Barrington rolls over McHenry for regional title
Moments after the Barrington girls basketball team scored a 62-26 Class 4A regional title victory over McHenry, Fillies coach Babbi Barreiro was holding the championship plaque aloft for all to see.
The fact that it was presented to her by retiring athletic director Mike Obsuszt made it all the more meaningful.
"Mike is just a genuine, good human being," said Barreiro, "and he is a basketball guy, which makes it fun. He loves to talk x's and o's, he loves the game, and we're going to miss him. Somebody is going to have some big shoes to fill."
The Fillies, who made it back-to-back regional crowns (also winning in 2020, the last time the state playoffs were held), started a bit slow Thursday night. They will face Huntley next Tuesday in the DeKalb sectional semifinals.
The Warriors led after a couple of minutes went off the clock, but the Fillies turned it around with a 16-0 first quarter run.
They were paced by junior Sophie Swanson, who hit her first 4 shots -- 3 of them 3-pointers.
"She looked good tonight," said Barreiro of Swanson. "She's been dealing with a leg injury the last few games, and I feel like she stepped over that a little bit tonight. It was good to see her back in rhythm."
Swanson finished with a game-high 22 points.
"This is a big deal," she said of winning the regional championship. "It doesn't happen very often, and it's really special that I could do it with this great group of girls."
McHenry senior forward Alyssa Franklin kept the Warriors within striking distance early with her hot shooting (team-high 9 points) and work on the boards (5 rebounds).
But host Barrington (26-5) was able to extend the lead to 37-16 at halftime, thanks in large part to 5 second-quarter points from senior Laura Mahlum.
"What I love about this team is that they just play so hard," said Barreiro. "Just doing all the little things, picking up all the loose balls, rebounding, getting the 50/50 balls. They're a really fun team to coach."
Barrington kept the pressure on in the third quarter, and a late layup from sophomore Gwen Adler pushed the lead 51-20.
Sophomore guard Ana Gerstung played extremely well for McHenry, scoring 8 points.
Junior Lynette Alsot, a 6-foot forward, finished with 7 points for a Warriors team that has a bright future ahead, as 10 of the 13 players on the roster this year are underclassmen.
Adler finished with 11 points, 5 steals and 8 rebounds for Barrington, Mahlum scored 8, while Molly O'Riordan added 11 points.
Lydia Shechtman came off the bench to score 3 points for the Fillies in the fourth quarter.
"All these kids work hard in practice, and they value each other," said Barreiro. "Everyone contributes in some shape or form, and it seems like every night we have somebody different step up to the plate."
"We were able to force (McHenry) into some quick shots tonight, and we did a good job on the boards which was one of our goals."