DeKalb ends Hampshire's season
The DeKalb boys basketball team helped overcome a shaky third quarter offensively with a standout one on the defensive side, holding Hampshire to seven points en route to a 52-37 win in a Class 4A Hampshire semifinal on Wednesday.
"When you do that, we're good enough normally to get 10-15 points a quarter, so if we can do that we can stretch the lead," DeKalb coach Mike Reynolds said. "I thought our guys stayed engaged defensively."
The Barbs (23-9) managed just nine points in the third but held the Whip-Purs (15-16) to seven points in the frame, just as they had done in the second. Hampshire led 12-11 after one.
"I thought the third quarter, we got what we wanted, we got stops but just could not convert," Hampshire coach Mike Featherly said. "We just couldn't get over that hump. But I'm proud of our guys. They fought hard."
Three of the Barbs points in the third came at the buzzer as Tyler Vilet launched the ball down court to Sean Reynolds, who drained an open 3-pointer - his only points of the game to go with five rebounds.
Mike Reynolds called it a heady play by the two freshmen to push the lead to 37-26 after three.
After Hampshire's Adam Ugochukwu opened the fourth with two of his team-best 16 points, Tyler Westberg answered with a 3 for the Barbs and DeKalb never led by less than 10 again.
"It was kind of indicative of the season. We fought real hard," Featherly said. "But man, we couldn't get a bucket. I thought we got a lot of open looks at 3s, and we were 2-for-a lot. It's unfortunate because I thought we had the looks, we just couldn't knock them down."
Hampshire was 2 for 15 from long range, not hitting the second until the last 3 minutes of the game.
DeKalb had its struggles from the free-throw line, going 13 of 23 - and that was with Lance McVicar hitting five straight in the fourth quarter.
"We were a little choppy at times, but we made enough plays to win the game," Mike Reynolds said. "I think our free-throw shooting will probably be better on night two than it was today. We left a lot of points on the board, but credit them. I thought they played aggressive, I thought they played physical."
McVicar finished with 19 points and seven rebounds, tied with Ugochukwu for a game-high on the boards.
McVicar said the Barbs were focused on trying to get Ugochukwu in foul trouble. He fouled out of the game late in the fourth.
"We really focused on Adam," McVicar said. "Our goal was to get him out of the game, which we did toward the end. That was really just our main focus."
The Barbs will face St. Charles North on Friday for the regional crown after the North Stars knocked off South Elgin in the other semifinal.
"We're back at it Friday and we've got to play our A-game," McVicar said. "You've got to against these two teams."
Featherly said he was proud of the way his team battled not just against DeKalb, but all season after a rough start.
"We played our best basketball at the end," Featherly said. "I'm just proud of the way they kept going. We started out 2-10 and they didn't give up. They kept fighting."