Rebounding helps Naperville Central down DeKalb
Trinity Strang and Naperville Central were crashing the boards all night, but Kailey Porter was doing her part to keep DeKalb competitive inside.
Porter scored 27 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, but Stang had 14 of the Redhawks' 40 boards and Naperville Central had three players in double figures in a 60-43 win over the Barbs on Tuesday in a DuPage Valley Conference game.
"[Porter] played well," said DeKalb coach Kelly Gerace, who was taking over head coach duties in the absence of Mark Sykes. "She's a huge part of our team and when she gets the ball and looks to score she can be unstoppable."
Porter's monster game wasn't enough for the Barbs (10-6, 2-2) against the team effort of the Redhawks (9-7, 3-1).
Even with the 14 boards, including nine offensively, Strang finished with three points in just her second game since December 11.
"Trinity had one of her better games," Redhawks coach Andy Nussbaum said. "She played Saturday, but before that not since Dec. 11. So she hadn't played for a while. I was real pleased with the way she went after the boards."
After DeKalb scored first, Naperville Central scored the next 10 and never trailed again. The lead peaked at 16 in the first half but the Barbs got down to nine late in the second and trailed 37-24 early in the third.
That's when Ella Burke exploded off the fast break, converting a pair of her own steals into layups. She scored eight of her 13 points in the third, all in a span of less than two minutes. It was part of a larger 11-2 run for the Redhawks, which pushed the lead over 20 for the first time.
"She's fast," Nussbaum said of Burke. "Our kids know she's fast. We played pretty good team basketball really. We tried to get everybody to do what they can do. But Ella's third quarter, four buckets, that's pretty good."
Kendall Lenz led the Redhawks with 14 and Aditi Prasad added 12.
Nussbaum said it's been a weird season for the Redhawks, who hadn't played since Dec. 23. He said combined with the short season last year, it adds to the uniqueness.
"It seems like three halves," Nussbaum said. "But it's a pretty good start for us on this third half. ... I told our kids it's like a restart every day. We don't know. So you have to be flexible and adapt to your circumstances. I thought we did a real nice job of that."
Naperville Central finished with a 40-30 edge on the glass, including grabbing 18 offensive rebounds.
"We can't give the other teams opportunities," Gerace said. "We have to have better defensive rebounds. We need to box out a little bit more and not let teams get two, three chances to score."
Amina Gray added 10 points for the Barbs, while Kira Klapprodt had four steals.
"We had a lot of good possession and some possessions that we struggled with," Gerace said. "For having a week off we gave it all we had. There's a lot we need to work on and we're going to get back at it tomorrow at practice."