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King’s versatility helps Wauconda net victory
By Marty Maciaszek | Daily Herald Correspondent
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Published: 2/3/2013 12:38 AM

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Devon King doesn’t bring a high-and-mighty attitude to the Wauconda boys basketball team.

“I’ll play anything they need me to play,” the 6-foot-2 senior said after Saturday’s nonconference game at McHenry.

Wauconda coach Scott Luetschwager knows how much he needs to have King playing.

It showed in a 57-47 victory as King scored 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the field and had 9 rebounds and 3 assists to help his team improve to 12-11 with just its second win in six games.

“Devon worked his tail off and worked himself into the starting lineup and playing time,” Luetschwager said. “We needed to find a place for him and we had a need at the ‘4.’

“In AAU in the summer he played ‘4’ so we figured if he can play the ‘4’ for us, we thought we would be all right. He fills it very well.”

King’s 3 with 2:10 left in the first half helped Wauconda start its comeback from a 25-21 deficit. King also fed Austin Swenson (17 points) for his second 3 of the third quarter for a 44-35 lead and his rebound basket made it 53-39 with 5:32 left.

“He works hard, gets rebounds, communicates on defense and goes hard all the time,” Luetschwager said.

The communication on defense in Wauconda’s matchup zone was crucial after McHenry (9-11) went 5-for-10 behind the 3-point line in the first half, even though leading scorer and top long-range threat Shane Varvil (16 ppg, 45 3s) didn’t play this weekend because of a foot injury suffered in practice Thursday.

The Warriors missed their first 8 second-half attempts from behind the arc before hitting a pair in the final 1:45. The third one of the game from Damian Zalewski (15 points, 7 rebounds) did no more than set the final score with seven seconds left.

“If they catch the ball in rhythm, they’re great shooters, so we tried to disrupt them and put more pressure on them,” Luetschwager said.

“We tried to pick up our defense and we were trying not to let their 3-point shooters get hot,” King said. “Coach told us to close out on their shooters.

“Once we got stops on ‘D,’ we could push it up for scoring opportunities on offense.”

Swenson scored 11 second-half points and sophomore Ricky Sidlowski added all 12 of his points and 7 of his 8 rebounds after halftime. Kodey Thomas added 9 points for the Bulldogs.

“We were playing team ball,” King said. “Ricky and I were talking all the time and Austin was hitting everything.”

Greg Johnson and Kyle Postal added 12 and 10 points, respectively, for McHenry.

Buffalo Grove 81, Niles West 77: Buffalo Grove’s Luke Potnick made 7 of 8 free throws in overtime to lift the Bison past visiting Niles West .That was only a portion of the work Potnick did.

The senior scored 36 points (15 of 17 free throws), including his 1,000th career point — which came in the second quarter.

“Luke has a had a few injuries in his career,” said Bison coach Ryan O’Connor of the 6-foot-1 guard, who averages 23 points and had a career high 45 against Hersey earlier in the season. “He is staying healthy this season and putting together a nice run.”

It was the sixth straight win for BG (13-10), which also received 25 points from Andrew Apel and 13 from Steve Soifer.

Bison teammate Kevin Newman collected a team-high 12 rebounds.

Barrington 61, Willowbrook 59: Less than 24 hours after notching a Mid-Suburban League win, Barrington hit the road for a nonconference game against an unfamiliar opponent in Willowbrook.

Barrington held off a fierce effort from Willowbrook, creating a pleasant bus ride home with a 61-59 victory over the Warriors.

“The team came out focused today,” said Broncos senior guard Brad Zaumseil, who scored 7 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter. “We didn’t have much time to prepare for this one. We had JV this morning and came straight here. We just came out and did what we had to do.”

Willowbrook (9-12) nearly ruined the trip for Barrington (14-10) after Josh Joiner’s basket at the start of the fourth quarter put the Warriors ahead 40-38. A 6-0 run reclaimed the lead for Barrington, which extended the advantage to 53-48 on Zaumseil’s three-point play with 3:41 left.

Trailing 59-56 with less than 20 seconds remaining, the Warriors missed a 3-point attempt that would have tied the game. Zaumseil responded with a pair of free throws with 5.4 seconds left to seal the win.

Tiger Greene’s 3-pointer at the buzzer put the final at 61-59.

“We thought this was a dangerous game for a lot of reasons,” said Barrington coach Bryan Tucker, whose team beat Conant on Friday. “Conference game last night where we played really well. You’ve got to guard against a letdown, so that was a challenge. I really like how they responded. I thought they came out ready to play.”

Barrington went to work right away establishing 6-foot-5 junior Zach Bart in the post. Working deep toward the basket, Bart scored 10 of his game-high 21 points in the first quarter. Bart’s perfect shooting led to the Broncos’ collective 20-of-34 effort on the night.

Willowbrook, however, looked ready to make a run in the third quarter while forcing Barrington into 9 of its 22 turnovers and 4-of-11 shooting from the field. The Warriors, however, committed 9 of their own turnovers while making only 3 of 9 field goals.

A brief 7-0 run, capped by a Joiner 3-pointer, gave Willowbrook its biggest lead of 34-31 midway through the third quarter. Barrington responded with 7 straight points.

Greene scored 14 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter for Willowbrook while Joiner finished with 11.

“We didn’t have the energy we’ve had the last three or four games,” said Willowbrook coach Chris Perkins. “I don’t know if it was having Friday off or the 6 p.m. start, but no excuses. We just came out flat.”