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Elburn youth wins State bowling title

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ELBURN—Mabel Cummins, an eighth-grader at Kaneland Harter Middle School, finished in first place in the Illinois State Elementary School Association bowling tournament Saturday at Town and Country Lanes in Joliet, Ill.

Mabel‘s 10-game (scratch) total of 2,121 pins across the two-day event outpaced second place by 200 pins and helped her gain the highest overall score among all boys and girls in the competition.

Her per-game average of 212 set a new Illinois state record in the girls division, as did her high three-game series of 714.

Mabel started bowling at the age of 4, and the many years of practice helped her achieve national recognition last year with a win in the U.S.B.C. Youth Open National Championship and three gold medals in the AAU Junior Olympics. Mabel credits her success to great coaches and generous support from the owners of local bowling centers like Funway Entertainment and Yorkville Bowl, who make it possible for young strikers to compete in local tournaments and earn college scholarships.

Final uptick

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Head coach Jim McKnight (from left), senior Sectional qualifier Dominique Lee and assistant coach Beth Trafton prepared for Saturday’s Sectional at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb Tuesday. 			                Photo by Tiffany Kufer
Head coach Jim McKnight (from left), senior Sectional qualifier Dominique Lee and assistant coach Beth Trafton prepared for Saturday’s Sectional at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb Tuesday. 			                Photo by Tiffany Kufer
Head coach Jim McKnight (from left), senior Sectional qualifier Dominique Lee and assistant coach Beth Trafton prepared for Saturday’s Sectional at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb Tuesday. Photo by Tiffany Kufer

Knights close out regular season with win, Lee All-Conference and Sectional qualifier
KANELAND—After a rough stretch plagued the Knights bowling team in 2015, the girls closed out the regular season on a positive note, defeating visiting Sterling 2,419-2,321 on Feb. 4.

The Knights’ busy week continued after the win over the Warriors, as the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference tournament Feb. 5 saw the Knights place seventh out of nine teams, and the Regional tournament Saturday, where they again placed seventh, but this time out of 12 teams.

KHS ended the 2014-15 season with a dual record of 5-9, but were 4-2 as recently as Jan. 6.

On the Feb. 4 make-up game, rescheduled due to snow, the Knights got going early against Sterling but needed a strong third game to put SHS away. The first game saw the Knights jump out to a 895-746 lead, with Dominique Lee leading the charge with a 211 and Melissa Endrenal with a 156. Sterling took the second game 809-725 to close the pin gap on the Knights. Grace Lindgren’s 152 and Lee’s 139 led the Knights. The third game saw Kaneland roll a 799 to Sterling’s 766 to clinch the win. Lee’s 160, Katie Hill’s 148 and Endrenal’s 144 were tops for the Knights in the third game. Lee ended with a 510 series, while Lindgren and Endrenal both finished with a 392, Hill a 385, Anu Kadampelil a 376 and Allison Kadampelil a 364.

At the conference tournament, the Knights opened strong, but couldn’t match the first game’s totals. Lee still had a strong day, earning All-Conference honors as a senior.

“We started the day with a nice team game of 919, which included Dominique’s high game of 247. That game turned out to be the highest game the team and Dominique had the entire day,” head coach Jim McKnight said. “Dominique finished the morning round with a 607 series, which is the highest on the team so far this year. She was also named to the NIB-12 All-Conference team for the season, based on her performances during the season and at the Conference tournament.”

Morris took the team crown, with Sycamore, Rochelle, LaSalle-Peru and Yorkville rounding out the top five teams.

At the Regional, Lee was the only individual qualifier to advance to the Guilford Sectional this Saturday, behind a 1,077 two-round total. Lee rolled games of 200, 183 and 145 (528 series) in the morning session, and clinched her Sectional berth with an afternoon that consisted of 173, 167 and 209 games (549 series). The Knights’ other high series at the Regional were Hill’s 817 and Endrenal’s 771.

“Dominique will be part of a very talented field at the Guilford Sectional in Rockford. Based on past experience, it will likely take an average of over 200 per game to qualify individually for the State Finals the following weekend,” McKnight said. “Dominique is capable of doing that, but it will require consistently high scores, staying out of split trouble, and avoiding a disastrous game or two.”

McKnight expressed how proud he was of Lee as she continues her path through the State series.

“Regardless of what happens, she has proven herself time after time this season. Her great performance at the Regional tournament is a testament to her talent and determination,” he said. “We are very proud to have her represent Kaneland High School, and we wish her all the best.”

Lee heads to Don Carter Lanes in Rockford, Ill., on Saturday, with the first round of the Sectional beginning at 1 p.m.

Tough stretch

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Photo: Senior Allison Kadampelil rolled a 108 high-game on her way to a 312 series against IMSA Jan. 29. Photo by Tiffany Kufer

Bowlers aim to right the ship before Saturday’s Regionals
KANELAND—A trip to a historic locale aside, an unkind recent history repeated itself for the Knights bowling team.

