Experienced Barrington slips past Schaumburg

By Lou Nunez Jr.
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/10/2021 10:50 PM


No matter the kind of job you're doing or whether or not it takes place in the parameters of athletic competition, it can prove to be an invaluable asset when needed.


Take the case of Friday night's Mid-Suburban West boys basketball matchup between the schools who have won the last two division titles, Barrington and Schaumburg.

Both had started off their respective divisional slates enduring a Week 1 defeat and were in need of balancing that ledger by getting that first win.

Thanks to their four returning starters from their squad last winter, it would be the visiting the defending champion Broncos who benefited from the lessons learned from past hardwood to rally from a 6-point halftime deficit to post a 57-51 win on the Saxons' home floor.

"We've got some guys who have been through a lot of battles," Barrington coach Bryan Tucker said. "So keeping our head was important. I thought we had a nice start to the second half, and then when we made that run, they (Schaumburg) didn't flinch. They hung around and kept fighting. It was a good MSL West battle."

Barrington (7-2, 1-1) used a 13-5 start to the second half to grab a lead that it wouldn't relinquish on a 3-pointer from one of those returnees, Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball recruit Evan Jno-Baptiste, that put the Broncos ahead to stay 34-32 with 3:10 left in the quarter.

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It was followed up by reigning MSL West player of the year Will Grudzinski as the 6-foot-6 senior swingman tallied back-to-back hoops that extended the lead the 40-32 with 1:35 left in the period.

That advantage remained with the guests on the scoreboard as they took a 44-37 lead into the fourth having outscored the hosts 22-10 the previous eight minutes.

Schaumburg (5-3, 0-2) could get no closer than 46-43 on a free throw by senior D.J. Wilson (17 points) before a Daniel Hong (11 points) 3-pointer and 2 more of Grudzinski's 18 points (which shared game-high honors with the Saxons' Nicholas Doroskin) gave the Broncos a 51-43 advantage with 3:49 left. This served as enough of a cushion to withstand any further comeback attempts Schaumburg made the rest of the way.

"We started off slow, but knowing me and my teammates; the same guys from last year, we can build off that," Grudzinski said. "We're getting better in realizing what to doing in certain situations. I'd rather be going through those situations now than later."

Situations that can be transferrable to hard-earned experience in another way as Schaumburg coach Wade Heister spoke with his squad afterward.

"We just talked about that we lacked some things execution-wise and to some (degree) details that come with experience. But I never faulted our effort," he said. "I thought we really played hard. I think we compete. We've got guys that as experience grows and execution grows we're gonna keep getting better."

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