Barrington bolts past Lake Zurich

By Bill McLean
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 1/11/2020 9:53 PM

Nate Boldt prefers night basketball games.

"Games at night have better atmospheres," the Barrington sophomore post player said Saturday.


The 6-foot-8 Boldt and his teammates found out Saturday morning that the scheduled Saturday night boys basketball game against visiting Lake Zurich would start at 4:30 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. because of the approaching winter storm.

Boldt scored only 2 points in the Broncos' 43-32 nonconference victory, but they were big -- buzzer-beater good. Boldt's silky, calm shot near the free-throw line, following a pass from senior guard Aaron Sarkar, capped a 7-0 run in the final 2:28 of the third quarter and highlighted the host team's 11-0 stretch that ended at 6:03 of the fourth quarter.

The pivotal span bridging the frames gave Barrington (12-4) a 29-20 lead and allowed Boldt to emerge, albeit briefly, as a matinee idol.

"That shot ... it looked smooth," Broncos coach Bryan Tucker said a day after his club fell 52-50 in overtime at Fremd. "People see Nate, this tall kid, and don't expect him to shoot well, to make great passes. But he does those things and other things for us; there's a lot to like about his game."

It took Barrington only 12 seconds to energize its fans some more at the start of the final quarter. Barrington junior guard/forward Damian Zivak (11 points, 5 rebounds) lofted a pretty alley-oop pass to senior forward Connor Keenan, who soared to grip the delivery with both hands and then plopped the ball in for his third and fourth points of the game.

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Lake Zurich (6-8) -- which was forced to suspend its Friday night home game against North Suburban Conference foe Libertyville because of a sprinkler mishap, triggered by an airborne volleyball in the school's field house -- ended its nearly 6-minute scoring drought on a bucket and ensuing free throw by Bears senior forward Evan Bajerski (5 points, team-high 6 boards).

LZ senior guard Joey Lococo nailed a 3-pointer 24 seconds later, and the visitors were right back in it, trailing only 29-26 with 4:53 remaining.

But Barrington senior Dylan Keenan (9 points) needed a mere 14 clock ticks to respond with a trey of his own.

Each of Barrington's final 11 points came from the free-throw line, with Keenan draining 4 and Sarkar 3.

"Barrington plays well in space, and that team is such a physical one," Bears coach Terry Coughlin said. "The game was an MSL (Mid-Suburban League)-style game, tough and physical with a lot of grabbing.

"Defensively, we're really good. Our zone is tough. Our guys are active at that end of the floor, and they're buying into a style of play that's effective. Look at what we did in the fourth quarter: We're down 4 (32-28, at 4:28), and we allowed only free throws from there."


Tucker praised his boys' efforts when LZ had the ball and lauded the visitor's scoring threats and his counterpart.

"They've got shooters, very good ones, and they're well-coached," he said.

Someone reminded Tucker that former Lake Zurich sharpshooter Mike Kolze serves as a second-year Bears varsity assistant.

"Good thing he didn't enter the game for them," a grinning Tucker said after his club halted its losing streak at two games.

Senior Will Tucker paced LZ with 9 points; 6 of Bears senior Noah Deluga's 7 points came from 3-point terrain.

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