West Aurora suffers third straight loss

 
By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 11/29/2019 8:36 PM

West Aurora and DeKalb were both itching to return to action after suffering tough losses on Wednesday.

But DeKalb proved to be far too much for the West Aurora boys basketball team Friday afternoon in Oswego at the Hoops 4 Healing Thanksgiving Tournament.

 

DeKalb scored 7 straight points to erase the only West Aurora leads of the afternoon midway through the second quarter.

The Barbs would only systematically increase the spread for the remainder of the contest in rolling to an eventual 72-46 victory.

Joseph Owens' game-highs of 19 points and 10 rebounds were too much for the Blackhawks to overcome.

West Aurora, which captured its season opener over Downers Grove South on Monday, suffered its third consecutive loss at the tournament to fall to 1-3.

The Blackhawks fell in double overtime to Neuqua Valley on Wednesday.

"I thought they played really, really hard -- DeKalb did," West Aurora coach Brian Johnson said. "They seemed to get every loose ball and timely offensive rebounds in position to score. We didn't match their energy."

Kelvin Balfour is the lone returning starter for the Blackhawks' three-time reigning Class 4A regional champions.

Balfour posted monster numbers in the four-game tournament to lead West Aurora, but his team-high 18 points against the Barbs (2-2) were not nearly enough to reverse its final outcome.

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Balfour connected on a 3-pointer midway through the first quarter for an 8-5 West Aurora cushion.

But the Barbs owned the rest of the half with a 33-18 close for a 12-point advantage at the intermission.

"They just outworked us in every aspect," Balfour said of the Barbs. "We beat them on the offensive glass (14-10), but that was about it. They had us in field-goal percentage (57 percent to 29 percent) and got to the rack more than us. We just have to learn from it."

Other than Balfour, the only other West Aurora player to come close to double figures was senior forward Axel Motola, who finished with 9 points.

Balfour had a 3-point play to open the second half.

West Aurora, however, would never sniff a single-figure deficit for the rest of the game.

The Blackhawks finished 14-for-48 from the field; the Barbs were on cruise control at 29 of 49.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"Not to be arrogant, but one of the college coaches told me I was one of the biggest mismatches of the tournament," said Owens, who was 8-for-12. "We feel like we had something to prove (after losing to Hinsdale Central on Wednesday)."

Paul Shavers and Kenny Dyson had 5 points apiece for the Blackhawks.

On the other hand, the Barbs' Daniel Brown had 17 points in an equal number of minutes to flavor the DeKalb verdict.

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