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Sports

Pirates can't quite dig out against Barbs

OTTAWA — After tumbling into a double-digit hole in the opening quarter, the Ottawa Pirates dug themselves out enough to see daylight a few times in the second half of their Tuesday night Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference game with visiting DeKalb.

The Pirates were never quite able to get back on even ground with the Barbs, though, drawing as close as three points in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter but no closer in a 56-48 conference loss here at Kingman Gym.

"Yeah, there's no question the start to the game was the difference," said OHS coach Mark Cooper. "They were playing downhill, they were the aggressor, they got to the rim too easily and forced us into too many turnovers in the first quarter.

"We just dug ourselves too deep of a hole. We got it back to three, but you have to expend an awful lot of energy after being down 13 after one."

Joey Owens scored the night's initial points on a bucket 35 seconds in to give Ottawa (13-9 overall, 6-4 NIB 12) an early advantage, but the rest of the first quarter belonged almost entirely to the Barbs (15-11, 10-1). Sophomore guard Isaiah Youngquist scored six points over the opening 75 seconds, and by quarter's end the visitors from up Route 23 held a 20-7 lead.

"We had a terrible practice yesterday," Barbs coach Al Biancalana said, "and we've been on the kids quite a bit for lack of concentration. I thought tonight we came out and we really executed well. I thought our concentration was on-point, we forced some early turnovers, we converted some of those turnovers into baskets, we played with a lot of energy.

"You know, when you play a team like Ottawa here, the tougher-minded team has an excellent chance to win, so we wanted to come out mentally strong, and we did."

DeKalb would wind up needing just about every point of that early advantage. Ottawa — led by a quartet of deep 3s from Wyatt Hill (15 points, three assists) in the middle quarters and a few points every quarter from center Tyler Carson (12 points, seven rebounds) and Myles Tucker (10 points, two steals) — shaved four points off that 13-point deficit in the second quarter, four more in the third and drew to within 37-34 when Noah Gould found a streaking-to-the-hoop Carson for an easy two points 28 seconds into the fourth.

DeKalb quickly countered with a bucket and, paced by Michael Vilet's nine fourth-quarter points and a Matthew Montavon dagger of a 3 with 1:58 remaining, managed to keep a two- to three-possession lead over the final 4:19 of the contest. Vilet finished with 11 points, Youngquist with 14 and point guard Blake Williams with 15 and three assists.

While all three categories were close, DeKalb finished outshooting the Pirates 39.1-37.0 percent, winning the turnover battle 11-13 and outrebounding their hosts 33-27.

"They were able to get a few critical offensive rebound buckets late that really hurt, where we forced misses but weren't able to clean up our defensive board," Cooper said. "But you don't have much margin for error when you trail like we did for most of the game."

At Kingman Gym, Ottawa

DeKalb 56, Ottawa 48

(Key: FG-FGA FT-FTA TP)

DEKALB (56) — B. Williams 4-7 7-10 15, Albert 3-4 2-2 8, Younquist 5-15 2-2 14, Vilet 4-8 3-4 11, Newman 0-2 2-2 2, Montavon 2-5 0-2 6, J. Williams 0-3 0-0 0, Kyler 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 18-46 16-22 56.

OTTAWA (48) — R. Brent 0-1 2-2 2, Tucker 3-10 2-4 10, K. Brent 1-3 0-0 2, Owens 1-1 0-0 2, Carson 6-10 0-0 12, Hill 5-12 1-3 15, Gould 1-6 1-2 3, Evola 0-0 2-2 2, Dougherty 0-0 0-0 0, Stevenson 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 17-46 8-13 48.

DeKalb (15-11, 10-1) 20  8  9 19 — 56

Ottawa (13-9, 6-4)  7 12 13 16 — 48

3-point goals — DeKalb 4-16 (Montavon 2-4, Youngquist 2-7, B. Williams 0-1, Vilet 0-1, Kyler 0-1, J. Williams 0-2); Ottawa 6-19 (Hill 4-7, Tucker 2-7, K. Brent 0-1, Gould 0-1, Stevenson 0-3). Rebounds — DeKalb 33 (Newman 9, Vilet 6); Ottawa 27 (Carson 7). Assists — DeKalb 10 (B. Williams 3); Ottawa 9 (Hill 3). Steals — DeKalb 7 (Albert 2, Kyler 2); Ottawa 6 (Tucker 2). Blocked shots — DeKalb 2 (Vilet, Montavon); Ottawa 1 (K. Brent 1). Turnovers — DeKalb 11; Ottawa 13. Total fouls (none fouled out) — DeKalb 14; Ottawa 20.

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