O’Riordan’s buzzer-beater lifts Barrington over Palatine

Prior to tip-off for Friday night's Stand Up To Cancer girls basketball game, the players from Barrington and host Palatine all posed together at half court for a team photo.

This was truly a night to team up against cancer with money being raised through a bake sale and raffle baskets, and the school band added to the electric atmosphere.

"Palatine has been running this event for years now and we have always been privileged to be a part of it," said Fillies hall of fame coach Babbi Barreiro. "Certainly cancer has affected a lot of people in my life and a few people on my team. We're just happy to be part of it. It's such a devastating disease and anything we can do to help fight cancer, we're here to do. "

At night's end, the winning team in the Mid-Suburban West game was Barrington, 47-45, thanks to senior Molly O'Riordan's 8-foot bank shot with one second left off an entry pass from junior Vidi Trivedi.

"It was a hard shot and very well contested,“ said the 6-foot-2 Dayton-bound O'Riordan, who finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds. "I just let it go with ease. It was a rough game, aggressive on both sides. I thought our team did a great job staying composed and doing what we had to do."

Palatine senior Frankie Henderson did what she had to do moments earlier. The senior point guard brought the Pirates fans to their feet by hitting a dramatic 24-foot 3-pointer with 18 seconds left to tie the game at 45.

"Hats off to Palatine," Barreiro said. "I thought they played a fantastic game and Frankie Henderson (6 points and also played a big defensive role) is such a leader for them. I thought she played well and Halle Onyekonwu was huge for them in the post."

Onyekonwu, a 6-3 junior center, scored 18 points.

Neither team led by more than 3 points in the second half.

"It was a fun game to coach, a fun game to play and that's all you can ask for," said first-year Palatine coach Sarah Davis. "The ball just bounced in their direction in the final second. That was the name of the game and our free throws (1 of 14)."

Freshman Grace Kline added 11 points for the Pirates (9-11, 3-4) while freshman Eve Adler and junior Ashley Mahlum each had 11 for Barrington (14-8, 5-2).

"We pulled out a great and much-needed conference win," O'Riordan added.

"I was proud of our girls," Barreiro added. "That's a hard win to get, playing here and getting pressure shots. It was a great entry pass (by Trivedi near the 3-point line) and a great shot by Molly. It was a fantastic finish.

"Eve Adler hit a lot of big shots for us (three 3s) so that was nice to see for her confidence.

"I thank Sarah again for running this night for cancer. It's a great event all the way around."

Barrington enjoyed the biggest leads of the game at 24-19 and 26-21 but the Pirates clawed back and took a 27-26 lead at half, thanks to Onyekonwu's putback with one second left.

"Our girls played really hard and it came down to the last second," Davis added. "It's a testament to Barrington, too. They're a very good team and Babbi is a great coach.

"It's super important to bring communities together for this. It's bigger than basketball. It's about family and community. Barrington is a great program so to be able to share it with them is really special."

  Barrington’s Simra Alam, right, drives against Palatine defender Elise Martino on Friday, Jan. 19, 2024 in Palatine. Joe Lewnard/
  Palatine’s Grace Kline, left, gets fouled as she makes a move to the basket against Barrington’s Molly D’Riordan Friday, Jan. 19, 2024 in Palatine. Joe Lewnard/
  Barrington’s Maddy Ziebarth, left, tries to maintain possession of the ball as Palatine’s Halle Onyekonwu applies pressure on Friday, Jan. 19, 2024 in Palatine. Joe Lewnard/
  Barrington’s Ashley Mahlum makes a move past Palatine’s Molly Pieper Friday, Jan. 19, 2024 in Palatine. Joe Lewnard/
  Barrington girls basketball coach Babbi Barreiro leads the Fillies on Friday, Jan. 19, 2024 at Palatine. Joe Lewnard/
  Palatine’s Halle Onyekonwu celebrates with her teammates after giving the Pirates a 27-26 halftime lead at the buzzer against Barrington at the Friday, Jan. 19, 2024 in Palatine. Joe Lewnard/
  Palatine girls basketball coach Sarah Davis leads the Pirates against Barrington on Friday, Jan. 19, 2024 in Palatine. Joe Lewnard/
  Barrington's Mel Bongiorno, left, is closely guarded by Palatine's Elise Martino on Friday, Jan. 19, 2024 in Palatine. Joe Lewnard/
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