Barrington hands Palatine MSL West loss
For the second week in a row, Barrington was able to shut down the middle and take away the wings.
The Broncos played superb defense Friday, limiting the touches by Palatine big man Julian Campbell. Barrington also got out to defend the 3-point shot quite well, holding Palatine to just 17 percent (6-of-30) as the Broncos came away with a 44-33 Mid-Suburban West boys basketball win over host Palatine.
"Playing the big guys back-to-back is a help," said Barrington coach Bryan Tucker, whose team stymied Schaumburg's Chris Hodges a week ago.
"But they are two different teams with very different styles on offense and what they do around them. It was a ton of prep. They kids were really locked in at practice and the adjustments that we needed to have."
Damian Zivak had 13 points and 11 rebounds for Barrington (19-5, 6-3). The junior forward said that after his team lost to Schaumburg, Palatine and Fremd in the first half of conference play, he and his teammates had an attitude adjustment.
"It was a big win and we needed it," Zivak said. "We changed our mentality after losing to them. Everyone is more focused in practice and everyone is more intense. Coach always says, 'We win the game the night before on the court practicing.' We just have to do our thing."
While Palatine struggled from outside the arc, visiting Barrington was quite at home out there. The Broncos converted 50 percent (6-of-12), all in the first half, as they took a 27-17 lead at the break.
The game was tied at 12 after the first quarter. Barrington sophomore Will Grudzinski, who hit three of those triples, helped ignite a 15-1 run that gave the Broncos some breathing room.
"We came out ready for this moment," said Grudzinski, who finished with 9 points. "We have been nonstop in practice and that prepared us for this."
Barrington, which also got 7 points from Dylan Keenan and 6 points from his brother Connor, maintained that advantage until late in the fourth quarter.
Palatine was able to close to 37-30 on a 3 by Shailan Rajpurkar with 2:47 to play. The Broncos then closed the door, outscoring the Pirates 7-3 down the stretch.
"You see these two games on the schedule back-to-back and Fremd is the next conference game so it doesn't get any easier," Tucker said. "We are really happy on how we have responded."
Palatine (17-11, 7-2) will meet Schaumburg for the MSL West title next Friday in a winner-take-all game. Despite that, Palatine coach Eric Millstone said that his team was not happy with its performance against Barrington.
"Next week is a big one," Millstone said. "But this game bothered these kids as well it should. It shows that they care about it. It should sting and that's why we are having a decent year because these kids come with the right approach."
Tommy Swanson, Luke Seiffert, Connor Aikman and Rajpurkar each had 6 points for Palatine. Campbell also chipped in 6 points and had 8 rebounds.