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Dixon thwarts Streator’s junk defense

Thinking outside box

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(Alex T. Paschal/apaschal@saukvalley.com)
Dixon's Kacie Dillow eyes the hoop Tuesday during the Duchesses' game against Streator at Lancaster Gym. Dixon won 40-28.

DIXON – The box-and-one couldn't slow Brooke Bailey down. The triangle-and-two did, but it was too late.

The Dixon junior, who recently surpassed 1,000 career points, chewed up Streator's box-and-one defense in the first half. The Bulldogs went to a triangle-and-two in the second half to take Bailey away. They did, but the Duchesses remained in control en route to a 40-28 Northern Illinois Big 12 West win Tuesday at Lancaster Gym.

Bailey scored 15 of her 16 points in the first half, helping Dixon (7-13, 3-3) build a 26-15 halftime advantage.

"I'm getting so used to it, and every game we play better and better against it," said Bailey of the box-and-one. "The box-and-one doesn't bother us when we do everything correctly."

The typical triangle-and-two defense has two defensive players playing man-to-man against two offensive players, with the other three defenders playing a triangle zone. Streator's had two players chasing Bailey.

"It's a compliment to Brooke that both of them were guarding her," Dixon coach Luke Ravlin said.

"If they want to put two players on me, our other players can lead the team in scoring, I don't really care," said Bailey, who also had six rebounds and four steals.

With the Bulldogs (2-16, 0-6) so focused on Bailey, Kacie Dillow turned in a standout performance, scoring 12 points, pulling down 10 rebounds and coming up with seven steals.

"Usually they're more focused on Brooke, so then it's our time to shine," Dillow said, "because they kind of disrespect us and think we're not able to keep up the team. Brooke still gets open and beats it, but the rest of us need to step up."

"Kacie's worked really hard on her game, and you can see the growth," Ravlin said.

Taylor Colby contributed six points, six rebounds and three steals for the Duchesses, who also got Emily Rains back from injury. Rains started every game last season.

Dixon went up by 16 in the second half before enduring a nearly 5-minute drought. Streator could get no closer than 10 down the stretch.

Streator was led by Morgan Sharisky, who scored nine points off the bench.

Star of the game: Brooke Bailey, Dixon, 16 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals

Key performers: Kacie Dillow, Dixon, 12 points, 10 rebounds, 7 steals; Morgan Sharisky, Streator, 9 points

Up next: Dixon at Sterling, 7:30 p.m. Friday

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