DeKALB – DeKalb girls basketball coach Chris Davenport wasn't worried about Rockford Boylan's full-court press in Saturday's 45-34 loss to the Titans, and the Boylan's 2-3 zone wasn't anything the Barbs haven't seen before.
Quite simply, the Barbs just couldn't knock down open shots.
DeKalb took a 13-12 lead with 6:30 left in the second quarter behind eight points from Alexis Hammond, but the Barbs couldn't overcome 1-for-25 shooting from 3-point range.
“We've got to make some shots. It's not the first time that we've had one of those situations,” Davenport said. “They were open looks, not all of them but most of them, but we've got to step up and make some shots.”
The Barbs (9-6) committed seven turnovers in the second quarter, and Boylan (11-4) went on a 9-2 run. DeKalb wouldn't lead after Boylan scored with 6:13 left in the first half.
“We were just rushing. We just need to calm down and take our time,” DeKalb sophomore Brittney Patrick said. “We just need to move more on offense. I thought we did pretty well on defense, we just need to convert what we do and put it into offense.”
The Barbs' first field goal of the second half didn't come until 2:05 remained in the third, but they managed to keep the game close with tight defensive play, and they made it a one-point game with 4:40 left in the game.
Madelyne Johnson scored five of her team-high 12 points in the fourth, and Paige Wogen finally hit the Barbs' only 3-pointer of the game with 6:46 remaining. With 3:30 remaining, a pair of free throws from Patrick made the score 36-34, but that was all DeKalb could muster offensively. DeKalb, which had just three players on its bench, succumbed to a game-ending 9-0 Boylan run.
“We did well today on the offensive and defensive glass,” Hammond said. “We focused on rebounding, and our finishing has been better. But staying 100 percent, working for the whole time without getting fatigued might be the [issue].”
After winning the final two games of the Montini Christmas Tournament, DeKalb came out flat during its last game of winter break.
The cold-shooting Barbs simply couldn't get their offense going, and Davenport thinks that partially comes down to mentality. If the Barbs want to win the Northern Illinois Big 12 East and make a deep run in Class 4A, he knows that has to improve.
“We'd fight back and get all the way back, and then somebody wouldn't go after a loose ball,” Davenport said. “The mental toughness, you've got to keep fighting, and that's where we're struggling right now. We've got to find it.”