DeKALB – Leading by double-digits throughout the first three quarters, the DeKalb high school girls basketball team seemed to be in control.
And then Sycamore’s Bailey Gilbert started to heat up.
Gilbert scored all of the Spartans’ 21 points in the fourth quarter and closed the gap to three points. The Barbs hit free throws down the stretch and a Jasmine Malloy free throw sealed the deal as DeKalb eked out a 46-42 victory at the NIU Convocation Center.
“I thought we did really well. Everybody contributed,” said Malloy, who finished with 11 points. “I think it was a great win and we just need to keep winning.”
The Barbs (17-7, 6-1) used a 13-1 run in the second quarter to get out to the big lead. DeKalb led by 11 points at halftime and extended that lead to 15 points at 36-21 after three quarters.
“I think that we played two halves. Actually, I think that we played three quarters very well and one quarter not so well,” DeKalb coach Chris Davenport said.
Gilbert started to connect on shots in the fourth quarter. The junior had nine points in the first three quarters and finished the contest with 30 points — including five 3-pointers. The Spartans (14-6, 5-1) made the game close but it was too little too late.
“The first half was absolutely awful. Second was much better. We finally started defending like we are capable of doing,” Spartans coach Brett Goff said. “Bailey got hot, but we can’t wait every game to get hot. We have to have other people step up and that didn’t happen tonight offensively.”
The DeKalb defense forced 16 Spartan turnovers, which was an issue all night for Sycamore. The Spartans had a poor shooting night, only connecting on 11 of 34 shots.
“Our defense has really gotten better since the last time we played Sycamore,” Malloy said. “I don’t think that they were ready for our defense.”
Madelyne Johnson led the Barbs with 15 points and nine rebounds. She said that she was proud to have the trophy back in DeKalb.
“If we would have played a little better, the lead would have been bigger. But, I am proud — a win’s a win,” Johnson said. “I am just proud and excited that we got our trophy back.”
DeKalb plays Morris at home at 2:30 Saturday. The Spartan’s next game is Monday night at Rochelle.