After opening 2015 with a win over Huntley, the Knights have lost seven straight to fall to 4-9 on the season.

Jan. 29 saw the Knights lose by just two pins to the host Titans at St. John’s Lanes. The eight lanes at St. John’s Lanes in Aurora—home of IMSA’s bowling squad—date back to 1951, and feature all the original wood and above-ground ball returns.

“It’s rather different from all the other places we bowl, and it’s challenging, as well,” Knights coach Jim McKnight said.

After winning the first game 725-674, the Knights lost the final two games 692-652 and 656-633.

Senior Dominique Lee continued her strong season with a 425 series (146 high game), and fellow senior Katie Hill was close behind with a 412 series (143 high game). Grace Lindgren rolled a 385 series (146 high game).

“All our scores were on the low side, but lack of intensity and failure to convert many easy spares sealed our fate,” McKnight said. “It’s tough to lose by just a few pins, but we couldn’t make the right adjustments to just roll the ball consistently.”

On Tuesday, Lee had a 235 game to lead off the day, but the Knights couldn’t rally behind her and fell to host Ottawa 2,832 to 2,362. Lee finished with a 585 series—tops for both teams—while Hill finished with a 407 series (181 high game). Anu Kadampelil (362, 123), Melissa Endrenal (347, 133), Allison Kadampelil (345, 118) and Lindgren (316, 108) rounded out the Knight scoring.

The Knights continued a busy week by hosting a make-up match with Sterling Wednesday, and then travel to Streator for the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference Tournament Thursday, starting at noon (both results unavailable prior to press time). Against Sterling, Kaneland righted the ship, winning 2,419 to 2,321 over the visiting warriors. Lee led all bowlers with a 510 series (210 high game).

With the Regional Tournament looming this Saturday at Poplar Creek Bowl in Hoffman Estates, Ill. McKnight knows his bowlers will need to make adjustments from their recent play if they want to advance.

“We’ll have to do better by Saturday at the Regional Tournament,” he said.

Feb. 5 sports recap

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Don’t see your results in the Elburn Herald? Have your coach fax them to (630) 365-2251 or email them to

Soph Boys Basketball
Jan. 29 vs. Morris—The Knights won 40-39 over the visiting Redskins. Jack Marshall led the team with 12 points, while Jake Hed was right behind with 11. Brock Harner, Dan Franck and Garrett Hukle each had four points.

Soph Girls Basketball
Jan. 27 vs. Sycamore—The Knights had Sycamore nipping at their heels all game, but kept them at bay, winning 32-25. Kristen Siebert led the team with 10 points, while Sydney Davison and Carley Elliott each had seven. Jamie Martens had five points and nine rebounds.
Jan. 29 vs. Morris—KHS burst out to a 10-0 lead before Morris closed to within four points. A strong second half helped the Knights win 36-24. Siebert again led the team with 15 points, while Davidson supplied seven. Addie Ringel had six points and six rebounds.

Girls JV Bowling
Feb. 3 @ Ottawa—The Pirates defeated KHS 1,855-1,748 Tuesday. Amber Spaetzel led the squad with a 378 series (159 high game), while Natalie Barnhart was next with a 351 series (137 high game). Marissa Michi supplied a 315 (119 high game).

Jan. 29 sports recap

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Don’t see your results in the Elburn Herald? Have your coach email them to or fax them to (630) 365-2251.

Boys Basketball

Jan. 10 @ LaSalle-Peru—The sophomore Knights lost 47-36 to LaSalle-Peru. Jake Hed and Garrett Hukle each had nine points, while Josh Pollastrini had six.
Jan. 16 vs. Yorkville—The visiting Foxes won 36-28. Jack Marshall, Hed and Hukle each supplied five points.
Jan. 24 @ Rochelle—The Knights earned a 70-67 overtime win at Rochelle. Brock Harner had 23 points (three treys, and four-of-six from the free throw line) and Hukle had 20 (eight-of-12 free throws). Hed went five-of-seven from the free throw line on his way to 11 points.

Girls Basketball

Jan. 20 vs. Geneseo—The sophomore Knights held off Geneseo 27-26, avenging an earlier-season loss to the Leafs. A 14-7 second quarter propelled KHS, which was led by Kristen Siebert’s 15 points and Addie Ringel’s eight.
Jan. 22 @ IMSA—Kaneland easily dispatched IMSA 28-7. Sydney Davidson led all scorers with nine points. Ringel supplied eight rebounds.
Jan. 24 @ Rochelle—Down 17-8 entering the fourth quarter, the Knights used a 16-2 fourth quarter run to win at Rochelle 24-19. Siebert and Jenna Harvell helped the cause by shooting 11-for-16 from the free throw line to secure the win.
Date vs/@ opponent—recap

Girls Basketball

Jan. 21 vs. Plano—The Knights used a 18-7 run in the second quarter to outpace the visitng Lady Reapers, winning 48-30. Faith Cowsert led the team with 14 points, and Katrina Van Horn had 13. Shayna Hurston had eight points, while Ivory Diaz and Logan Guerra each had four.
Jan. 24 @ Rochelle—The freshman girls won a close one at Rochelle, 35-32. Abigail Taylor led the way with 14 points, while Van Horn had nine and Hurston had seven.

