BARRINGTON – It has been an up and down beginning to the 2013-14 boys' basketball season for the Barrington Broncos and coach Bryan Tucker.
After losing their first two games at the Mundelein Tournament, Tucker’s team rebounded with two straight wins before losing in their final game in the tournament. As the team goes through Mid-Suburban Conference play leading into the Jacobs tournament, things have begun to turn around.
Tuesday night was the team’s first road contest since that Mundelein Tournament with a match-up against Buffalo Grove. The Broncos gave the Bison a second-half scare but would fall, 62-56.
Barrington (4-5) got off to an early lead but fell behind midway through the first quarter and never recovered. Buffalo Grove’s six-point first quarter lead stretched to 12 points in the second quarter before the Broncos went on a 12-2 run to end the half, capped off by a three-pointer at the buzzer by Calvin Goldsmith to pull Barrington within 30-28 at the intermission.
The second half didn’t see much change for the Broncos, however, and they would only get as close as two points again on three separate occasions, including twice in the final minute of play, but they could never tie the contest.
Austin Madrzyk scored 10 of his team-high 18 points in the first quarter and got into foul trouble late in the game, which left him on the bench for much of the fourth quarter. Zach Bart added 13 points, while Rapolas Ivanauskas scored 11 points off the bench.
Tucker said that the team’s defense failed them on this night.
“We talked about going into this game that their offense was really going to expose our weaknesses, and I think that is exactly what happened,” Tucker said. “Maybe this will be a wake-up call for our players. I don’t think they believed us [coaches], and they really struggled. We didn’t play defense, and we didn’t take care of the basketball.”
Buffalo Grove made seven three-pointers in the game, including five in the first half as they built up their lead. Barrington also was plagued by bad free-throw shooting, making just six-of-10 foul shots, while Buffalo Grove made 20-of-26 free throws.
The Broncos will continue their Mid-Suburban conference schedule Friday night with a game at home against Palatine at 7:30 p.m. before beginning Jacobs tournament play at 3 p.m. Saturday against Prairie Ridge. Tucker added that Palatine is going to give his team many of the same problems that Buffalo Grove did.
“They are a really talented team that got us twice last year,” Tucker said. “They are going to play very similar to how [Buffalo Grove] did. If we can’t defend, it’s going to be another embarrassing night for us.”
The Broncos’ other two pool play games at Jacobs at noon Monday against South Elgin and a morning matinee the day after Christmas with a 10:30 a.m. start against Larkin on Thursday. The team will finish tournament play Friday and Saturday against opponents to be determined.