DeKALB Huntley got off to a quick start against DeKalb, but couldn't maintain the momentum. The Red Raiders gave up too many easy baskets and didn't take advantage of enough of their own opportunities in a 55-40 loss to the Barbs in the championship game of the Class 4A DeKalb regional Thursday night.
The top-seeded Barbs (26-4) had some early jitters as Huntley took a 7-0 lead. But DeKalb quickly righted the ship and wound up with a 7-point halftime lead.
Samantha Andrews and Haley Ream scored 14 points apiece for Huntley. Courtney Patrick led all scorers with 16 for DeKalb.
DeKalb advances to play Hononegah (30-1) at the McHenry sectional Monday while Huntley finishes the season 13-15.
"I thought we started out the game extremely well on both ends," said Huntley coach Steve Raethz. "It's disappointing that we weren't able to carry that through. I thought we played hard tonight, I just think that there were times when we didn't execute as well as we would like on both ends."
An 18-6 run by DeKalb bridging the second and third quarters put the Barbs up by double digits at 32-21. But Huntley never let the host team pull away. A basket by Ream made it 45-36 with 3:48 left. But the Barbs answered with a transition layup by Emily Bemis and a 3-pointer by Taylor White.
"Tonight our goal was to start fast and finish fast," said DeKalb coach Ben Bates. "Obviously, we were at turtle speed coming out of the gate, but we finished like a rabbit."
The Barbs, whose roster includes 3 players listed at 6-foot-1 or taller, proved surprisingly agile at pushing the ball up on offense and pressuring the Raiders on defense. The transition baskets helped the Barbs shoot 52 percent for the game.
It didn't help the Raiders that starting guard Kayla Linthicum went out with a knee injury in the first quarter and didn't return. Several players, including Amanda Kaniewski and Kristiana Stolzman, helped pick up the slack, but the Raiders couldn't quite match the Barbs' size and speed.
Abbey Shaw added 5 points for Huntley, all from the free-throw line. Ream also had 6 rebounds.