JV Bowling

Jan. 22 vs. Lisle—The JV squad lost to visiting Lisle 2,197-1,727. Marissa Michi led the team with a 341 series (133 high game), and Natalie Barnhart was close behind with a 335 series (126 high game).

Bowlers struggle to find rhythm

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Laura Gampfer Girls Bowling Jan 22, 2015-7

Photo: Junior Melissa Endrenal (left) high-fives senior Allison Kadampelil before taking on Lisle Jan. 22. Photo by Laura Gampfer

Lions spoil senior night for Knights at Mardi Gras
KANELAND—A festive mood was dampened by a senior night loss to visiting Lisle Jan. 22 at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb.

With seniors donning golden crowns, coach Jim McKnight’s crew put up a heroic battle, but just couldn’t hold on late against the visiting Lions.

“We have a great but friendly rivalry with Lisle, and both teams tend to be quite sociable and good sports in both winning and losing,” McKnight said.

KHS lost the first game to Lisle by only 50 pins, and bounced back to win the second game by 70 to take the lead in the series behind Grace Lindgren’s 189 game. However, things took a turn for the worst as Lisle pulled away to win by 77 points.

“Unfortunately, we really fell apart the third game, when our highest score was only a 134,” McKnight said. “You can’t win games with scores like that.”

Lindgren led the Knights with a 467 series, while seniors Katie Hill (439), Dominque Lee (413) and Allison Kadampelil (382) rolled on their special night. Juniors Anu Kadampelil (382) and Melissa Endrenal (391) were also in the varsity lineup.

On Tuesday, the Knights fell to a very competitive Morris team 3,497-2,323. Hill’s 493 series was tops for the Knights, followed closely by Lee’s 470. Lee and Hill also tied at 184 for their respective high games.

McKnight’s crew has three regular-season duals to go before the Northern Illinois Big XII conference Tournament is held in Streator Feb. 5. The longtime coach knows you just have to go with the ebb and flow of a season.

“We certainly would like to have seen things go the other way, but that will have to wait until next time,” McKnight said. “Our focus will now be on the rapidly-approaching end of the season and the State Series.”

The bowlers Thursday will travel to St. Paul Lanes in Aurora to take on the IMSA Titans at 4 p.m.

Rowe qualifies for boys bowling sectional

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Photo: Kaneland sophomore Tyler Rowe became the first boys bowling Sectional qualifier for Kaneland High School. Photo by Mary Paulson

HOFFMAN ESTATES, ILL.—Since the start of the boys bowling season in October, the Kaneland High School boys bowling club had only one date circled on its calendar—Saturday, Jan. 17.

That was the date of the IHSA Regional Bowling Championships, and the club’s only scheduled tournament for the 2014-15 season. Held at Poplar Creek Bowl in Hoffman Estates, Ill., it was one of 16 regional tournaments held statewide last weekend. There, Kaneland sophomore Tyler Rowe became the first male Kaneland bowler to advance to the Sectional tournament, which will be held at Lakeside Lanes in Mundelein, Ill., on Saturday, Jan 24.

The boys bowling club was created during the 2013-14 school year by KHS Assistant Principal Mike Rice, in response to student interest that was largely orchestrated by Rowe.

This season, Rice asked new faculty member Zac Fitzenreider to help him coach the bowlers. The club’s members bowl at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb, and include Omar Aguilar, Jordan Bock, River Dunne, Jarod and Justin Erlandson, Kyle Fugger, Caleb Her, Zach Justus, Axel Larsen, Blaine Rivas, Rowe and Caden Sheehan. Among them, only Rowe and Sheehan have competitive bowling experience, and both competed in the regional last weekend. The rest of the club’s members are just learning the game at this point.

Boys bowling was introduced as an IHSA fall/winter sport in 2003. Last year, there were 210 schools statewide that fielded varsity teams, and they compete in a single-class state tournament. Although boys bowling isn’t a varsity team sport at Kaneland, it is a school-sponsored club, so its members are allowed to compete as individuals in the IHSA Tournament.

From the Regional, the top-four teams advanced to the Sectional tournament this Saturday, as well as the top-10 individual scorers from non-advancing teams. Rowe placed ninth in the field of 49 bowlers who competed to advance to the sectional as individuals, with a five-game total of 1,074 pins. His high game of 277 was a lifetime best.

