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With the score tied, in the final seconds of the game, Barrington's Robby Vollman (42) tried to steal the ball from Conant's D'Angelo McBride (21) and was called for a foul on this play. McBride missed the free throw, and Barrington's Raymond Tolentino (N

Nothing came easy in the Barrington boys basketball team’s 52-50 win over Conant Friday night as the longer, lankier Cougars gave the Broncos matchup problems at nearly every position.

Ironically, it was the shortest guy on the court, 5-foot-9 Barrington senior Ray Tolentino, who proved to be the difference, hitting the game-winning layup as the buzzer sounded.

Barrington’s final play was beautiful in its simplicity and execution.

The Broncos ran star senior point guard Brad Zaumseil off a screen toward halfcourt, and, predictably, everyone on Conant but the mascot flocked toward him. That left Tolentino a wide-open lane to the basket after he beat his man with a strong crossover.

“You know what, we knew they were going to double Brad and make someone else beat them,” Barrington coach Brian Tucker said. “We actually had two people open for a layup, and they were just kind of scrambling there in the chaos. Ray’s a senior and he made a great play.”

The Broncos got off to a slow start, trailing 13-9 after the first quarter, and looked shell shocked by Conant’s size and range. But Zaumseil, who finished with 16 points, led a second-quarter charge that put Barrington up 28-25.

Junior forward Zach Bart was instrumental in the team’s turnaround, scoring seven of his nine points in that pivotal second stanza.

Conant 6-5 senior Robert Hudson led the Cougars with 17 points and six rebounds and was visually the game’s most dominant and imposing player, though it hardly mattered when Tolentino stole the show in the game’s final seconds.

“I know all the attention was going to be on Brad, so I took it to the basket and hit the game-winning shot,” Tolentino said. “Brad’s a great player and we know teams will try to take him out of the game, so people have to step up. Today I stepped up.”

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