LASALLE – The Barbs scored the first basket against Rochelle in the second night of the Cavalier Classic in La Salle on Wednesday, but DeKalb couldn’t keep its offense running at the same pace as the Hubs.
Rochelle shot 11-of-27 from the three-point line to help take the game, 82-56.
“I didn’t think we covered shooters very well all night,” Barbs’ coach David Rohlman said. “I thought (Jake) Carpenter did a nice job at the beginning on (Matt) Rossenwinkel but we didn’t cover our other shooters.
“I thought we were lost defensively most of the night.”
While Carpenter was keeping the ball out of Rossenwinkel’s hands, Rochelle senior Grant Prusator took control of the game with pin-point shooting. He had 14 points at the end of the first quarter, 24 by the end of the first half and finished with a game-high 31 on 6-of-10 shooting beyond the arch.
The Barbs (0-2) offense showed signs of life as Carpenter and senior center Jake Smith tried to pound the paint. Junior guard Pat Aves hit two three-pointers in the first quarter but problems arose quickly.
“We counted, we missed 16 layups and I don’t know how many free throws (Wednesday), so you talk about 20-plus points right there that you got to have,” Rohlman said. “That’s just focus, there’s no excuse for that.”
Carpenter led DeKalb with 13 points, junior forward Micah Fagerstrom came off the bench to add 10 and Aves finished with eight, all coming in the first quarter.
Smith finished with seven-points off 3-of-9 shooting from the field. The Barbs tried to get him the ball early and often, but Rochelle (1-1) double-teamed him every time he touched the ball, occasionally bringing a third defender as well.
“(Low-post scoring) was one thing we really got burned on (Tuesday) Dunlap had a good big guy,” Hubs’ coach Tim Thompson said. “We tried hard to front it and come from the back side with help defense and we couldn’t get it done.”
“We worked really hard on it this morning, so we tried to make it as tough on Jake (Smith) as we could. He’s a good player, he’s a big boy and that’s all we could do was try to front and make it difficult for him.”
The Barbs have started the season without one of their key offensive players, senior center Andre Harris. They hope to be able to polish up the missed layups and Wednesday’s 7-of-16 shooting from the charity stripe in order to win some games before the squad is at full strength.
“We have to turn around on Friday and play two games, so we got our work cut out especially without some of our players,” Rohlman said.