Barrington pulls off MSL title-game win over Rolling Meadows
Barrington's Daniel Hong said he was still feeling the sting of losing the Mid-Suburban League boys basketball championship game last season to Rolling Meadows.
"It stung a lot," said Hong of his team's 49-41 loss last spring. " I played horrible that game. I have had it in back of my head for a year now. I couldn't let this chance slip away."
But time and solid play can be a powerful atonement.
Hong and the Broncos had both as Barrington rallied to beat Rolling Meadows 57-49 Wednesday in the 2022 MSL title game in Barrington.
"I thought early we had some breakdowns," said Barrington coach Bryan Tucker, whose team last won the MSL title in 2015.
"We did a nice job in the second half. We have a good group of kids."
Cameron Christie and the Mustangs (26-5) came out red hot. Meadows sped up play and bolted to a 17-9 lead on a 3-pointer by Christie, who would finish with 25 points. Meadows was able to take a 17-11 lead after one quarter.
Barrington (23-4), which found that pace much faster than it typically plays, began to slow the game down to a trot. That proved much better for Barrington, which began to frustrate the Mustangs.
That frustration translated into 8 second-quarter turnovers and 12 for the half for Meadows.
The Mustangs managed just 3 points for the entire second period. Barrington however, couldn't completely capitalize, thanks to 8 first-half turnovers. But the Broncos were able to cut the lead to 20-16 at the half.
"We didn't have a great offensive half," Tucker said. "But our defense got us going."
Hong and Barrington were able to overtake the Mustangs midway in the third quarter. Hong's steal, drive, basket and free throw gave Barrington its first lead at 28-26.
"I am so proud of this team," said Hong, who scored 10 of his 17 points in the third quarter.
"The coaches and my teammates. I can't stress how much they have done for my game. Without them, I would not have been able to play the way I did."
Meadows looked like it was going to pull away midway in the final quarter. Led by a surging Orlando Thomas (13 points), the Mustangs surged to 45-39 lead with 5:25 to play.
Barrington then drilled a trio of 3-pointers. Evan Jno-Baptiste (9 points) started it off and Will Grudzinski knocked down the next two. Hong then added a pair of free throws for good measure for an 11-0 run and 50-45 lead with 2:49 to play.
"We really looked forward to this," said Grudzinski, who had a slow start and finished with 23 points.
"We had some rough times. I didn't have a great game, but I stuck with it."
Meadows got it to 50-49 on a basket by Christie with 1:38 left. But Barrington would hit 7-of-8 free throws from there with Nick Bordenet, Grudzinski and Nate Boldt all converting to put the game away.
"They were more physical than we were tonight," Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich said. "We uncharacteristically had a lot of turnovers and we got outrebounded a little bit. But our guys kept fighting. Barrington took us out of a lot of the stuff we normally do."
Both teams begin state regional play next week.
Meadows will be at Hoffman Estates next Wednesday to play Elk Grove. Barrington will be at Buffalo Grove to play the winner of Waukegan-Round Lake, also on Wednesday.