Spartans rout Barbs to end 11-game series losing streak
DeKALB – Sycamore didn’t just break the streak, it demolished it.
After losing to DeKalb 11 consecutive times, the Spartans beat the Barbs, 55-32, on Friday at the Northern Illinois University Convocation Center.
“That left a bad taste in our mouths that we lost this game 11 times in a row,” junior Devin Mottet said shortly after handing off the trophy passed to the winner each year. “It’s a big deal. This is just so much better than losing.”
Right out of the gates, it was clear that it was Sycamore’s game to lose.
Four Sycamore (10-7, 3-2 Northern Illinois Big 12 East) players scored as the Spartans opened up the game with a 9-0 run. Nick Feuerbach became the fifth Spartan to score when he hit a three with 2:20 remaining in the first, making the score 12-1.
DeKalb (4-18, 2-4 NI Big 12 East) didn’t hit a field goal until 5:17 remaining in the second quarter when sophomore Rudy Lopez knocked down a jumper from the corner. The Barbs turned the ball over eight times in the first half against Sycamore’s frenetic defense.
“We got flustered and we got panicked and we tried to do things that aren’t our job,” DeKalb coach Dave Rohlman said.
Behind seven points from Devin Mottet, the Spartans led, 21-10, at the half.
DeKalb guard Pat Aves hit a three to cut the Spartans’ lead to 10 with 4:26 remaining in the third quarter, but that was the closest the Barbs would come.
David Compher went on an 8-0 run of his own late in the third to give Sycamore a 35-15 lead with 2:30 left in the third quarter, and the Spartans would go on to lead by 30 midway through the fourth.
Scott Nelson led the Spartans with 16 points in the win.
“I thought they beat us in every facet of the game, all night long,” Rohlman said. “Everything that we’ve been talking about for the first 21 games, with our turnovers and our lack of poise occurred tonight.”
Sycamore, meanwhile, hopes to use this game as they head into the final stretch of the conference season.
“Our defense was amazing. Holding a varsity team to 32 points, that’s just amazing. It was just a great defensive effort all around,” Mottet said. “We just broke an 11-game losing streak.
“We have a lot of season left, and this is a big game, obviously, we had a huge atmosphere, our fans were great. It was a big confidence boost saying we won this trophy and we want one more at regionals.”