Rowe has only been bowling for three years, but he is passionate about the sport and bowls as many as 30 games a week. He competes in the Illinois Youth Leaders Tournament Series year-round, and has improved his average score of 146 from last year to 170 this season.

“This game is not all about strikes,” Rowe said. “It’s all about picking up spares. If I had picked up all my spares at the Regional, I would have bowled 150 points higher.”

The extra 150 pins would have moved Rowe up to third place in the individual standings.

Rowe’s goal for the Sectional tournament this weekend is to increase his spares percentage. From the Sectional, the top six teams, and the top seven individuals from non-advancing teams, will qualify for the 2015 Boys State Bowling Tournament, which will take place Jan. 30-31 at St. Clair Bowl in O’Fallon, Ill.

Fitzenreider was asked if there is any hope that boys bowling might eventually become a boys’ varsity sport at Kaneland.

“I couldn’t really speak to that. While some of the boys would certainly like that, there is a lot of progress the program would need to make for that to occur,” he said. “Should we achieve that, at some point we’d most likely host events at Mardi Gras Lanes along with the Kaneland girl’s bowling team.

“Right now, however, our focus is on building interest in the game among the boys and improving the skill levels of our club members.”

Bowlers fall to .500 on season

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Senior night Thursday in DeKalb
KANELAND—A pair of losses dropped the varsity girls bowling squad to a 4-4 record.

On Jan. 15 vs. visiting Rochelle, Dominique Lee rolled a 465 series and a 175 high game, but the Knights lost in convincing fashion 2,807-2,272. Melissa Endreanal had a 383 series (134 high game) and Anu Kadampelil had a 378 series (138). Grace Lindgren (358, 135), Katie Hill (356, 132) and Allison Kadampelil (332, 120) also bowled on the varsity lanes.

On Tuesday in Sycamore, it was more of the same, as KHS lost 3,039 to 2,176 to the Lady Spartans. Lee (461, 168) led the way, and Hill (416, 160) had a solid night as well. Rounding out the Knights were Anu Kadampelil (358, 137), Lindgren (338, 133), Allison Kadampelil (303, 117) and Endrenal (300, 132).

Up next for the Knights is senior night Thursday against Lisle at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb. The action will start at 4 p.m.

Photo: Grace Lindgren Photo by Mary Paulson

Jan. 22 sports recap

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Girls Freshman Basketball
Jan. 14 vs. Sycamore—The Knights lost to the Lady Spartans 25-19. After leading by five after the first quarter, Sycamore led 15-14 heading into the half. SHS outscored the Knights 4-0 in the third and 6-5 in the fourth to seal the win. Addie Ringel led the Knights with 11 points, and Katrina Van Horn had six points. The freshman girls are 9-8 overall, and 4-3 in Northern Illinois Big XII play.

Girls Soph Basketball
Dec. 20 vs. Streator—The Knights opened the Ottawa Christmas Tournament with a 30-27 win over the Bulldogs. Jenna Harvell led the team with 11 points, and went 3-4 from behind the three-point arc.
Dec. 20 vs. LaSalle-Peru—In their second game of the day, the sophomores dispatched L-P 43-29. Harvell and Carley Elliott each had 11 points, while both Kristen Siebert and Addie Ringel had seven. Elliott and Ringel each had five rebounds.
Dec. 22 vs. Geneseo—The Knights lost a two-overtime game to the Leafs 32-31. Elliott led the team with 13. A hail mary shot by Geneseo forced the initial extra frame.
Dec. 23 vs. Ottawa—The Knights played host Ottawa for third place, losing 37-36. Ottawa hit a basket with just two seconds left to seal the win. Jamie Martens led KHS with eight points, while Sydney Davidson had seven, and Elliott, Sieber and Ringel each had six.
Jan. 6 vs. Rosary—Rosary was able to escape KHS with a 25-21 victory, thanks to a 10-6 fourth quarter. Siebert led the Knights with 14 points.
Jan. 10 @ LaSalle-Peru—Kaneland got back in the win column with a 31-22 win over the Cavaliers. Siebert had 13 points and eight rebounds and Harvell had 12 points. The Knights held L-P scoreless in the fourth quarter while scoring 16 points of their own (11 from Siebert).
Jan. 16 vs. Yorkville—The Lady Foxes upended the Knights 44-39. After allowing 17 first-quarter points, the Knights closed within one at the end of the third quarter. YHS was a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line to end the game. Siebert led Kaneland with 15 points, while Elliott had 10, Harvell had nine and Davidson had four.
Jan. 17 @ Aurora Christian—The Knights led 23-5 at halftime and saw 11 different girls score in their 43-19 win over the Eagles. Elliott and Harvell led the team with seven points, and Siebert and Lauren Maki each supplied six.

