DeKALB - In the span of less than 10 minutes, DeKalb's 18-point second-half lead had evaporated on Saturday.
But even after Belvidere North took a one-point lead with 57 seconds left, the Barbs found a way to pull out a win. Sophomore Luke Davis' putback off a Dre Brown miss gave the Barbs a one-point lead with 25 seconds to play and then senior Pat Aves took a charge on the other end and converted two free throws to give DeKalb (4-7) a 72-68 win.
The win over Belvidere North was the Barbs' second of the day at the Chuck Dayton tournament after defeating Schurz, 67-56, earlier in the day
"We've just gotta slow down and get back to what we were doing in the first half," Davis said. "When we play as a team we can beat anybody."
Playing in the nightcap, DeKalb jumped out to 10-point lead after the first quarter buoyed by six points each from Davis and sophomore Ethan Conroy, who knocked down two three-pointers.
Conroy found Davis for a free-throw line jumper late in the second quarter and then Lopez swung it to Conroy for another three-pointer as the Barbs carried a 38-22 lead into halftime.
"We were sharing the ball, we were unselfish," Conroy said. "We were working hard."
Belvidere North, which shot only 1 of 17 on three-point attempts in the first half, kept firing away from beyond the arc after halftime. The Blue Thunder would hit eight in the second half and tied the game at 56-all with five minutes left.
The Barbs were plagued by turnovers in the middle two quarters and committed 27 for the game. They had 10 turnovers compared to nine shot attempts in the third quarter alone.
But the Barbs got enough offense down the stretch to keep with Belvidere North, which had a decided advantage on the offensive glass. Jace Kitchen scored all nine of his points in the fourth quarter, including a big three-pointer off a feed from Conroy to put DeKalb back up by three.
"I'm glad that we finally won a game at home. Maybe we should just play tournaments because we were 2-2 in the tournament at Thanksgiving and we're 2-0 in this tournament," DeKalb coach Dave Rohlman said. "I'm pleased to be where we are. We've got one more to get and then we'll worry about the championship bracket after that."
DeKalb will play Marmion at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, looking to sweep pool play.
"I thought [Saturday] was pretty good," Conroy said. "We still have to work on our third-quarter performance, but it's pretty good and we're ready for Marmion on Monday."