Schaumburg soars past Barrington

When Schaumburg's girls basketball team heads to Wheaton North next week for its holiday tournament, the Saxons will own a 12-2 record, their best in nine seasons under coach Jacqie Strauch.

They'll also own second place behind Fremd (4-0) in the Mid-Suburban West.

Schaumburg earned that distinction on Friday night with a 44-31 triumph over visiting Barrington (8-5), which also came into the game with a 2-1 record in the West.

"Right before the game, we said to them 'You want an opportunity to be a champion at the end, and you had to win this game in order to do that,’" said Strauch, who saw a balanced offense led by Jadaya Branch (10 points), Emma Jevtic (8), Symone Harrell (6), Audrey Schluckbier (6) , Grace Schluckbier (6) and Madi Dolecki (5).

The Saxons also played some lockdown defense, especially in the final quarter, holding the Fillies scoreless for the first four-and-a-half minutes.

Strauch said Barrington standout and Dayton recruit Molly O'Riordan was a concern defensively.

"Symone on defense is just really tough to play against," Strauch said. "You watch her in practice just deflecting and constantly denying. She works so hard and because of that, No. 54 (O'Riordan) didn't get a lot of touches and I think that helped us tremendously."

Harrell said everyone contributed defensively as the Saxons snapped a 10-game losing streak to Barrington (last win was Jan. 19, 2018).

"We made sure we all focused on Molly, face guarding and trying to make sure she didn't get the ball," Harrell said. "We worked together on the weak side."

Neither team led by more than 2 points in the opening quarter

Jevtic's 6-foot bank shot tied the game at 4. Barrington got its last lead of the game when Ashley Mahlum hit a 12-footer to make it 6-4.

An 8-foot bank shot by Jevtic and a driving layup over a defender by Audrey Schluckbier gave the hosts an 8-6 lead after one quarter.

The Saxons carried the momentum into the second period, extending the lead to 14-6 with a 3-pointer from Elliana O'Malley and a 3-point play by Harrell Harrell with 6:30 left.

Vidi Trivedi's 3-pointer got the Fillies to within 14-11 but Schaumburg went on a 7-1 run and led 21-12 on Jevtic's 3-pointer with 15 seconds left to half.

O'Riordan's beautiful 16-foot fadeaway in the final two seconds made it 21-14 at the break.

Schaumburg hit three 3-pointers in the first four minutes of the third quarter, taking a 30-19 lead on the final one by Branch.

Barrington never got closer than 6 points.

"Emma continues to get those little buckets here and there," Strauch said. "And Madi (Dolecki) was back for the first time since injuring her ankle two weeks ago (at Fremd). We got her a couple of minutes here and hopefully she'll get back to full time next week. Elliana O'Malley, our sixth or seventh person, continues to just come in and make the smallest things happen."

Trivedi led the Fillies with 8 points while O'Riordan and Mahlum had 7 apiece.

"We just didn't make the plays we needed at the right times," said Barrington coach Babbi Barreiro. "We missed free throws all night and we turned the ball over too many times. Schaumburg is a physical team and a really nice team. Jacqie does a great job with that group. We knew they would be a tough team to play, especially on their home floor.

"In the first quarter, they got too many loose balls. And we gave up three open 3-pointers in the first half. You can't stack the deck against yourself against a good team by giving them good looks. You've got to contest everything and we just didn't do that."

  Schaumburg’s Elliana Malley regains control of the ball in front of Barrington’s Vidi Trivedi during a baskeball game played in Schaumburg on Friday, Dec. 22, 2023. Joe Lewnard/
  Barrington’s Simra Alam, right, shoots against Schaumburg defenders Emma Jevtic, middle, and Grace Schluckbier during a baskeball game played in Schaumburg on Friday, Dec. 22, 2023. Joe Lewnard/
  Schaumburg’s Grace Schluckbier gets fouled as she winds up between Barrington’s Simra Alam, left, and Ashley Mahlum during a basketball game played in Schaumburg on Friday, Dec. 22, 2023. Joe Lewnard/
  Barrington’s Maddy Ziebarth, right, shoots against Schaumburg defender Jadaya Branch during a basketball game played in Schaumburg on Friday, Dec. 22, 2023. Joe Lewnard/
  Barrrington’s Ashley Mahlum, right, draws contact from Schaumburg’s Symone Harrell during a baskeball game played in Schaumburg on Friday, Dec. 22, 2023. Joe Lewnard/
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