DeKALB – It’s not often DeKalb senior basketball player Courtney Patrick doesn’t yell much at her freshman sister, Brittney.
But when she does, her criticism is usually restricted to Brittney’s failure to complete household chores and things of that nature, not her play on the basketball court.
On the court, the Barbs’ starting point guard doesn’t need much critiquing. The younger Patrick has played up on her sister’s club teams since the third grade, so she’s had no difficulty making the leap to high school level. She showed that confidence Tuesday when she scored a game-high 15 points in a 31-17 win over Kaneland.
“It was pretty obvious [early on] that she knew what she was doing,” Courtney said. “She’s been a big part of what makes us go.”
DeKalb coach Chris Davenport didn’t know much about Brittney Patrick coming into summer practices, but it didn’t take long to tell she’d start for DeKalb, which won a sectional championship last season with Courtney as its starting point guard.
“I knew what she had physically, but I had no idea that she was as good as she is right now,” Davenport said. “Tonight, she was very good. She got on two feet and was fundamental.”
She was one of the few offensive bright spots for the Barbs, whose only other player with more than four points was Rachel Torres, who chipped in 12. The Barbs struggled on the offensive end of the floor early but led, 5-2, at the end of the first quarter.
The Knights kept the game close, trailing, 16-13, late in the third quarter. But a steal, a layup and a free throw from Brittney Patrick at the end of the third extended the lead. Patrick had 11 second-half points as the Barbs steadily pulled away.
DeKalb didn’t lead by double digits until midway through the fourth quarter, but the Barbs didn’t let previously undefeated Kaneland (7-1, 2-1 NI Big 12) score more than six points in a quarter.
“DeKalb’s the team to beat, and tonight they showed why,” Kaneland coach Ernie Colombe said. “They did a great job on shutting us down. I was proud of our kids’ effort.”
On Thursday, the Barbs showed they’ll be a strong contender to win their third consecutive conference title. But Davenport knows that, after Tuesday’s offensive performance and a loss to Whitney Young on Saturday, his team has plenty to improve upon.
“Defensively, we did what we usually do,” Davenport said. “Offensively, we’ve got things to work on.”