Barringer gives Bulldogs a boost off the bench
By DAN HINER
Brandon Barringer, a junior guard on the Poland boys basketball team, will admit that his last few games didn't go well. But after being moved to the bench, Barringer helped carry the Bulldogs to a 65-40 win over Girard on Friday night.
With Poland down 11-9 with eight minutes left in the second quarter, Barringer scored six of the Bulldogs’ next eight points to give his team a 19-16 lead. Poland never looked back from there.
“Well, I’m usually a starter on this team. I kind of stepped out the past couple weeks of practice,” Barringer said. “I didn’t get to start tonight, but I came off the bench. I just had a better mindset of being a better team player with a better attitude.”
Girard (7-8, 5-2 All-American Conference Blue) went on a 9-0 run in the middle of the first quarter and outscored the Bulldogs 11-7 in the first eight minutes.
The Indians continued to lead until the 4:12 mark of the second quarter, but Poland outscored the Indians 24-8 in the second quarter. Barringer scored 10 of the Bulldogs’ 24 points.
“I gave it all I could. I created the lanes, looked to pass and create shots. We all attacked the offensive glass, too. That was an important part of the offense tonight,” Barringer said.
Girard head coach Craig Hannon said it all came down to effort. He also said the Bulldogs’ scoring in the second quarter forced the Indians to switch their defensive game plan and Girard’s players need to be more aggressive on offense.
“Tonight we taught that we could not play without full, maximum effort against a good Poland team that’s had lots of success throughout the years,” Hannon said. “For whatever reason, in the middle of the second to the middle of the third, they just wanted to win more than Girard tonight. That’s what bothers me more than anything.”
Poland (8-4, 2-2 All-American Conference Red) got a little more production from the starting five in the second half.
Sophomores Daniel Kramer and Braeden O’Shaunghnessy combined to score 13 points and grabbed six rebounds in the third quarter. Kramer also had two blocks in the third.
Kramer had a team-high 14 points, while O’Shaungnessy and Barringer were second with 11 points each.
Girard’s Austin O’Hara finished with a game-high 15 points and Austin Claussell had 10. O’Hara and Clausell were the only Girard players to reach double-digit point totals.
Girard had trouble shooting the ball from the start of the second quarter. In the second half, the Indians shot 36 percent from the field and 18 percent from behind the 3-point line.
Poland head coach Ken Grisdale said the Bulldogs’ offense wouldn’t have played so efficiently if the defense didn’t make stops. He said the stops on defense allowed for the offense to get up the court in transition and increase the speed of the game.
“(Good defense) creates easier offensive looks,” Grisdale said. “We’re not the most skilled basketball team, but if we can get easier looks and if the defense is causing turnovers, we’re able to get three-on-twos. It’s not having to set up and execute a play, but getting some easier ones. And then they relax and they play.”
Even though Barringer didn’t lead his team in any statistical catagories, Grisdale said he deserves a lot of the credit for the win. He said his play was crucial to the performance of the entire team.
“He kept his head on straight and asked, ‘What do I got to do?’ and he corrected the things we talked about,” Grisdale said. “I think his effort on the offensive end helped us open the door and get it going on defense.”