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The Insider: Girls Basketball

Published: Friday, Jan. 18, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
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(Rob Winner – rwinner@shawmedia.com)
Sycamore’s Lauren Goff (center) goes up for a shot in the second quarter in the Spartans’ 67-47 victory Jan. 4 against Morris in Sycamore.

Sycamore’s season a ‘roller coaster’ Sycamore coach Brett Goff knows the Spartans are talented, but the twists and turns a young team takes can make his stomach turn.

Just a few weeks ago, the Spartans dominated Morris for their first conference win. Tuesday, they couldn’t stop Rochelle playmaker Michelle Dobbs in a 38-30 loss.

“As a coach, it’s been like riding a roller coaster, just hanging on tight, because you don’t know when that next curve’s coming,” Goff said. “We make some mistakes, where it’s like, ‘Wow, that was unexpected,’ and we’ll play well for another couple of quarters and then we’ll make another bone-headed move.”

The Spartans take on Kaneland today after losing to the Knights in overtime a month ago.

“Kaneland’s a great team, they have very good players, very experienced,” he said. “We just need to make sure we’re in every play on both ends of the floor know what we’re doing, just cut down on mental mistakes, hopefully they’ll improve over time.”

Barbs use break to build health, confidence

DeKalb coach Chris Davenport doesn’t think his team’s shot selection has been bad, but his team’s shooting percentages weren’t where he wanted them to be.

Davenport thinks his team simply hasn’t been shooting confidently, so he drilled his team on shooting throughout his teams’ nine-day break, which ended with a 48-35 win over Yorkville on Tuesday.

“It’s just knocking down open looks,” Davenport said. “Just being more consistent.”

The Barbs also rested their tired legs over the break. Brittney Patrick missed Tuesday’s game with a minor injury, but Davenport thinks she’ll be fine down the stretch.

“We’re a little banged up in spots, so it definitely helped us to get some rest,” Davenport said. “It was definitely well-needed.”

VIEWS: Kaneland-Sycamore rematch tough to forecast

Kaneland and Sycamore were dead even for four quarters when the two teams faced off a month ago, which is ironic, because the teams couldn’t be more different.

At times, Kaneland has five seniors on the floor. Most of the season, Sycamore has no juniors or seniors in its lineup.

In the end, the experience of the Knights won out over Sycamore’s young, raw talent.

The Knights and Spartans will face off again today in a matchup that’s almost impossible to forecast.

Ernie Colombe’s team has been steady this season, for the most part. The Knights generally win the games they’re supposed to, thought they’ve lost to some elite teams.

The Spartans have shown they can hang with some of the top teams in the conference, but they haven’t been able to beat Rochelle or Kaneland, two of the top teams in the Northern Illinois Big 12 East, in three close games this season.

But the Knights know they can’t overlook Sycamore, which is loaded with young talent. If they can put some consistency together, they’ll be a dangerous team in the conference down the stretch.

Sycamore’s young post players will be difficult to contend with, and they have dangerous scorers in Bailey Gilbert, Lauren Goff and Paige Wogen.

Sycamore’s time is clearly down the road. But an upset today wouldn’t be a complete surprise.

• Anthony Zilis is a contributor to the Daily Chronicle. He can be reached via email at sports@daily-chronicle.com

SPOTLIGHT ON...
Allyson O’Herron, Kaneland, senior
The Kaneland guard scored 21 points and tallied five steals Tuesday in a 65-32 win over Morris. O'Herron has become one of the more solid veterans in the area this season.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Kaneland at Sycamore, 7 p.m. tonight
After Kaneland won an overtime thriller a month ago, the Spartans look to get one back at home.

Indian Creek at Newark, 7 p.m. Thursday
The Timberwolves will start the Little Ten Conferene stretch run by playing one of the conference's top teams.

POWER RANKINGS
1. DeKalb (17-3, 6-0 Northern Illinois Big 12 East Division) – The Barbs may not lose in conference. 2. Kaneland (12-7, 4-3 NI Big 12 East) – Kaneland beat Morris after losing an NI Big 12 East crossover to Ottawa. 3. Sycamore (8-7, 1-4 NI Big 12 East) – This season has been up and down for this young team. 4. Hinckley-Big Rock (11-9, 5-1 Little Ten Conference) – The Royals were a favorite heading into the LTC Tourney. 5. Indian Creek (11-10, 2-3 LTC) – The T-Wolves won a tight game over Somonauk in the LTC tourney on Tuesday. 6. Hiawatha (7-13, 1-4 LTC) – Things haven't been easy in the LTC lately for the Hawks. 7. Genoa-Kingston (2-18, 1-6 Big Northern Conference East Division) – Andrea Strohmaier put up 21 points against North Boone.

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