MAPLE PARK – The DeKalb boys basketball team’s 50-45 win over Kaneland on Friday night, their first victory since late December, did more than spoil the Knights’ senior night.
The Barbs’ victory also prevented Kaneland from grabbing a slice of the Northern Illinois Big 12 East Conference crown. A Knights win would have guaranteed at least a tie for first place.
“That’s the best four quarters of basketball we played all year,” DeKalb coach Dave Rohlman said. “We haven’t won since the 28th of December. We played some good stretches in that time but we just couldn’t get over the hump.”
Kaneland’s inability to finish late in the game prevented it from pulling out a victory. A Dan Miller layup with less than a minute remaining cut DeKalb’s lead to 47-45.
The Knights immediately fouled Andre Harris on the Barbs’ next possessions. Matt Limbrunner grabbed the rebound when Harris failed to connect on his free throw.
Kaneland held the ball until the clocked ticked down to 13.1 seconds but failed to score as the layup attempt rimmed out and DeKalb (5-19, 3-5 NI Big 12 East ) grabbed the rebound.
The Knights regained possession with 10.6 second go and trailing by 3 after Harris sank a free throw. The Barbs defense force a Kaneland turnover to seal the victory. Poor shooting plagued Kaneland (13-8, Big 12 East 6-2) in the first half.
The Knights held a one-point lead, 17-16, at the half despite going 4 of 21 from floor. Rohlman credited his defense for the victory, especially Pat Aves’ guarding of Drew David. The junior guard did not score for Kaneland.
“You got to look at the way Pat Aves guarded Drew David. I thought he played phenomenal defense on him tonight,” Rohlman said . Miller led all scorers with 19 points. John Pruett tallied 16 for the Knights. Rudy Lopez scored 12 points for DeKalb. Jake Carpenter had 10 points while both Jake Smith and Harris tallied nine ponts.