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Crystal Lake South’s Max Meitzler is almost always the biggest player on the floor for the Gators.
But the 6-4 senior has a ton of confidence in his three-point shot and that paid dividends in the semifinals of the Jacobs Holiday Classic on Friday night.
Meitzler knocked down four treys, including two key threes in the fourth quarter, as Crystal Lake South rallied past Barrington to a 68-59 win.
“Austin Rogers played good in the first half, took the game over for a bit and that’s what we needed,” Meitzler explained. “When they started helping on him, I hit some shots. It was just one of those nights.”
Barrington (9-7) led 40-37 heading into the fourth and pushed the lead to five after a field goal by Scott Nelson.
Meitzler answered with a three-pointer and Alex Bartusch added a field goal to tie things up at 42-42 with 6:04 to play.
The two teams traded baskets for a while until Meitzler’s next big shot.
With the Gators (5-6) holding a 52-51 advantage, Meitzler buried another trey for a four-point lead with 2:29 to play.
The Broncos could never wrestle the lead back to their side and Crystal Lake South converted nine free throws in the final 1:01 to secure the victory.
“Defensively, we didn’t get it done,” said Barrington’s Brad Zaumseil, who finished with 20 points. “They had too many open shots and they made them. We’ll just forget about this one and try and get a win tomorrow.”
Zach Bart added 16 for the Broncos. Barrington will face Lakes in the third place game tomorrow at 6 p.m.
Rogers finished with 20 for the Gators while Nick Geske added 18.
Crystal Lake South finds itself in the championship game against crosstown rival Crystal Lake Central at 7:30 p.m tomorrow despite having a sub-.500 record on the season.
“It’s not like we were playing bad because the games we lost have been pretty close,” Geske said. “We finally figured out how to close out games, which is to make free throws.”