SYCAMORE – With more than 2,100 points in her career, 19.8 points per game this year and a commitment to Iowa State among her accomplishment, Dixon coach Luke Ravlin said slowing down Kylie Feuerbach was a top priority for Dixon in its matchup with Sycamore in the Class 3A Sycamore Regional championship game on Thursday.
And while the Duchesses went more than a quarter and a half without allowing Feuerbach to score, Sycamore was still able to build a 15-point lead in that stretch in a 68-36 win.
"She doesn't have 2,000 points by accident," Ravlin said. "She's really good. We were able to do a few things early then she got on track and there wasn't anything much we could do about it after that."
Faith Klemm scored Sycamore's first eight points and hit three 3-pointer in the first 10:20 of the game. Faith Feuerbach and Ella Shipley also hit 3-pointers before Kylie Feuerbach's first bucket, a layup with 3:43 left that put Sycamore ahead, 25-9, and kicked off a 9-0 run – seven of those points scored by Kylie Feuerbach.
"It was so fun. I didn't think they were going to go in, to be honest," Klemm said with a laugh. "But I was just on fire. It's a great feeling. ... Once you start making one or two you start getting more self-confidence. So it was nice."
Kylie Feuerbach eventually found her shot, scoring 23 points to go with nine rebounds, five steals and two assists despite not playing the fourth quarter.
"In order to keep her in check, you're going to give away some other things," Ravlin said. "Kudos to those other kids for making us pay. There wasn't a way to stop both and they took advantage of that."
Klemm didn't score after the second quarter and finished with 11 points.The Spartans (26-6) were on fire from long distance throughout the game. Faith Feuerbach missed her first three 3-pointers but made her last four attempts. As a team, they were 13 of 21 from long range.
Ravlin said the 3s, mixed with Feuerbach eventually heating up, were costly for Dixon (26-6).
"Once we slowed down on our rotations there was a little more room for her to work," Ravlin said. "I think it also helped their cause that they hit like 100 3s. So that was that."
Sycamore coach Adam Wickness said the win was a complete team effort.
"I think it's a testament to the people around her," Wickness said. "We have a really good team and it's not just about one player. It's about all of them. They can all step up and do different things. And you saw that on full display tonight."
Ravlin said he was happy with the way the year finished for the Duchesses.
"I'm so proud of this group of girls," Ravlin said. "I'm so thankful for the support we've gotten from our community and administration. It's a fantastic group of kids I'm blessed to coach."
By the numbers: Sam Tourtillott scored 19 for the Duchesses. Abby Guthrie had a team-best four rebounds. Shipley had 10 points and five rebounds for the Spartans while Faith Feuerbach scored 14 points. Sycamore snapped Dixon's 10-game winning streak while running its win streak to 17 games. The Spartans haven't lost in this calendar year.
Beyond the stats: Before the game, the 3-point contest was held with all four advancers coming from these two teams. Faith Feuerbach, Kylie Feuerbach and Arianna Galto made it for Sycamore and Elle Jarrett advanced for Dixon.
They said it: "We didn't play our best game tonight," Ravlin said. "Kudos to Sycamore. They played really, really well. That's a team that knows who they are and what they need to do. So congratulations to them."
Up next: The Spartans will face Burlington Central in the semifnal round of the Class 3A Hampshire Sectional at 6 p.m. Tuesday.