Barrington hangs on to beat Johnsburg
Whatever momentum Johnsburg gained with an 8-0 run to end the first quarter Saturday against Barrington quickly vanished in the first two minutes of the second.
Barrington sophomore Will Grudzinski knocked down three 3-pointers in a row to spark his team and turn a 7-point deficit into a 2-point lead.
The 6-foot-4 guard's hot hand off the bench turned into a 16-2 run for the Broncos, who never trailed again in a 46-39 win against Johnsburg in the teams' first game of Jacobs' Hinkle Holiday Classic.
Barrington (8-1, 1-0 Pool II) trailed 15-8 after the first quarter and turned the ball over on five of its final six possessions. Johnsburg (2-8, 0-1) took advantage of some sloppy play by the Broncos, shooting 50%, and getting 8 points and two 3s from senior Stan Thill.
The Broncos were coming off a 60-37 victory over Conant in Mid-Suburban League action on Friday. Coach Bryan Tucker thought that might have played a role in the slow start.
"I don't know what that was," Tucker said of his team's 8-point output in the first quarter. "We played really well last night and I don't know if the turnaround had something to do with it. We kind of came out very sluggish. In the second, we got a real big lift from Will.
"He gave us some real quick points, and that really seemed to energize our defense. We know he can score, so it's nice to see him be that confident. From there, that was it. Our defense worked hard. I thought we were pretty bad from the offensive end all night."
Grudzinski tossed in all 11 of his points in the second quarter and missed only one shot. As a team, Barrington shot 40% (6 of 15) and made 8 of 11 free throws in the quarter. The Broncos outscored Johnsburg 23-10 to take a 31-25 lead into halftime.
Barrington led 27-17 with a little over three minutes to go in the second quarter, but the Skyhawks kept the game close with an 8-4 run to end the half. Thill had 12 points by halftime and finished with a game-high 18 points, hitting four 3s.
"Moving the ball is really key for me," Thill said. "I don't take it up that much. I rely on my point guard, Josh (Notriano), and he gets it done. We were moving the ball really well at the start and rebounding as a team."
Barrington started the game in a man-to-man defense, and later changed to zone. In the third quarter, the Broncos held Johnsburg to 4 points, all scored by Joe Comstock (7 points, 6 rebounds).
"We were trying to stall on offense, because we know Barrington likes to play quick," Johnsburg assistant coach Matt Spalding said. "I think we kind of fell apart for a little bit. We had a lapse to start the second (quarter), which we're working on.
"That kind of ended up sucking us out of the game."
Dylan Keenan had 12 points and two 3s for Barrington, and Damian Zivak (7 rebounds) and Aaron Sarkar had 6 points apiece.
The Broncos took third in the tournament last year, but aren't looking too far ahead.
"We need to start getting back to being ourselves," Tucker said. "For everyone, any holiday tournament is a chance to get guys experience and get some chemistry going."