Barrington rallies past Fremd in 4th quarter
The two schools who finished second and third to Palatine in the Mid-Suburban West this winter, Barrington and Fremd, met for the third time this season at the Wheeling Class 4A regional championship game Friday night.
Each team had earned a two-point win on its respective home court splitting the regular season series leaving the imagination wondering whether or not a third close contest was in the works before a near-capacity crowd?
The answer was a very clear yes as fifth-seeded Barrington rallied from a late third quarter deficit to pull even and eventually hold off No. 4 Fremd 54-49 to advance back to sectional play on their home floor Tuesday night. They will face No. 1 sectional seed Libertyville (27-5) in a rematch last year's sectional final that the Broncos won on their home floor in overtime.
The Wildcats won the Warren regional crown in Gurnee Friday night defeating the host Blue Devils 67-55. It avenged a road loss there last month.
"They've shown a lot of character all year and (in) the third quarter Fremd made a run and our kids hung in (there) tough," Barrington coach Bryan Tucker said.
"The game was on the line and the next thing you know (in) the fourth quarter it was now our turn (at making a run). I was really proud of how our kids stepped up."
The comeback for the Broncos (21-4) began after an 8-0 run by the Vikings had them down 38-33 after a Cameron Kuhl field goal with 1:12 left in the period. Senior guard Dillon Schmidt connected for two of his game-high 23 points to pull Barrington within 38-35 heading into the final eight minutes of play.
It was his next basket, a putback just 25 seconds into the fourth, that launched an 11-3 run that kept them ahead to stay at 46-41 with 4:13 remaining.
Fremd (18-10) would get to within 48-47 on a Ryan Sammons charity toss with 2:30 left before what arguably became the decisive moment of the game 20 ticks later.
Vikings senior guard Ryan Cox was called for a foul on a Schmidt three-point field goal attempt after what initially appeared to be a blocked shot. Schmidt promptly made all three free throw attempts to put Barrington up 51-47.
Still, the Vikings were given a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds after an Alec Schmidt free throw gave the Broncos a 52-49 advantage with 31 seconds left. They were able to get the ball into Sammons' hands where his game-tying attempted triple went for not with eight seconds left. Barrington would get the rebound to Schmidt where he connected on a pair of charity tosses to seal the deal with two seconds left for the 28th regional or district title in the program's history.
Donovan Nichols added 11 and Jake Fightener had 9 for Barrington while Kuhl's 11 paced Fremd followed by Caiden Suchy with 10 and Sammons had 9.
"I thought we battled (out there)," Fremd coach Bob Widlowski said. "We're very proud of our effort tonight. Thank you to our (11) seniors for the hard work they put in throughout the season. It's a great group of kids."