DeKalb squeaks by Naperville Central
The DeKalb boys basketball team turned on the defense in the fourth quarter Friday in Naperville to defeat Naperville Central, 53-51.
"I thought (our defense) was engaged," DeKalb coach Mike Reynolds said. "When we're engaged with all five guys, we're a tough defensive team. I thought our guys played their hearts out."
The Barbs (18-4 overall, 5-0 DuPage Valley) allowed only four points in the first seven minutes of the final frame to spark the comeback.
"It wasn't just one player or one instant," Redhawks coach Pete Kramer said. "We just turned the ball over too much in the second half. Again, it was by committee, different guys at different times."
The Redhawks (14-3, 3-2) did come on late, scoring six points in the final minute to keep the pressure on the visitors.
Redhawks senior Cameron Dougherty had a chance to win at the buzzer with a long 3-pointer from just inside half court, but the shot sailed high.
Dougherty finished with a game-high 21 points.
The teams traded blows as the lead changed hands four times in the beginning of the fourth quarter.
The Barbs forced quick three turnovers midway through the fourth quarter that led to five points to give the Barbs a lead they wouldn't surrender.
"Those were really big stops," Barbs guard Avery Medina said. "Just getting that extra possession is a big momentum shift and I think it helped our team in the end."
Medina closed out the game for the Barbs with his defense and six points on his way to a team-high 19 points.
The Barbs had trailed since the opening minutes of the game, but Trenton Kyler hit a 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter to put the Barbs ahead.
"Every time, Trenton hits big shots and gets our team ready to play defense," Medina said.
Kyler finished with 13 points.
The Barbs had no answer for Dougherty in the first half. Dougherty scored early and often to start the game, hitting two 3s to start the game. Dougherty scored 17 of the Redhawks' 30 first-half points.
Kyle Baskin added 13 points for the Redhawks.
Kyler banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer to close out the third quarter and bring the Barbs within two points.
They said it: "That 3-point buzzer at the basket, banked in, instead of being up five, we're up two going into the fourth quarter," Kramer said. "Sometimes the ball doesn't bounce your way. It's a frustrating loss."