Barrington's big 2nd half overtakes Conant
After a slow start offensively for both teams, visiting Barrington found itself facing a 19-11 halftime deficit against Conant in this Mid-Suburban League West Division boys basketball opener Friday night.
But a huge third quarter by the Broncos helped pave the way to victory for Barrington (5-0, 1-0) as the Cougars (2-2, 0-1) were outscored 16-2 in the period to head into the fourth quarter trailing 27-21.
A 3-pointer by Barrington's Dillon Schmidt (game-high 11 points) capped a 19-2 run by the Broncos to give them their biggest lead at 30-21 with 6:21 to play. Conant did battle back, but Barrington held off the Cougars for a 43-38 victory.
"I think that game actually says maybe more about the character of these kids rather than even the outcome," said Barrington coach Bryan Tucker, whose team was only 4-for-13 from the foul line in the first half. "We did dig a big hole, things weren't going our way, but we just kept fighting and battling. I think our defense really turned that whole game around and got us going."
Even without returning all-conference guard Yusuf Cisse in its lineup due to injury, Conant played the Broncos tough as a 3-pointer by Camden Lathos (team-high 10 points) cut Barrington's lead to 32-31 with 2:55 to play.
But that was as close as the Cougars would get the rest of the way as an inside basket by Ryan Shomaker gave the Broncos a 37-31 lead with 1:24 remaining.
Then Barrington's Oliver Gray scored a fastbreak basket on a full-length pass on an inbounds play for a 40-34 lead with 39 seconds left.
Conant led 9-1 late in the first quarter before holding a 21-13 lead on an inside hoop by Shreyas Talluri early in the third quarter. But Schmidt scored on two steals later in the period before teammate Alec Schmidts added a 3-pointer for the 6-point lead heading into the final quarter.
"I'm really proud of our guys, we were really locked in and focused. We had a good week of practice, and played extremely hard," said Conant coach Matt Walsh, whose team only hit 11 of 22 free throws. "They turned up the heat defensively, we didn't handle it, and we didn't execute. But even when we went down our kids just kept battling. That's who our kids are. They're fighters and we just came up a little short tonight."
Sophomore Bradley Biedke scored 9 points for Conant while Talluri had 6 points and Austin Potocnic 5 points for the Cougars. Barrington's Donovan Nichols scored 8 points followed by Gray with 7 points, and Nick Peipert with 6 points.