SYCAMORE – Yorkville’s defense slowed Sycamore in a physical contest and led by double-digits most of the way before ultimately prevailing Friday 45-33.
“Once again tonight offensively tonight we just really struggled,” Sycamore coach Ryan Picolotti said. “We made a few mistakes defensively, but gave up (45) points. Just offensively we couldn’t put the ball in the basket and had a few too many turnovers.
Sycamore is now 8-14 and 3-6 in the Northern Illinois Big 12.
Cole Yearsley’s sharpshooting in the second quarter helped Yorkville build a large lead against the Spartans, as he capped the first half with a 3-pointer to beat the buzzer and give the Foxes a 28-15 lead at the break.
“He’s really improving. He’s a sophomore that obviously is up,” Yorkville coach Mike Dunn said. “He’s shooting with confidence and we expect that from him. He’s getting better every day as our team is getting better every day.”
As the Foxes struggled to knock down free throws, Sycamore's Grant McConkey and Lukas Overhaug combined to go 6 of 6 from the charity stripe over a stretch late in the third and early into the fourth quarter.
Aiden Klaas and Mason Klaas ended the Foxes’ woes at the free throw line by making two free throws each in a span of a minute, leaving Yorkville (7-16, 3-4 in Northern Illinois Big 12) ahead 42-30 with 2:58 to go in the game.
“Their juniors are very good. This is a big win for us,” Dunn said. “We’ve been struggling a little bit the second part of the year. We’re young. I’m just so proud of our kids being relentless. We’ve went through some struggles and I thought we played very well defensively.”
Mason Klaas and were Brandon Ducoing were the two double-digit scorers for the Foxes with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
By the numbers: Jackson Johnson scored eight points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Sycamore struggled from behind the 3-point arc, shooting 4 of 18. Yorkville outscored Sycamore 21-8 in the second quarter. Overhaug and McConkey each scored nine points, with five of McConkey’s points coming from free throws. Yorkville struggled at the free throw line, going 10 of 21 at the free throw line.
Beyond the stats: Yorkville’s early second-half struggles at the free throw line allowed Sycamore to cut Yorkville’s lead to eight before the Foxes sank five straight free throws.
They said it: “We just have been able to put too many team offensive games together and this was another one where we had a couple guys shoot the ball well, but as a team we just couldn’t make shots,” Sycamore coach Ryan Picolotti said.