Naperville North nearly upsets DeKalb
Naperville North had three looks at a game-tying 3-pointer in the closing seconds as the DeKalb boys basketball team stayed undefeated with a 51-48 win on Tuesday.
Jamarcus Winters missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free-throw for the Barbs (14-0, 6-0 DuPage Valley Conference), and the Huskies (5-6, 1-5) raced to the other end. North's Grant Johnson launched a 3 with Winters in his face and missed, but the Huskies got two more chances on offensive rebounds. Peter Krebs followed with a shot from the top of the arc and missed, and then Zeke Williams launched a 3 at the buzzer that came up short.
"We didn't want (Johnson) to shoot it, he got double-teamed by Jamarcus and [Trenton Kyler], and they ran the action that got him open all game," DeKalb coach Mike Reynolds said. "It's not by design, but by never getting the rebound (Johnson) never got another shot. Luckily it worked out in our favor."
Johnson had already drained four 3-pointers and led all scorers with 22 points. North coach Gene Nolan said the Huskies were trying to run some hand-cut action to free Johnson up for a look at a 3.
"They defended it really well like they do everything really well," Nolan said. "Then Grant didn't get as clean a look obviously. But they ended up double-teaming him on the catch. I thought Krebs' look was the best one we had and we just didn't make it."
Winters said the team kept focused during the multiple scrambles for the loose balls.
"After the first one goes up you realize you have to adjust and find the next shooter," Winters said. "Somehow we were able to stay together, stay engaged and finish out the game."
There were 10 ties and five lead changes in the contest, with DeKalb trailing most of the first half after the Huskies held Kyler, DeKalb's leading scorer on the season, scoreless.
But in the third, the Barbs regained the lead with a 13-0 run, seven of which were scored by Kyler.
DeKalb never trailed again.
"TK is one of those kids you can't guard whether he is scoreless or not. He's going to get his," Winters said. "And times when he's down, someone else is going to step up."
With Martez Jackson and Lance Mcvicar in foul trouble early, Reynolds said Demarrea Davis, Owen Krupp and Davion Hines all stepped up and made plays. Krupp had a putback at the buzzer to end the first, giving the Barbs their first lead of the game. Davis had four rebounds, all offensive.
And with Kyler struggling to score early, Tyler Westberg scored nine in the first half on his way to a team-best 14 for DeKalb.
"As much as those guys saved the day defensively, I think [Westberg] saved it offensively," Reynolds said. "We have a team now with the way it is constructed now, everybody can pretty much shoot 3s. And by them sagging a little on TK, Westberg was able to get open, and Martez was a little choppy tonight but played off two feet and got that big steal at the end to put us up five."