Barrington snaps Schaumburg's 5-game streak.
Byline: Lou Nunez Jr. Daily Herald Correspondent
Patience and faith.
Whether coaching a young, inexperienced team or a veteran-laden squad, they are essential ingredients for any coach.
Friday night's Mid-Suburban West clash between Schaumburg and Barrington provided a case study in how both relate to each other.
The Broncos were attempting to get back into victory lane after two straight losses cut into a season-opening 4-0 start while the Saxons were looking to add to a 5-game win streak, the program's longest in six seasons.
It was a combination of both that got Barrington (5-2, 1-1) through in pulling out a 51-50 home decision on an Aaron Sarkar layup that came from a Mark Johnson feed with 1.9 seconds left on the clock in a back-and-forth battle on the Broncos' home court.
"They are (Schaumburg) a very good team." Barrington coach Bryan Tucker said. "They came in tied for first in the conference and we were a game back. It was a game that we had to have."
It appeared that things were heading in the right direction for the reigning MSL West co-champions as they used a 13-4 run midway through the third quarter to amass a 39-32 advantage on a 15-footer by Johnson with 3:03 remaining.
Schaumburg responded with an 8-1 flurry to close out the period in a 40-all tie on a pair of 3-point plays by seniors Michael Hodges and Heze Trotter that Hodges completed with a driving layup with 39 seconds left.
The visitors would grab a 50-48 edge thanks to the final 4 of Hodges' game-high 26 points that came on a pair of charity tosses that knotted up the score with 2:18 to play and a coast-to-coast driving layup with 29 seconds remaining.
"He just took over for them," Tucker said. "He's a great player who has a tremendous ability to carry the load when the time comes."
Johnson's 10th point of the game on a free throw 16 seconds later and cut the deficit in half. The 6-foot-5 senior swingman would then get the basketball from a Connor Keenan rebound off a missed free throw and drive left of the paint and feed Sarkar inside for the game-winning points.
They would also withstand a Hodges half-court shot that clanked off the back of the rim as time expired.
Tucker praised Sarkar, a 6-2 junior who paced the Broncos with 19 points, for his ability to adapt to playing on the varsity level.
"He's such a tough kid who came into the beginning of the season prepared to do whatever it takes to succeed. No matter where we need him to be -- offensively going inside against bigger guys or perhaps going up on defense against one of the opponents' bigger guys. He's done a lot of growing so far."
Sarkar takes a more team-centric approach.
"I think it really starts in practice," Sarkar said. "My teammates and my coaches have really helped to be tougher going up against bigger competition. We knew coming in that this was going to be a tough game for us, but we remained patient and Mark made a really great pass inside for me to be able to get that layup."
Trotter added 10 points for Schaumburg (6-3, 1-1).
Jason Boock aided the Bronco effort with 17 including five 3-pointers.
"It's nice to have four days of practice next week to look forward to before we play again," Tucker said.