Girls JV Bowling
Jan. 14 vs. Rochelle—The JV Knights defeated the Hubs 1,843-1,783. Ally McPhee led the team with a 353 (131 high game), while Vanessa Guzman rolled a 351 (146) and Natalie Barnhart had a 336 (125). Also bowling was Marissa Michi (295, 101) and Lindsay Skoney (289, 100).
Jan. 20 vs. Sycamore—The JV squad lost 3,082-2,186. Barnhart led the team with a 373 series and 161 high game. Michi (365, 148), Spaetzel (325, 128) and McPhee (267, 114) also bowled for the Knights.

Don’t see your results in the Elburn Herald? Have your coach email them to or fax them to (630) 365-2251.

Jan. 15 sports recap

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Boys Soph. Basketball
Jan. 9 vs. DeKalb—Down by two with seconds left, Jake Hed hit a go-ahead three-pointer for the win against the Barbs 54-52. Hed led the team with 21 points, and ended with four three-pointers. Neil Glazier finished with 13 points, while Jack Marshall and Brock Harner each had eight.

Girls Fresh. Basketball
Jan. 10 vs. Sterling—The Knights won 28-22. Shayna Hurston and Cierra Kuipers each had nine points, while Logan Guerra had four.
Jan. 12 @ Morris—The Knights lost 40-12. Hurston had four points. The freshman team sits at 9-7, 4-2 in conference play.

Girls JV Bowling
Jan. 12 vs. LaSalle-Peru—LaSalle-Peru defeated the Knights 2,062-1,727. Natalie Barnhart led the team with a 368 series, while Vanessa Guzman rolled a 336. Also bowling was Amber Spaetzel (299), Marissa Michi (284), Ally McPhee (233) and Lindsay Skoney (207). Barnhart’s 128 was the high game.

Kaneland bowling falls to Cavaliers

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DEKALB—Dominique Lee bowled a 529 series, but in the end, LaSalle-Peru (L-P) outdistanced the Knights 2,852-2,464 Monday.

The Knights bowled a collective 923 in game one against the Cavaliers—including a 205 from Lee—but saw their totals fall to 739 and 802 in games two and three, respectively. L-P, paced by Gabbi McCabe’s 551 series and a 519 by Tiara Gelgin, scored 986, 957 and 909 to win the three games outright.

“Our team score of 923 (in game one) was our highest of the season, so that was a nice accomplishment,” coach Jim McKnight said. “We struggled through game two, but came back better in game three.”

The loss saw KHS fall to a 4-3 record on the season.

In addition to Lee, Kaneland saw contributions from senior Katie Hill (416 series, 156 high game), Melissa Enrenal (408 series, 169 high game), Grace Lindgren (407 series, 142 high game), Allison Kadampelil (391 series, 152 high game) and Anu Kadampelil (313 series, 113 high game).

The bowlers took on Rochelle Wednesday evening, with results unavailable as of press time.with Rochelle defeating the Knights 2,807 to 2,272. Lee led with a high series of 465 and a high game of 175.

“We still have a lot of bowling left this season, and some very tough matches coming up,” McKnight said. “We hope we can overcome all the days off, semester exams and schedule changes and do well in the State series.”

Sweet revenge

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Photo: Varsity Anu Kadanpelil lines up her approach as she prepares to bowl in game two. Photo by Mary Paulson

Knight bowlers earn home win over Huntley, making up for earlier loss
KANELAND—Much like 2014, losing to Huntley is officially old news for Kaneland High School bowling.

On Tuesday, at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb, the host Knights made up for a loss back on Dec. 18 to the Red Raiders of Huntley, with a close 2,521-2,461 victory. KHS sits at 4-2 after the first dual of the 2015 slate.

Leading the Kaneland charge were Dominique Lee with a 496 series, Grace Lindgren with a 481 series and Katie Hill with a 463. Lee also contributed the high team game with a 202.

Kaneland will see what the IMSA Invite is made of on Saturday, Jan. 10.

Jan. 8 sports recap

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Boys Sophomore Basketball
@ Plano Christmas Classic
Dec. 22 vs. Plano—A strong second quarter by tourney-host Plano doomed the Knights to a 46-42 loss in their opening game of the Plano Christmas Classic. The Knights led 17-14 after the first quarter, but the Reapers put together a 19-9 second frame to close out the first half. Josh Pollastrini had a team-high 16 points and Garrett Hukle had 10 for the Knights. Brock Harner had six points, while Jack Marshall and Jake Hed each supplied five.
Dec. 23 vs. Kankakee—Kankakee used a strong fourth quarter—outscoring KHS 12-4—to force overtime, and went on to earn a narrow 45-44 win over the Knights. Harner led the team with 15 points, and also went 4-4 from the free throw line. Pollastrini and Hukle each had eight points, while Hed had five and Marshall converted all four of his free three attempts to finish with four points.
Dec. 29 vs. St. Bede—Offense was tough to come by against St. Bede, as the Knights fell 38-34 to finish 0-3 at the tournament. In their second-straight game featuring OT, the sophomore squad was outscored 13-9 in the extra frame. Harner led the team with 10 points, with Pollastrini close behind with nine. Neil Glazier went three-for-three from the free throw line and ended with seven points, while Luke Calabrese had four points and Brett Glennon had three. The sophomores sit at 6-5 overall and 2-0 in NIB-12 play.

