Nick Marcinkiewicz and Will Tucker set the stage for a winning Lake Zurich performance on Friday.
The sharpshooting duo showed the way for the Bears by converting 11 three-pointers in their sectional win against Barrington.
Tucker advanced downstate in the 3-point contest by hitting 10 shots, while Marcinkiewicz just missed qualifying when he lost in a shootout for the final spot.
And Lake Zurich's accuracy eventually extended into the game.
"They were pulling for us to do well in the 3-point contest," said Tucker, who made 3 shots from outside the arc in the game.
"I guess we did show them the way. We have a lot of talented guys who can shoot the ball -- and when we do, we are tough to beat."
It was certainly tough for Barrington, which saw Lake Zurich hit 5 of 6 treys in the fits quarter and 7 of 9 in the first half. The Bears finished a sizzling 11-for-17 from outside the arc in their 69-60 victory.
"We owed ourselves one good 3-point shooting game," said Lake Zurich's JR Cison, who knocked down 3 triples on his way to a game-high 22 points. "I am glad it came now. It was great to see Will move on in the 3-point contest, and I guess it translated into the game for all of us."
Lake Zurich coach Billy Pitcher, whose team became the first in Lake Zurich basketball history to win a sectional, said that playing at home was huge for his team.
"It is so exciting, especially for our seniors," said Pitcher, whose team will meet Evanston in a supersectional at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. "It was a big advantage to play at home. We shoot well here. We were real happy the way we play. We were attacking and getting teams on their heels."
Ryan Kutsor was part of the long-range efficiency for Lake Zurich. He knocked down 4 three-pointers on his way to 18 points and 9 rebounds.
"I think the reason it was better a 3-point shooting game than most of our games this season was because of the shots we were taking and the ball movement we were getting," Kutsor said. "We weren't chucking contested 3s and getting lucky."
Kutsor also credited Marcinkiewicz and Tucker for keeping the team loose.
"We were having fun before the game," Kutsor said. "We weren't just sitting there thinking about the game in our own heads. It helped us come out and be loose. It showed because we shot well right away."
Barrington coach Bryan Tucker said the hot shooting by Lake Zurich forced his team to play catch-up.
"It was hard for us," Tucker said. "We felt like 'Wow. They shot lights out.' But our kids never quit."
Barrington got within 6 late in the game but could not get closer.
"We are really proud of the effort we gave," Tucker said. "The kids fought. We scored 60 points and we were happy with that side of the ball."
It ended a terrific season for the Broncos (24-6), who became the first Barrington team to advance to the sectional finals since 2002 and first time since 1991 that a Barrington team won MSL divisional and regional titles in the same year.
"We are obviously proud of the kids," Tucker said. "This team accomplished a lot. This is a team that people doubted all year. We talked about that it didn't matter what other people thought. And the kids bought into it."
Anthony Spann, who had 15 points, said he is proud on what his team did this season.
"It was rough way to go out," Spann said. "Coach said we have to look back at it and look at all the accomplishments we had this season. No one looked for us to be at this point. But we came out and did it, and that came from hard work."
Jack Reinhard said despite the loss, it was a season that he and his teammates are proud of -- one that took an incredible shooting effort from an opponent playing in its own gym to end.
"We fought back, but we just couldn't chain together enough stops," Reinhard said. "I am really proud of what we did. It was a great season."