NAPERVILLE – DeKalb put its stamp on a physical Naperville North-Benet Holiday Tournament girls basketball game Friday on the final possession of overtime.
With Geneva trailing by a point with a few seconds remaining, the Vikings’ Sami Pawlak whipped an overhead pass to midcourt as her team sought a desperation shot at the buzzer.
DeKalb sophomore post Madelyne Johnson swooped into traffic to intercept, closing a 53-51 Barbs victory.
“That’s basketball,” Johnson said. “You play to play. You want to fight and both teams were fighting, so, I mean, that’s what happens.”
The Barbs (12-1) will aim to complete a perfect 3-0 run through pool play when they face the Naperville Central JV at 6 p.m. tonight. While players would rather wrap up a victory in regulation, coach Chris Davenport said the team’s tenacious style isn’t going anywhere.
“We like to bump, we like to bang. You can see it in our guards,” Davenport said. “I can scream and yell as much as I want to. It’s hard to flip that switch … even when it’s being called tight.”
DeKalb led, 45-43, for much of the final quarter. Both teams had opportunities to pull ahead or away before Geneva’s Sidney Santos found a cutting Pawlak for the tying layup with 18 seconds to play in regulation.
Geneva (8-6) finished 18 for 28 from the free throw line, while the Barbs converted 10 of 26 foul shots.
DeKalb’s Rachel Torres scored 16 of her team-high 18 points after halftime. Johnson (13 points) also finished in double figures.
Geneva led as late as 51-50 when Pawlak (19 points, 22 rebounds) split a pair of free throws with 56.7 seconds left. Torres followed with the go-ahead basket about 20 seconds later.
Geneva had a chance to to take the lead when it took over possession with 18.7 seconds remaining, but turned the ball over in the paint.
“We dealt with some adversity tonight. We dealt with a lot of foul trouble,” Davenport said.
Spartans earn spot in championship: Sycamore beat Winnebago, 45-35, to advance to the final of the Harlem Tournament.
Bailey Gilbert had 16 points for the Spartans and Julia Moll added 12. Sycamore is now 5-5.
Spartans fall: Yorkville beat Sycamore, 51-42, in a Northern Illinois Big 12 East contest. Devin Mottet led Sycamore (5-3, 2-1 NI Big 12 East) with 19 points. Nick Feuerbach added six and Kyle Buzzard finished with five.
THURSDAY’S LATE RESULTS
Royals get 7th win: Bernie Conley had 23 points and Jared Madden added 13 for Hinckley-Big Rock in a 66-62 win over Stillman Valley. Nick Gentry had 10 points for the Royals, who are now 7-2.
Barbs win again: Madelyne Johnson had 15 points for DeKalb as the Barbs defeated Naperville North, 45-32, at the Naperville North-Benet Holiday Tournament. Brittney Patrick added nine points for DeKalb and Courtney Bemis finished with eight.
• Kevin Druley contributed to this report.