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Barrington comes close against Evanston
By John Leusch | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 12/27/2012 9:26 PM

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They are the new girls on the block.

And despite a loss in the quarterfinals of the Dundee-Crown Charger Classic, they showed they are no pushovers.

Going up against an undefeated Evanston team, the Barrington Fillies took the Wildkits to the wire before falling 50-46 in Carpentersville.

Down by 13 points at half, the Fillies staged a superb comeback in the final two quarters and got as close at 2 points with 1:07 left when senior Maddie Bartz drilled a 17-footer.

But Evanston made 3 free throws in the final 26 seconds to seal its 15th win without a loss and advance to today’s 6:30 p.m. semifinal against Naperville Central, a 56-41 winner against New Trier.

Barrington (10-6), which is making its first appearance in the 30-year tourney, still has a chance to play for fifth place on Saturday if it can survive a 3:30 p.m. test today with New Trier.

“Barrington is a very physical team,” said Evanston coach Elliot Whitefield, who was without his top scorer and rebounder, 6-foot-2 senior center Alecia Cooley (15 ppg, 12 rpg) due to an ankle injury suffered in Wednesday’s opening-round win over St. Charles North. “They executed extremely well. They played very well and that No. 40 (freshman Bryana Hopkins) is an excellent player.”

Hopkins finished with 11 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 blocked shots.

“She is shifty,” added the second-year Wildkits coach. “She is quicker than she looks. She is going to be a heck of a player as she continues to develop.”

Fills senior forward Alexa Resch put together another solid game with 15 points and 10 rebounds. She also took a nice pass from Bailee McDonald and hit a buzzer-beating 7-foot bank shot to get the Fillies to within 37-32 after three quarters.

Resch also hit buzzer-beating baskets in the fourth quarter and overtime of Barrington’s dramatic 62-60 win over Resurrection in the tourney opener.

“It’s my teammates making me great passes,” said the modest Resch. “This game shows us that when try our hardest we can play with any good team. We just have to play all four quarters.

“We did not come out strong in the first half. But we came back real well in the second half. When we played like we did in the second half, we can play with any team.”

The Fillies missed 6 free throws in the final 8:13 of the game and also had chances to tie the game with perimeter shots that just missed.

“Those missed free throws really hurt us.” said Barrington coach Babbi Barreiro. “You’ve got to be able to put those down when you are playing a good team. That hasn’t been an issue for us thus far but we haven’t really had to rely on them, either.”

The Fillies relied on some strong defense in the second half to get back into the contest.

Also, Angie Kirchoff (9 point), Megan Talbot (7), Bartz and Brooke Gunderson had some big baskets to ignite the offense, which started the third quarter with a 7-0 run.

“I liked how we came back in the third quarter, emotionally and physically,” Barreiro added. “The kids got themselves back in position to win the game. We just didn’t finish at the end. There are a lot of things that we’ll take from the game that will help us in the future, but it’s still frustrating.”

Evanston was led by junior Dashae Shumate, who scored 18 points, including 13 in the second half.

“Barrington came out a lot harder in the second half,” Shumate said. “With Alecia (Cooley) out, I knew someone had to step up and get the team going. We have heart. And we are determined. When someone is out of the lineup for us, we still know we can go out and get a win.”

The Wildkits connected for 6 3-pointers in the first half, including three from Seara Clayborn (14 points) and two from Sierra Clayborn (10 points).

“We fell in love with the 3-pointer in the first half,” Whitefield said. “It did give us some breathing room but the hard part was trying to sustain the lead. I thought the girls did enough to get through this game. But it’s going to take a more consistent effort to get the win (today). Hopefully, the playing time for the other kids (stepping in for Cooley) will help us, too.”