Grudzinski steps up as Barrington dumps Hoffman Estates

  • Barrington's Dylan Keenan impressively splits Hoffman Estates' defense as he eyes the basket in the first half of varsity basketball at Barrington on Thursday.

      Barrington's Dylan Keenan impressively splits Hoffman Estates' defense as he eyes the basket in the first half of varsity basketball at Barrington on Thursday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Hoffman Estates' Nate Fisher and teammate Vatsal Pandya box in Barrington's Dylan Keenan as he looks to pass the ball in the first half of varsity basketball at Barrington on Thursday.

      Hoffman Estates' Nate Fisher and teammate Vatsal Pandya box in Barrington's Dylan Keenan as he looks to pass the ball in the first half of varsity basketball at Barrington on Thursday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington's Nate Boldt pulls down a rebound in the first half of varsity basketball at Barrington on Thursday.

      Barrington's Nate Boldt pulls down a rebound in the first half of varsity basketball at Barrington on Thursday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington's Connor Keenan goes for the block on Hoffman Estates' Vatsal Pandya in the first half of varsity basketball at Barrington on Thursday.

      Barrington's Connor Keenan goes for the block on Hoffman Estates' Vatsal Pandya in the first half of varsity basketball at Barrington on Thursday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Hoffman Estates' Nahum Smith-Hernandez splits Barrington's defense as he tries to add points in the first half of varsity basketball at Barrington on Thursday.

      Hoffman Estates' Nahum Smith-Hernandez splits Barrington's defense as he tries to add points in the first half of varsity basketball at Barrington on Thursday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington's Will Grudzinski drives and scores against Hoffman in the first half of varsity basketball at Barrington on Thursday.

      Barrington's Will Grudzinski drives and scores against Hoffman in the first half of varsity basketball at Barrington on Thursday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
By Howard Schlossberg
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 1/23/2020 10:44 PM

Barrington's depth sure pays off.

With point guard Aaron Sarkar hurt, sophomore forward Will Grudzinski got a start Thursday night at home against Hoffman Estates.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

And he made the most of it.

Barrington's 9 straight points to close the first quarter included his soft-touch 3-pointer and a hoop inside and it helped Barrington establish a lead that it would never surrender en route to a 43-23 Mid-Suburban West boys basketball win.

Grudzinski's shooting, four 3-pointers in 7 attempts, helped open it up inside for 6-foot-5 junior forward Damian Zivak, who shared game scoring honors with Grudzinski at 14 apiece.

Shorter, foul-plagued Hoffman, despite the nonstop energy of guard Vatsal Pandya (13 points), could not keep up on the boards.

Barrington coach Bryan Tucker is grateful for the depth.

"We're playing without Aaron Sarkar. He brings so much to the table," Tucker said. "But Grudzinski, he's a talented kid. He's kept a great attitude. He's more confident."

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As to the 6-8 sophomore bombing away, he has the coach's blessing.

"I have a green light," Grudzinski acknowledged. "I feel more confident."

And Barrington felt more confident coming out for the third quarter after Pandya and forward Nate Fisher shot Hoffman back into the game at 18-13 at the half.

The Broncos (15-6, 3-3) responded with a 7-1 run to open the third, keyed by Evan Jno-Baptise's driving bucket and Grudzinski's next pair of treys, back-to-back, for a 28-16 lead. Zivak, operating in more comfortable space inside subsequently, scored the final 4 points of the quarter and Barrington took an insurmountable lead into the final period, despite Pandya desperately keeping Hoffman (6-11, 0-6) within 10.

The Broncos are just trying now to keep it together after 18 turnovers without their injured point guard.

"Sarkar really takes good care of the ball," Grudzinski said.

And when it comes down to it, the Broncos' 3-3 record in the West just might be a bit deceiving.

Save for division losses on a late overtime basket and a regulation buzzer-beater, respectively, Tucker noted, "We're two possessions away from being 5-1."

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