Girls JV Bowling
Jan. 6 vs. Huntley—Huntley edged the JV Knights 1,602-1,574 Tuesday. Vanessa Guzman led KHS with a 294 series, while Lindsay Skoney bowled a 281, Amber Spaetzel a 279 and Natalie Barnhart a 273. Marissa Michi (250) and Ally McPhee (197) also bowled for the Knights. Spaetzel’s 114 was the high game for KHS.

Don’t see your results in the Elburn Herald? Have your coach email them to or fax them to (630) 365-2251.

Bowling falls at Huntley

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HUNTLEY, ILL.—In their first match with Huntley in two years, the Kaneland bowling team dropped a decision by a five-player score total of 2,445 to 2,027.

“Dominique Lee got us off to a good start by bowling a 190 in her first of three games. But our four other scorers just didn’t get us enough points to win game one,” Knights coach James McKnight said. “Dominique continued to bowl well in games two and three for a 521 point series, but again, our scores from Grace Lindgren, Katie Hill, and Anu and Allison Kadampelil did not match what Huntley put up, and we lost all three games.”

Lee’s 521 impressed McKnight.

“A 500-point series is our goal for each of our bowlers,” McKnight explained, “Huntley, however, had three girls bowl series of 500-plus.”

McKnight was also impressed with his junior varsity bowlers.

“Things were a bit closer for us in JV competition, but we still lost all three games to Huntley,” he said. “It did not go unnoticed that two of our JV bowlers had individual game and score totals higher than some of our varsity players. If this continues, we may need to make some adjustments in our varsity line up.”

Like other sports at Kaneland this winter, the bowlers have not been immune to the flu that is going around.

“We’ve had quite a problem with illness on the team this season, and that may continue to play a role in how well we bowl,” McKnight said. “Things will get very busy when we come back after Christmas break. By that time, the season will be nearly half over, and hopefully, we’ll have everyone back healthy, rested and ready to go.”

Results from Saturday’s Lisle Tournament were not available at press time.

The Knights get back into gear Tuesday, Jan. 6, in a rematch against Huntley—this time at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb.

Dec. 11 sports recap

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Don’t see your results in the Elburn Herald? Have your coach email them to or fax them to (630) 365-2251.

Freshman Girls

Dec. 3 @ Montini—The Knights fell on the road to Montini 43-34. Addie Ringel led KHS with 16 points, and Katrina Van Horn had eight. Faith Cowsert and Shanya Hurston each had five points. The Knights are 4-2 overall, 1-1 in NIB-12 play.

Sophomore Girls

Nov. 24 vs. Geneva—Kaneland lost to Geneva in its season-opener 40-29. Kristen Siebert led the Knights with 16 points, followed by Carley Elliott’s five and Jenna Harvell’s four points.
Nov. 25 vs. Belvidere North—KHS won 46-28 over Belvidere North. Good defensive pressure led to turnovers, which the Knights were able to then turn into points. Siebert led the way with 16 points, while Harvell supplied 13. Sydney Davidson scored eight points, while Elliott had six and Caitlin Hammermeister had three.
Nov. 26 vs. Marengo—Kaneland used a 31-14 first half to cruise to a 48-22 win over Marengo. Siebert scored 16 points again, while Hammermeister supplied 10. Elliott had six points while Briana Bartman had four. The Knights placed second in the Kaneland Sophomore Girls Thanksgiving Tournament.
Dec. 3 @ Montini—The Knights lost on the road 38-22. Mackenzie Prichard led KHS with five points. Elliott and Jamie Martens each had four points, while Harvell had three.
Dec. 5 @ Morris—Kaneland moved to 3-2, 1-0 in conference play with a 43-24 win at Morris. Elliott led the team with 21 points and five rebounds. Bartman had seven points, while Davidson and Harvell each had five and Hammermeister had three.

Girls JV Bowling
Dec. 9 @ Yorkville—The Knights fell to the host Lady Foxes 1,901 to 1,591. Melissa Endrenal had the high game (118) for Kaneland, while Natalie Barnhart had the high series at 329. Endrenal rolled a 324 series, Marissa Michi a 292, Lindsay Skoney a 253, and Ally McPhee a 194.

Bowlers vanquish Lisle in 3-headed week

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PHOTO: Senior Amber Spaetzel rolled a personal-best 141 game on Tuesday en route to a 324 series at Yorkville. Photo by Ben Draper

KANELAND—Kaneland’s 2014-15 version of bowling is performing in a way they can get used to.

