DeKALB – One day after notching its first win, the DeKalb boys basketball team didn't play with the intensity coach Dave Rohlman wanted in a 58-47 loss to Richwoods.
The Barbs were out-rebounded, couldn't find a rhythm offensively, and struggled while working in a few younger players.
“I just thought we were sluggish tonight, I don't know what that is,” Rohlman said. “I thought we stood around quite a bit. I think t he tale of the tape, though, was our rebounding.”
Even with all of those negatives, Rohlman and the Barbs couldn't get too down after Saturday's loss. With four players, including 6-foot-7 center Andre Harris, out for unspecified reasons, the Barbs are an incomplete team.
Until they get those key players back, which Rohlman hopes will happen next week, the Barbs can leave a loss like Saturday's and still feel as if the best is yet to come.
“I think we become much deeper [once those players are back], and I don't think we'll have the issues we had with rebounding,” Rohlman said. “We'll have some other offensive looks.”
The sidelined post players would have been welcome additions on Saturday, when Richwoods center Xavier Newson was able to score five early points to help the Knights to a 12-9 first-quarter lead. DeKalb center Jake Smith struggled with foul trouble throughout the game, and Newson was able to score 17 points.
The Barbs were able to stay in the game thanks to seven first-quarter points from Jake Carpenter, but they just weren't able to hang with the Knights for any consistent amount of time. They trailed, 30-21, at the half.
Zach Ottum scored 11 of his 16 points in the second half and led a 12-5 run that cut the Richwoods lead to six, but the Knights were able to pull away.
“They were a beatable team,” Ottum said. “I didn't think we played as well as we should have defensively, and especially offensively. Defensively, we were too frantic and too panicky.”
Still, the Barbs are encouraged that, come conference season, they'll be contenders. After winning their first Northern Illinois Big 12 East game on Friday against Yorkville, they're on the right track even without their entire lineup.
“We're disappointed. We could've beaten that team,” said Carpenter, who scored 14 points. “I feel like we didn't play to our potential. I feel like that's going to take all season. But again, we're missing three, four of our guys. Once we get everyone back and we get that chemistry together, I feel like it's going to make a big difference.”