Kyle Baskin dominated most of the game, including a run in the fourth quarter to get Naperville Central back into the game, but the DeKalb boys basketball team did enough offensively – including four 3-pointers by Tyler Westberg in four minutes – to hold off the Redhawks, 66-62.
The Barbs (9-0 overall, 3-0 DuPage Valley Conference) built the lead to 54-42 early in the fourth, but the Redhawks (1-4, 1-3) scored the next eight, six by Baskin.
Baskin converted a three-point play in the final 70 seconds – capping his 24-point night – to get the Redhawks to within 59-57. But Jamarcus Winters answered with a couple of free throws to push the lead to four, Aiden Kramer was called for a travel trying to navigate around Lance McVicar, and the Barbs converted their free throws down the stretch.
“Baskin controlled the game for a lot of it, at least 2 1/2 quarters there,” DeKalb coach Mike Reynolds said. “We didn’t have an answer for him. He was able to drive to the rim and score, and not only did he score, he was able to get other guys open. That’s uncharacteristic of us to let one guy go off. That happened a little the last two games, so that’s something we need to work on.”
The Redhawks were coming off a 57-49 loss to Naperville North, and coach Pete Kramer said he thought his team improved between the two contests.
“Our effort and intensity were a lot better than the other night against Naper North,” Kramer said. “If we played the other night like we played tonight, the result would have been different.”
There were three ties and eight lead changes in the first 11 minutes of the game, but the Barbs took the lead for good on a 3-pointer by Trenton Kyler with 5:12 left in the second quarter. The Redhawks cut it to 29-28 early in the third, but Westberg made back-to-back 3s to push the lead to seven.
Westberg drains the first of two straight 3s pic.twitter.com/dvYfDajBq5— Edward Carifio (@DDCEddieCarifio) February 20, 2021
“They hit some shots, and some tough shots,” Kramer said. “I mean what do you do? It’s a credit to them. They’re a very, very quick team, and you’ve got to spring back and make them earn everything they get.”
Westberg hit two more 3s during a scoring barrage for both teams, and the lead reached 10 in the third quarter for DeKalb.
Westberg finished with 12 points.
Naperville Central forces a turnover. You can see how open Westberg still is in the corner even after 4 3s this q. pic.twitter.com/5e2loZHVnw— Edward Carifio (@DDCEddieCarifio) February 20, 2021
“Westberg, after not playing well in the first half, came back with those four 3s,” Reynolds said. “Those were big for us in the third quarter there and we were able to stretch the lead out. That’s what he provides for us. A lot of hustle plays and some open shots.”
The cushion helped the Barbs withstand the run by Baskin and the Redhawks late.
“Unfortunately he got comfortable early,” Reynolds said. “When a guy gets comfortable early and he’s good, he’s able to hit shots he wouldn’t normally hit. So he hit some and he was able to get downhill on us. We did have an answer for him.”
Jopes streaks for a Naperville Central bucket pic.twitter.com/WRCVXkL5n1— Edward Carifio (@DDCEddieCarifio) February 20, 2021
By the numbers: Kyler led the Barbs with 18 points. McVicar added 12 and Kaleb Dixson 10. Jonah Hilton had 11 for the Redhawks, James Jopes had 10 and Kramer 9. The DeKalb bench outscored the Naperville Central bench 10-1.
Dixson with a steal and Mcvicar feeds him down the other end pic.twitter.com/zlE8OjldoC— Edward Carifio (@DDCEddieCarifio) February 20, 2021
Beyond the stats: After the Kramer foul with less than 50 seconds left, Kyler took the ball and dribbled around the Redhawks, who weren’t trying to foul him after he had made six straight free throws in the game, four down the stretch.
They said it: “After he made his four free throws again, they didn’t want to foul him again,” Reynolds said. “He’s really, really good. So if you’re not going to foul him, not play aggressive, he’s going to be able to wheel around. And we didn’t have any timeouts left, but we did have the possession arrow, which is like a timeout. So he was able to get 20 seconds off, he flipped it to Martez Jackson, and we kept it moving. Got it down from 50 seconds to 22. Which is a good thing.”
Up next: The Barbs host Neuqua Valley on Tuesday.