Spring-boarding off a season-opening win against DeKalb last week, the Knights, 3-1, took care of Lisle High School back on Dec. 3, 2,294-2,006, beat visiting IMSA on Monday in a 2,088-1,612 affair, and faced burgeoning program Yorkville in a road matchup on Tuesday, where they suffered their first loss of the season 2,878-2,263.

“It’s nice to have started the season so well,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said. “The early success may be attributed to good, solid bowling from all the girls. We have many new bowlers, and they have responded well and enthusiastically to instruction and competition. It’s nice to have more bowlers this year, and the girls are having fun.”

To support the Kaneland attack against Lisle, Dominique Lee had a team-high 474 series, followed by Rena Wojciechowski’s 456 and Katie Hill’s 410. Wojciechowski’s 213 was the Knights’ high-game effort.

On Monday, Lee’s 565 series and Anu Kadampelil’s 435 series were key in the third straight dual win.

On Tuesday, the Knights lost to the Lady Foxes, who are fielding a bowling team for the first time ever this school year. Lee and Hill led the way with a consistent effort through their three games, earning a 456 and 441 series, respectively. Anu Kadampelil rolled a 371 series, while Grace Lindgren had a 340, Allison Kadampelil a 331 and Amber Spaetzel a 324. Lee’s 158 was the high game of the night.

Kaneland enjoys a breather before gearing up against Northern Illinois Big XII crossover foe LaSalle-Peru at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb on Tuesday, Dec. 16.

Dec. 4 sports recap

in Bowling/Boys Basketball/Girls Basketball by

Boys Sophomore
Westminster Tournament Nov. 25-29

Nov. 25 vs. Luther North—The Knights opened the season with a 54-17 romp of Luther North. Clark Hendricks had nine points, while Jack Marshall had eight. Eleven Knights scored in the game.
Nov. 26 vs. Indian Creek—Kaneland won 58-38. Brock Harner led the Knights with 12 points, while Garrett Hukle had 11 and Josh Pollastrini had 10. Matt Noel and Marshall each had nine points.
Nov. 28 vs. Christian Liberty—KHS won 63-27. Marshall and Hukle each had 11 points to lead the Knights. Noel and Dan Franck each had eight points, while Polastrini supplied six and Luke Calabrese had five.
Nov. 29 vs. St. Edward—The Knights won the tournament championship with their 48-36 win over St. Edward. Calabrese led the team with nine points, while Robby Nachereiner and Jake Hed each had seven points. Noel, Marshall and Pollastrini each had six points.
Dec. 2 vs. Marmion—The Knights fell to 4-1 on the season after a 56-52 loss to Marmion. Hukle had a monster game with 32 points. Noel and Pollastrini each had six points, and Marshall had four.

Girls Freshman Basketball
Leyden Tournament Nov. 25; 29

Nov. 25 vs. Leyden—Katrina Van Horn’s 12 points led Kaneland to a 36-25 win over the tournament host. Shayna Hurston and Addie Ringel each had nine points, while Cierra Kuipers had four.
Nov. 29 vs. Addison Trail—The Lady Knights won 32-14 behind Ringel’s 14 points.
Nov. 29 vs. Riverside-Brookfield—The Knights won 40-13. Faith Cowsert had nine points, while Ringel had eight and Hurston had seven. Nine total girls scored for the Lady Knights. KHS was undefeated at the tournament.
Dec. 1 vs. LaSalle-Peru—The Lady Knights suffered their first loss of the 2014-15 season, falling to L-P 35-24. Ringel led the way with 15 points, while Van Horn was the next-leading scorer with four.

Girls JV Bowling
Dec. 2 vs. DeKalb—The Lady Knights won by forfeit over DeKalb. Amber Spaetzel led the team with a 322 series, followed closely by Melissa Endrenal’s 321. Natalie Barnhart had a 298 series, while Vanessa Guzman rolled a 281, Ally McPhee a 277, Marissa Michi a 226 and Hannah Leeper a 184.

Don’t see your results in the Elburn Herald? Have your coach email them to or fax them to (630) 365-2251.

Bowlers earn key win over fellow Mardi Gras tenant

in Bowling by

KANELAND—It wasn’t a bad way for Kaneland bowling to strike first in the 2014-15 season. In fact, it was ideal.

“We did pretty well for the first time out,” said coach Jim McKnight. “We’ll need to add at least another hundred pins per game in order to be competitive from now on.”

With program numbers being given a much-needed lift in the offseason, the Kaneland Lady Knights lane-minders beat fellow Mardi Gras Lanes tenant DeKalb on Tuesday, by a final of 2,365-1,972.

KHS (1-0) was paced by Dominique Lee’s team-high 477 series, Rena Wojciechowski’s 426 series and Katie Hill’s 420 series. Wojciechowski’s 172 game was also good for team-high.

