Dixon runs away from DeKalb in second half

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DIXON — Late in the second quarter of Thursday’s nonconference girls basketball game at Lancaster Gym between Dixon and DeKalb, the Barbs had made a run to get within a point of the Duchesses.

But Dixon hit a pair of baskets late in the half, then went on another run in the third quarter to claim a 47-34 win over DeKalb.

Up 19-18 with 1:35 left in the half, Dixon’s Caylyn Kimmel fed Sam Tourtillott in the paint to make it a three-point game. Then, as the clock wound down on the half, Elle Jarrett hit Madelyn Chesley beyond the 3-point line and she got her shot to fall as the buzzer sounded to put the Duchesses up 24-18 at the break.

DeKalb got baskets from Florence Omodayo and Sanaa Finner early in the third quarter to get within four before Dixon launched a 14-2 run.

Dixon (13-3) got a 3-pointer from Abby Guthrie and a layup from Tourtillott to spark the run. During that stretch, the Barbs turned the ball over three times and shot 1 for 9 from the field.

DeKalb got fourth-quarter buckets from Ashley Nelson and Finner, but Dixon started to take the air out of the ball, often taking a minute or more off the clock on its possessions.

DeKalb (10-7) was playing without Amina Gray, who suffered a sprained ankle but should be back in time for the Barbs to resume DuPage Valley Conference play on Tuesday against Neuqua Valley.

“We’re missing one of our more talented guards, who kind of pushes the pace for us,” DeKalb coach Tyler Bantz said. “It’s tough because we were asking some people to try to push the pace who aren’t used to pushing the pace.”

Dixon’s deliberate offensive style resulted in the Duchesses racking up 12 assists on 16 made baskets in the game.

“I just thought we executed a little bit better, played a bit better defensively and our details were a little more solid at that point,” Dixon coach Luke Ravlin said.

Defensively, the Duchesses forced nine turnovers on 44 DeKalb possessions. Guthrie had two steals.

“We did start with our 2-3 [zone] but we found going back into our man that it was working better,” Chesley said. “So we really stuck with that since it was working. That’s what’s good about our team is that we can rely on other defenses and really stick to what we know best, which is man.”

DeKalb had a pair of early 3-pointers from Finner, the first off an assist from Kira Klapprodt on the Barbs’ first possession of the game, the second off an assist from Omodayo later in the first quarter to put the Barbs up 8-6. But DeKalb hit just one other shot from long range the rest of the way, a 3-pointer from Madeline Smith late in the second quarter to cut Dixon’s lead to 19-18.

“We had a little more energy defensively and we were a little more fundamental defensively,” Bantz said. “In the first quarter we were terrible on defense. We were not in the right spots. In the second quarter we were much better and our defense really led to our offense.”

DeKalb tried to turn up some pressure on defense with a full-court press, but Dixon, with a couple of exceptions, was able to break it.

“We needed to be in the right spots. We weren’t,” Bantz said. “They took advantage of it. We didn’t really execute a lot of stuff with our scouting report, which was disappointing.”