Brother Rice guard Jim Barista was about as irrelevant as a player can be for most of regulation Thursday night during a Hinsdale South Tournament quarterfinal against Schaumburg.
Barista changed that very quickly with 4.5 seconds left in regulation. He then changed that dramatically with 6.0 seconds left in the first overtime. The 5-foot-9 senior tied the game on a layup forcing the first overtime, and did the same on a three-pointer to force the second overtime.
He scored the first two points on free throws in the second overtime, giving the Crusaders their first lead since 5-4, and the lead for good during a frenetic 82-73 double-overtime win. The Crusaders (9-2) will meet St. Patrick in Friday’s 7:45 pm semifinal.
“I wanted the ball,” said Barista, who finished with 13 points. “I felt I had a good chance of making those shots. Two years ago we had a five overtime game in which I hit a few clutch shots, but we lost. This ranks higher than that because we won.”
Barista’s heroics overshadowed the play of teammate Alex Majewski, who had 33 points to lead the Crusaders, including 10 in the fourth quarter to help rally his team back.
Cole Reyes had 31 points to lead the Saxons (5-6). Teammate Kyle Bolger added 19 points before fouling with with 3:22 left in overtime with the Saxons up 59-56.
“Mostly I’m just proud of our kids,” said Schaumburg coach Matt Walsh, whose team led 34-24 at the half. “It was a great game and both teams played extremely hard.”
The Saxons appeared to be in control in the first overtime, leading 66-61 with 40 seconds left before the Crusaders closed with a 7-2 run, including the Barista three-pointer that tied the game. Barista had seven points, including a pair of three’s, in that period.
With both teams in the double bonus, the second overtime became a free throw contest. The Crusaders outscored the Saxons 14-5, 10 of those points were free throws.
“That was one of the craziest games I’ve ever been a part of,” 24th year Brother Rice coach Pat Richardson said. “I’m still not really sure how we won that game. It’s one of those games that you have to look at the film and figure out how we won it.”