“Dominique Lee and Rena Wojciechowski both had a nice game, and we hope everyone can continue to have fun and improve over the next few days,” McKnight said.

On Wednesday, Kaneland was set to meet host Lisle, and on Saturday, Dec, 6, the Lady Knights trek to the Charger Scramble, hosted by Dundee-Crown.

“We have lots of competition coming up, but we also will have some good practice time, too,” McKnight said.

Cummins’ victory lane continues through summer

in Bowling/Elburn/Kaneland by

ELBURN—For the city of Buffalo, NY, it’ll be nice to have a bonafide winner in its midst. The football thing hasn’t worked out.

Enter Kaneland Harter Middle School athlete Mabel Cummins, soon to enter eighth grade.

Already one of the elite bowling talents in her age group, the busy Cummins heads to the United States Bowling Congress Youth Open Championships on Saturday-Sunday, July 12-13, followed by the USBC Junior Gold Championships Friday, July 18, in Buffalo, NY.

All she did was win the Girl’s U-12 division at the 2014 Illinois Pepsi Youth Bowling Championships in Bloomington, Ill., to qualify for the Gold gathering, which comes with paid entry and travel stipend.

Working five to six games a day, five to six days a week with accomplished professionals and the support of her family, Cummins is learning to deal with the pressure, and is able to plow through, like when she averaged a 201 score through 12 games in Bloomington and at a recent pro-am gathering in Tampa, Fla.

“They made cuts at State, and I made out of the top of all of those,” Cummins said. “I was number one. It’s a lot more games we’re bowling and a different format, which I like. I did want to win, I admit that. I told myself ‘you’re going to go out there and do the best you can.'”

She’s even had a little fun in the past year of competition.

“When we go to tournaments, we go to fun places. We’re going to go see Niagara Falls,” Cummins said. “We go to different attractions like Busch Gardens in Florida. That was pretty cool.”

‘We typically go to museums or amusement parks,” father Ray said. “Things that she’s never seen. That’s the biggest attraction to team USA.”

The Team USA Junior Developmental squad, which represents the United States at international competitions, is a consistent, strike-fueled repertoire away, short of their being an Olympic opportunity.

“That’s her next goal,” Ray said. “That team travels around the world on behalf of America like an Olympic team would. They get to see things like the Great Wall of China and the Eiffel Tower.”

With a year of hefty competition behind her, Cummins’ game feels different, and better to boot.

“I feel my physical game has improved, and I have a lot more speed. My mental game has also improved,” Cummins said.

The Buffalo gathering includes 2,000 bowlers across seven bowling centers, and Cummins aims to stand out.

“I’ve never bowled at Junior Gold before. It’s my first time. I’d like to get used to the lane and figure out the bowling pattern.”

“Kids show up used to where they bowl, and are overwhelmed. These are PBA-caliber conditions, and they fall hard,” Ray said.

Whether its Buffalo or at the July BPAA Women’s All-Stars Pro-Am in Rockford, Ill., Cummins has had more time this past year to have more confidence in her game.

That’s good news for her, bad news for the unfortunate pins in her wake.

“I’ve already qualified for Junior Gold, and I made most of my spares at the PEPSI,” Cummins said. “If you tell yourself, ‘don’t do this’ somewhere around there, you’ll do it because you’re focusing so hard,” Cummins said.

Kaneland bowling shoe-in for awards

in Bowling by

Photo: Kaneland High School Interim Athletic Director Ruby Keller (right) presents head coach James McKnight with a crystal bowling pin in honor of his 25 years of coaching girls bowling at KHS March 13. Photo by Mary Paulson

DEKALB—Last Thursday evening at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb, the Kaneland bowling program held its Senior Night and also dished out some special awards.

For his 25 years of service as varsity head coach of the Lady Knights, Jim McKnight was given an engraved crystal bowling pin. Assistant coach Beth Trafton and the team were given matching shirts commemorating McKnight’s tenure.

The shirt depicted a rat poking its head out of a set of bowling pins, a reference to McKnight having a hospital stay with a bacterial infection after being bit by a pet rat last school year.

“I thought it was a cute way to commemorate what happened to me, McKnight said. “Twenty-five years is a long time, of course, but I’ve always enjoyed myself and look forward to even more.”

After a Thursday night of bowling with families , food and alumni, McKnight reflected this week on if anything has changed.

“Bowling has changed over 25 years, that’s true,” McKnight said. “We now have better equipment, automatic scoring, and more schools participating. We also have a longer season with more competition dates. We also added the new regional/sectional format this year. When it comes down to it, though, it’s still one girl throwing one ball at 10 pins, and it’s just as much of a challenge as ever—just as much fun, too.”

Dominique Lee won award for High Series, High Game and High Average. Rena Wojciechowski, Katie Hill and Michelle Bohanek took Most Improved and Grace Lindgren took Rookie of the Year.

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