Playing without senior point guard and floor general Jamie Martens for much of the second half, the Kaneland girls basketball team still fired on all cylinders.
The Knights' suffocating defense limited host DeKalb to just 6 second half points while senior guard Jenni Weber stepped up with 19 points and 8 rebounds in Tuesday night's convincing 50-25 Northern Illinois Big XII East conference victory.
"DeKalb's scrappy and athletic and we got into foul trouble, so it was good to see us play a little bit without Jamie," said Kaneland coach Ernie Colombe, as his squad extended its winning streak to 10 games. "It's not what we wanted, but we actually remained steady and extended the lead."
"We just played well together tonight," Weber added. "We fed off each other and had positive energy and we were able to keep our composure despite some of the calls that were made."
With DeKalb extending its defensive pressure out to the perimeter, Kaneland (17-2, 5-1) took advantage by taking the ball strong to the basket throughout. The Knights cashed in on 16-of-22 free throw attempts while DeKalb went just 2-of-7 from the line.
"They had great defense on me closing out wise, so I've developed some of my game to drive more," said Weber, as she knocked down all 6 free throws. "The lanes were open, especially with everyone starting to hit shots."
"We were pretty aggressive. We didn't settle for threes and we worked inside-out, which is really good to see," Colombe said. "We've been talking about getting to the line more in the second half of the season and getting some easier opportunities.
Sophomore Keely Noel helped the Knights build a 16-7 lead after one quarter by hitting a clutch 3-pointer from the corner and scoring all 7 of her points.
DeKalb (4-14, 1-5) closed to within 20-14 but Martens, who according to Kaneland's Twitter page set the school career assists record during the game, answered with a 3-point play and a trifecta from the bow to help push the lead back to 30-19 at the half.
The Barbs managed to stay within 32-23 with 4:43 left in the third quarter, but mustered just one field goal the rest of the way. Weber tallied 9 second-half points to outscore the entire DeKalb team.
"Defensively we locked them up in the second half," Colombe said.
The Knights' bench contributed solid minutes as Kelsey Modaff contributed 5 points while Peyton Giffney, Bryanna Kigyos and Chloe Conley added 3 points each. Rocky Mills finished with 7 points and 10 rebounds to lead DeKalb.
Kaneland will be looking for its 11th straight win in Friday's night home conference tilt against Morris
"We have to focus on one game at a time and not look past anyone," Weber said. "We're working really hard in practice and we're excited for the outcome of the season."