with leg cramps.
"We are all exhausted," Grudzinsk said. "I am so proud of our guys. We played sloppy, but it is extremely satisfying to win our last game together."
Tucker played with a short bench nearly all the season. But he went deeper into the lineup in the first half. He was also forced to do that when Nate Boldt got into early foul trouble.
Barrington took a 16-13 lead after one quarter. The Broncos leaned on a dunk by Boldt and 3-pointers by Grudzinski and Donovan Nichols.
The Broncos led by four on three different occasions in the second quarter. The last time came on a Nichols' second 3-pointer to make it 29-25. Bolingbrook then scored the final four points of the half to knot the game at 29-29.
Bolingbrook got off to a fast start in the second half. The Raiders scored 8 unanswered points and threatened to pull away.
But Barrington reached even deeper.
The Broncos chipped away at the lead. They pulled ahead on a 3-pointer by Boldt and a driving layup by Nick Bordenet and a 3-pointer by Grudzinski to lead 47-40 early in the fourth quarter.
The Broncos upped their lead to 52-42 with 4:34 to play on a 3p-ointer by Jno-Baptiste. Bolingbrook closed to 52-49 with 2:34 left.
But despite no Grudzinski, Barrington was able to hang on thanks to free throws by Jon-Baptiste, Daniel Hong and Nichols.
Jno-Baptiste said the experience of going downstate to play in the state finals will stay with him forever.
"It means a lot to be here," Jno-Baptiste said. "We have been working hard for last four-plus years. I have known these guys for a long time. It just means a lot to us."
Jno-Baptiste will get the rest of the weekend off before being back at it. This time it will be on the baseball field, where he will help anchor the Bronco baseball team, which also could make a deep run.
"It's going to be a tough turnaround," said Jno-Baptiste, who is committed to play baseball at Wisconsin-Milwaukee. "But it is what is. I am sad basketball is over. But I am proud of what we accomplished."
Hong had 15 points for Barrington, Boldt 10 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks, Jno-Baptiste 9 points, Nichols had 8 points for Barrington. It was a fantastic end to a terrific season for the Broncos.
Returning four starters, Barrington won the Mid-Suburban West for the second consecutive season. The Broncos then added to their conference hardware, beating Rolling Meadows.
That helped propel Barrington to a regional and sectional title that culminated with an upset win over Glenbrook South, their 15th in row, to earn the trip downstate.
"We are really happy," Tucker said. "We were returning 11 seniors so we had high expectations. These kids were a pleasure to work with. Their success came from all the hard work they put in."