Barrington clamps down on Fremd for MSL West win

By Dick Quagliano
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 1/20/2022 9:54 PM

Barrington used its defense to cover Fremd. The Broncos then turned to their offense to smother the Vikings 47-31 Thursday in a Mid-Suburban West boys basketball game in Barrington.

The win kept Barrington (16-4, 4-2) in the race for the MSL West title. The Broncos are still one game behind Palatine, which beat Schaumburg 50-44 Thursday.


It was the defense that set the stage for Barrington. The Broncos used their length and the speed of guards Daniel Hong, Nick Bordenet and Evan Jon-Baptiste to keep Fremd out of its rhythm on the offensive end.

"We were really happy with our kids' effort and their focus," Barrington coach Bryan Tucker said. "They did a nice job and understood certain concepts we were trying to get done."

Tucker was especially pleased on how his team was able to contain Fremd's Eli Schoffstall, who scored just 2 points. The Fremd guard scored 28 points including a game-winning 3-pointer in a 55-54 win over the Broncos in December.

"If you were going to tell me that we were going to hold him to two points, I am like 'Oh, OK,' " Tucker said. "I would think there is something wrong with you. He is obviously a kid who can put up a lot of points in a hurry, so keeping him under control was important."

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Hong, who was one of the three guards switching off on Schoffstall, said the Broncos practiced this week to contain him.

"That last shot from the last game was definitely on our minds," Hong said. "We were focused in practice to stop him. We just ran what they did on offense. We knew he would come off a double screen and we bumped that screen."

The first half featured long possessions by both teams. But they were also short on scoring.

Barrington was able to use its size with the 6-foot-6 Will Grudzinski and the 6-10 Nate Boldt doing most of the scoring inside. The pair combined for 13 points as Barrington took a 17-13 lead at the half.

After going 4-for-8 from the field the start the game, Fremd (14-6, 3-2) cooled down quickly. Thanks to Barrington's defense, the Vikings made just 6 of their next 25 shots.

"Both teams played hard, but we didn't execute as well as we wanted to," Fremd coach Bob Widlowski said. "We didn't get a lot of open looks and they sped us up a little bit."


Barrington led 28-24 with 1:29 left in the third quarter when the Broncos made their move. Ignited by a 3-pointer by Grudzinski, Barrington scored 13 unanswered points with Jno-Baptiste and Bordenet each scoring 4.

"The difference is that we have grown as a team," said Grudzinski, who had 15 points. "We have more positive energy now. We have more confidence in each other and in situations."

All that was left was to make sure Fremd didn't mount a comeback, like it did last time. Hong ended those thoughts by scoring 8 of his 9 points in the final quarter.

"We really settled down," Hong said. "That last loss stung and we didn't want that to happen again."

Boldt had 8 points and 6 rebounds for Barrington. Jno-Baptiste also had 8 points while Bordenet added 7 points.

Ryan Sammons led Fremd with 13 points while Chris Smyros had 6 points.

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