Daily Chronicle sports editor Ross Jacobson and sports reporter Steve Nitz spend their days covering the area’s sports scene. Occasionally, they give their viewpoints on those local sports. In this installment of their Take 2 column, they discuss tonight’s DeKalb-Sycamore boys and girls basketball games.
Jacobson: The most-attended basketball game in DeKalb County will take place tonight at the Convocation Center and, per usual, it’s the DeKalb-Sycamore doubleheader. There were few sporting events early this week because of the polar vortex’s return to the midwest, so I’m especially antsy to see the Barbs and Spartans go at it tonight.
These games are always important and meaningful because of the rivalry and Northern Illinois Big 12 East implications. But which team, in your opinion, needs a win the most tonight in either game?
Nitz: I’m going to go with the Sycamore girls. The Spartans already beat the Barbs this season, and with a win over the talented DeKalb team tonight, Sycamore will control its own destiny in the Northern Illinois Big 12 East. The Barbs dominated this league during its first three years of existence, so a Spartans win would make a big statement.
Jacobson: I’ll stick with the girls game and take DeKalb. As you pointed out, the Barbs lost to Sycamore early on and now essentially face a must-win to stick in the conference title discussion. DeKalb has played well as of late against Class 4A competition and a win against Sycamore would only further their confidence down the stretch.
That being said, what are you most looking forward to tonight?
Nitz: Specifically, I want to see how the Barbs handle Sycamore’s Bailey Gilbert, who had 10 points in the teams’ previous meeting. She can beat teams with the 3-point shot and on the drive, and it will be interesting to see how DeKalb decides to guard her.
Jacobson: The battle in the post likely will decide the Sycamore-DeKalb boys game. How will Devin Mottet and Ben Niemann guard DeKalb’s Luke Davis III and vice versa. Although Sycamore has a few more weapons than the Barbs, DeKalb must get production from Davis inside.
Prediction time: Who do you have in both games?
Nitz: I think each school will come away with a win. I know the Sycamore girls topped DeKalb the first time they met, but I’m taking the Barbs to come away with a victory and get back in the conference race.
On the boys side, DeKalb dominated this series for a while, but the tide has turned. I’m taking Sycamore to top the Barbs again.
Jacobson: I agree with you in that the schools will split, but I’m going completely opposite. I’m taking the Sycamore girls and the DeKalb boys.
Last year we saw a couple of blowouts, but I don’t think that will be the case in 2014. It should be an exciting night of basketball.