Barrington fights its way past Grayslake Central
Will Grudzinski's trip gave Barrington a safe landing Wednesday in the Broncos' 50-39 boys basketball victory over Grayslake Central at the Hinkle Holiday Classic at Jacobs in Algonquin.
Barrington (9-2) is now 2-0 in pool play in the tournament. The Broncos will play South Elgin on Thursday at noon. South Elgin is also 2-0 in pool play and the winner of their game will advance to the championship bracket next Monday.
"We were able to make enough plays at the right time to get a little separation," Barrington coach Bryan Tucker said. "I give credit to our guys for fighting and keeping their heads and not panicking and executing."
Grudzinski got a rebound and then went coast-to-coast in the closing seconds of the third quarter to put Barrington up for good at 36-35. That spurred the Broncos to outscore Grayslake Central 14-4 in the final quarter.
Grudzinski, who just committed to Washington University in St. Louis, went on to score 8 points in the final quarter on a putback, steal and a dunk, a layup and a short jumper. He finished with 20 points.
"We have a strong athletic team," Grudzinski said. "It is all about being aggressive. Don't make mistakes, be shy, or timid. It really showed at the end of the third quarter and into the fourth quarter."
Tucker said that Grudzinski's coast-to-coast basket sparked his team.
"No doubt," Tucker said. "Not that it was easy. He made a great shot, To get something in transition that was nice and get a good feeling going into the fourth quarter."
Grayslake Central (6-5) got as a close as 42-39 with 3:19 to play on a pair of free throws by Michael Monahan. But 2 baskets by Grudzinski and 4 free throws by Daniel Hong sealed the win for the Broncos.
"I don't know what it is, but we like to wait until the fourth quarter," said Hong, who finished with 12 points. "We should be starting like that from the jump. So that is something we have to work on."
Nate Boldt had 11 points and Evan Jon-Baptiste chipped in 5 points for the Broncos.
Grayslake Central, which plays Prairie Ridge on Thursday at 10:30 a.m., was led by Brendan Whalen, who had 12 points. Dennis Estepp had 11 points and Monahan finished with 7 points.
"I was happy the way we battled," Grayslake Central coach Brian Centella said. "They put a lot of pressure on you with their size and their guards are so physically strong. We had some looks that didn't go down we had some untimely turnovers and we wish we had a couple plays back."