Another big finish does it for Barrington
It was time for Barrington to reach deep.
Trailing by 1 point going into the final quarter of Class 4A sectional semifinal play at Lake Zurich, Barrington found a way to rally to beat Mid-Suburban West rival Fremd 55-45 on Tuesday.
Barrington (24-5), which is seeded second, will play Lake Zurich at 7 p.m. Friday in the sectional final. Lake Zurich, the top seed, beat Libertyville 54-50 in Tuesday's first semi.
For Barrington, it was the second win against their conference rivals in three games this year.
"All wins are nice, especially this time of year," Barrington coach Bryan Tucker said. "We are really proud of our kids. We kind of had a tough start. They really took it to us. And we settled down. For the kids to keep fighting -- we weren't surprised, that's for sure."
Barrington needed to come from behind against Palatine last Friday in the regional championship game. The Broncos found themselves down by 8 late in the final quarter before winning that game in overtime.
That type of play and the way Barrington responded Tuesday against 10th-seeded Fremd just seems to be the kind of results Tucker is expecting.
"This team just keeps finding a way," he said. "You have to like that, especially this time of year."
Fremd (17-12), which finished fourth in the state a year ago, showed some of that championship form early in the game. The Vikings connected on their first 6 shots, with Luke Seidel knocking down 3 of those -- including a pair of 3s -- as Fremd jumped to a 14-4 lead.
"It was a tough start for us," said Anthony Spann, who finished with 13 points. "Coach said we had to stay poised like we always do. We have been in situations like this all year. And it always starts on the defensive end."
Barrington put together a streak of its own, scoring the next 12 points as the Broncos forced 3 turnovers to grab a 16-14 lead.
The pace of the game slowed and the leads began to see-saw, with five lead changes in the second quarter. Fremd's Will Schmeling put the Vikings up with a basket in the final minute of the first half to give Fremd a 27-26 advantage.
Fremd picked up the pace in the third quarter -- and the Broncos appeared to be not quite ready.
The Vikes took the ball inside against the taller and longer Broncos. Fremd also forced 3 turnovers to surge ahead 34-30 on a pair of free throws by Dean Ganas.
But the Vikings could not get off that number -- and was now Barrington's turn to turn up the pressure. The Broncos scored 6 unanswered points to claw ahead 36-34.
It looked like Barrington would take that lead into the final quarter. But Fremd's Elliott Kim shot the ball right over the trees for a 3-pointer and a 37-36 lead.
Barrington's Jason Boock knocked down his second 3 to start the final quarter. That bucket gave the Broncos the lead for good. A basket by Jack Reinhard made it 41-37, and Fremd was chasing the rest of the way.
"I thought we were ready for them," said Boock, who finished with 12 points. "We knew we had to be calm because it was a crazy environment. We just tried to let the game come to us."
Leading 43-41, Barrington forced a pair of turnovers which catapulted the Broncos to 5 consecutive points and a 48-41 lead with 2:57 to play. Fremd cut the lead to 48-43 and had the ball with a chance to get closer. The Vikings missed their next two shots and never were within 5 after that.
"We were so determined to come out and beat them," said Jake Parsons, who finished with 13 points. "We looked at each other and said we had to trust each other and take care of the ball. We tried to stay poised as a team and play for each other."
Justin Alperin, who not only scored 9 points but was scrappy on both ends of the court, said he was not ready to have his season end.
"I just came with a need to win," Alperin said. "I just wanted to win so badly. We got the team hyped up before the game and everyone was in the game and stepped up when needed."
Fremd was without junior standout Bryce Hopkins, who was on the bench in a boot, recovering from injury. The Vikings were led by Dean Ganas with 12 points; Ryan Martin had 10 and Kim finished with 8.
"I thought we competed the entire the contest," Fremd coach Bob Widlowski said. "We kind of got stuck on 34-30 for a while. There was a lid on the rim and it gave them a chance to catch up."
Widlowski said that the loss was difficult for his team.
"It stings because they really bought in," Widlowski said. "They bought in and put in the effort. I'd really like to thank our seniors on leading the way and how to go about taking care of your business."