Photo: Drew David beats the defense to the basket in the first quarter against Sycamore on Tuesday. Drew went on to hit a 3-point buzzer-beater to win the game, 43-42. Photo by Patti Wilk
David’s clutch 3 beats rival Sycamore; KHS also downs L-P
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Your boys basketball team is 11-6, 5-1 in the Northern Illinois Big XII setting, and 10-2 in its last 12 contests.
Plays like the one that ended Tuesday’s win over Sycamore in Maple Park provide plenty of looks into why the Knights’ fortunes are turning positive.
With the Knights owning possession with 11.5 seconds remaining and down by two, Drew David eventually got the ball after several touches and sank a three-pointer with under two ticks left in the game.
The clock ran down before Sycamore could manage another play, resulting in a 43-42 win for the host Kaneland crew, which has won five straight.
“It’s a huge win, because they were a team we hadn’t beat yet,” David said. “We were trying to (get it to) Matt (Limbrunner) and try to get an easy layup, because they were switching the whole time, and they covered everything.”
David is used to similar finishes on the court, having helped defeat DeKalb with a late three pointer earlier in the season.
Sycamore enjoyed a 15-13 lead after one and a 28-21 lead after two frames.
Sycamore struck first again in the second half and had a 30-21 lead 31 seconds into the quarter, but two Limbrunner (12 points) buckets closed it to 30-25 with 5:42 remaining. Limbrunner struck again from inside with 3:56 to go to close within 32-27 with 3:56 to go.
Kaneland’s final flurry of the third frame included a David basket, Cole Carlson shot and a Limbrunner attempt off the glass to tie the score at 33 with 1:31 left. A Spartan three with 59.4 remaining to make it 36-33 before the buzzer.
The Spartans took a four-point lead in the fourth, but Limbrunner’s putback of a Tyler Carlson miss with 4:09 left closed it to 40-38, and a later attempt in the paint with 1:11 to go tied the score at 40.
Sycamore hit the front end of a free throw pair with 52.4 left, as well as with 22.5 left to enjoy a brief 42-40 edge before the final sequence.
“I told the boys at halftime that we had to try to get that lead to three going into the fourth and let the chips fall where they may,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said. “I think the boys did a nice job of doing that, and they were fighting and fighting. We had some key guys in foul trouble all night, and I thought some guys stepped up off the bench.”
In Saturday action, the Knights travelled to LaSalle County to face the L-P Cavaliers and left with a 34-32 win.
Only four Knights entered the scoring column, with Limbrunner totalling 14 and John Pruett 12
KHS had a 9-7 lead after one but went scoreless in the second quarter to fall behind 12-9 at the half. The Knights’ 19-10 flurry in the third had them up 28-22 at the horn before the final eight minutes.
The Golden Warriors of Sterling come through town on Saturday, Jan. 26, for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off.