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Local Sports

Barbs, Spartans split games, raise $70,000 at First National Challenge

DeKALB – Students packed in tight under the baskets, an enthusiastic crowd and a lot of money raised for athletics.

It may have had a new name, but it was the same DeKalb-Sycamore doubleheader Friday night at the Northern Illinois University Convocation Center.

The Sycamore girls beat DeKalb, 41-32, in the first game of the First National Challenge – formerly the Castle Challenge – then the DeKalb boys beat Sycamore, 51-33.

The crowd was announced at 4,092.

At halftime, First National Bank Illinois Market President Tim Struthers presented the schools with a combined check for $70,000.

“I’ve been doing this for about 14 years, and every time is a really good feeling,” Struthers said. “The money is a great thing, but the best thing is seeing the pure, wholesome environment of these schools coming together. It’s a very uplifting and rewarding experience.”

In 16 years, the event has raised a total of $980,000 for the two schools.

For coverage of the games, turn to Sports, page B1.

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