BUTLER — Make the opponent do something they don’t want to do.
That was DeKalb’s task in Saturday’s game with Eastside at Butler.
The Barons (8-10), winners of three of their last four, didn’t give the Blazers the looks they wanted in a 55-38 win.
Eastside (13-6) trailed by 12 points midway through the fourth, but couldn’t capitalize when DeKalb went scoreless on four straight possessions.
The hosts got threes from Gabe Trevino and Hugh Henderson, the latter coming with 1 minute, 43 seconds left, cutting the deficit to nine.
Immediately after, however, DeKalb’s Cole Richmond and Eastside’s Owen Willard got tangled up. Willard was called for a foul, plus two technical fouls, resulting in his ejection.
Richmond sank six straight free throws — four on the technicals and two on the foul — and later scored from the field to provide the final margin.
“Last night (against Angola), our inability to shoot the basketball didn’t impact us on defense, didn’t impact our game plan or our composure,” Eastside coach Ryan Abbott said.
“Unfortunately, it kind of got to us with a little boil over tonight — not just one player, probably the coaching staff. We’ve got to take responsibility for that and the players have to take responsibility for that,” he said.
“It’s a really good lesson to harden us this time of the year. We’ll learn from it.”
“Our defense did a good job of making them shoot shots that we wanted them to take,” DeKalb coach Rod Cone said. “The first half, their screen-and-roll action, (Eastside) got some penetration, but we shored that up.
“We’re getting better,” he added. “We’ve had some tough losses that have made us grow up pretty quick. From those tough losses, we’ve gotten better, and we’re playing pretty well at the right time of the year.”
Richmond led DeKalb with 18 points. Nolan Nack had 11 points, Connor Penrod added 10 and Alex Leslie had nine, a steal and score from Santino Brewer and a three from Trevino early in the third, cutting the deficit to four, 36-32, with 5:37 left.
While both teams had chances, there would be no scoring until Richmond’s three with 3:16 left. After an Eastside miss, Nack scored inside, and Hickman added a free throw with a minute remaining for a 42-32 lead.
Trevino led Eastside with 18 points. Brewer had eight and Willard added seven.
Eastside visits Garrett Monday. DeKalb hosts Lakeland Wednesday.
DeKalb JV 49,
Bryce Dobson had nine points while William Siegel and Parker Smith had eight each to lead DeKalb. Kyle Yoder led Eastside with 19 points.