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Boys Basketball - page 3

Dudzinski plays final home game for Holy Cross

in Boys Basketball/Elburn by
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Photo: Holy Cross senior Dave Dudzinski was honored prior to his final home game for the college Saturday. He was joined on the court by his sister Katy (from left) brother Robbie, father Dave Sr., mother Barbara, Holy Cross head coach Milan Brown and Holy Cross Athletic Director Nathan Pine.
Photo courtesy Holy Cross media relations

WORCESTER, MASS.—Elburn native and Holy Cross senior forward Dave Dudzinski recorded 20 points and five rebounds in his final regular season home game of his collegiate career. The lone senior on the team, he was honored before the game Saturday against Boston University.

Dudzinski leads the Crusaders in numerous statistical catagories this season, including games started (30), minutes (947), field goals (163), free throws made (112), rebounds (225), rebound average/game (7.5), total points (458) and points average/game (15.3).

Sophomore basketball wins NIB-12

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Feb. 28 vs. DeKalb—The sophomore Knights finished the season with a 46-43 win over visiting DeKalb. Mark Lilly led KHS with 15 points, while Mitchel Groen had 13, Jake Marczuk had 10, Kevin Fajardo had four and Tanner Robertsen had three points. The win put the Knights at a season mark of 19-6, and 9-1 in Northern Illinois Big 12 play, earning them the conference title in the sophomore division.

On a tear

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Photo: Senior Cole Carlson hit this double-clutch jumpshot as time expired in the first half Saturday vs. Sycamore. The basket gave the Knights a 27-24 lead. Photo by Ben Draper

Boys lineup sees ball bounce their way in wins over Morris, Sycamore
KANELAND—It’s been a busy time for Kaneland boys basketball.

Outside of a tough loss to renowned hoops program Hillcrest at the Day and Night of Hoops and St. Charles North two weeks ago, it’s been largely positive, as well.

With a home win over rival Sycamore 50-44 on Saturday, preceded by a 47-44 road win over Morris, the Knights sit at 15-9 and 6-3 in Northern Illinois Big XII play.

The win over the Spartans, rescheduled from Jan. 24 due to inclement conditions, was a nice switch from a 41-38 loss along Spartan Trail on Dec. 6, 2013. Knight offense was paced by Tyler Carlson’s game-high 24 points and John Pruett’s 10.

Kaneland was also helped by a 17-of-19 night from the foul line, as well.

The first frame ended with Sycamore ahead 13-11, before Kaneland was able to jump ahead at 27-24 by halftime. The action stabilized with Kaneland leading after three in a 38-35 situation, and the Knights’ 12-9 fourth quarter was enough to pull away from the Sycamore rival.

Against the Redskins, which suffered a season sweep to the Knights after a 42-41 result on Jan. 10, KHS was served by Drew David’s team-high 13 points, Pruett’s 11 and Carlson’s 10.

The Knights led 12-10 after the first quarter but fell behind 19-18 at the half. After rallying to take a 34-32 lead after the third quarter, Kaneland outscored Morris 13-12 to earn the conference win.

Overall, KHS Brian Johnson was pleased with the recent run.

“It was a rewarding weekend for the boys,” Johnson said. “They had a tough game against Hillcrest and a hard fought loss to St. Charles North. It was nice to see them respond against the top two teams in our league. Hopefully we can continue to play hard and put up a good fight against a strong DeKalb team.”

Johnson refers to the regular season finale against the Barbs in Maple Park on Friday, Feb. 28.

Friday also revealed the Class 3A postseason slate for the Knights, as the No. 1 seed of the Kaneland Regional. On Tuesday, March 4, KHS plays either No. 4 Glenbard South or No. 5 Aurora Central Catholic. Friday, March 7 sees the regional final against either No. 3 Marmon Academy or No. 6 IMSA.

Sports recap

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Sophomore Boys Basketball
Feb. 19 vs. Geneva—It was a tough night at KHS, with the sophomores falling 53-29 to visiting Geneva. Jack Marczuk led the way with 12 points, while Tanner Robertsen supplied six and Mitchel Groen had five.

Feb. 21 at Morris—The Knights bounced back in Morris Friday, and improved their sparkling NIB-12 Conference record to 8-1 with a 57-48 win over the Redskins. Marczuk led the way with 16 points, followed closely by Robertsen’s 15 and Mark Lilly’s 13. Kevin Fajardo had seven and Groen had six points, as the Knights improved their overall record to 18-6. Next up, the Knights host DeKalb Friday night 5:30 p.m.

Inaugural Day and Knight event raises over $5,000

in Boys Basketball/Kaneland by

KANELAND—On Feb. 15, nearly 1,000 basketball players and fans filled the gym at Kaneland High School as the boys basketball held its inaugural Day and Knight of Basketball to benefit Wounded Warrior Project. Varsity and sophomore basketball programs from Hillcrest, North Chicago, St. Charles North, Peoria Richwoods and Larkin (Elgin) joined the Knights in thrilling the crowd with galactic three-pointers, stifling defense and thundering slam-dunks.

Most important, the event celebrated our nation’s veterans as proceeds went to Wounded Warrior Project to honor and empower wounded veterans.

“It was a really special event. In addition to great basketball action and bringing the community together, we celebrated veterans and recognized those who serve. This is an important lesson to reinforce with the players, parents and fans. Thanks to the volunteers and sponsors that made it happen,” said KHS head coach Brian Johnson.

More than 100 sponsors—businesses and individuals—made the event possible. Net contributions of more than $5,000 dollars will go to Wounded Warrior project. And the event website will remain open and accept donations – https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/individual-fundraising/hoopsforheroes.

The event organizers plan to hold the second annual event in February 2015.

Warrior week

in Boys Basketball by
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Photo: Sophomore Dylan Vaca scored 12 points against Hillcrest Saturday, following up his 10-point output the night before at Yorkville. Photo by Patti Wilk

Knights host gathering for a cause after getting upper hand on YHS
KANELAND—It was a week of the familiar and unfamiliar for Kaneland boys basketball.

Although it wasn’t a perfect slate, the boys got to see how they measured up against the conference and other respected programs.

On Tuesday, the Knights hosted St. Charles North and lost in the final seconds 62-59.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, the Knights hosted a day-long event, the Kaneland Day and Night of Hoops, that benefited the Wounded Warrior Project (woundedwarriorproject.org). In the nightcap, the Knights fell victim to Hillcrest by a final of 81-60. On Friday, Kaneland traveled down Route 47 to Yorkville High School and earned a 63-55 win.

Kaneland sits at 13-9 (4-3 Northern Illinois Big XII).

Against the North Stars, Tyler Carlson led the way with 17 points, but St. Charles North’s Alec Goetz’ 22, including a last-second trey, broke a late 59-point tie. Drew David had a strong game with 14 points, hitting two three-pointers and going 6-6 from the free throw line.

Head coach Brian Johnson awarded Donna and Bob Harner the “Friends of Kaneland Day & Knight of Basketball” award prior to the Kaneland/Hillcrest game Saturday evening. See boys basketball story on page 3B.     Photo by Patti Wilk
Head coach Brian Johnson awarded Donna and Bob Harner the “Friends of Kaneland Day & Knight of Basketball” award prior to the Kaneland/Hillcrest game Saturday evening. See boys basketball story on page 3B. Photo by Patti Wilk

Facing Country Club Hills program Hillcrest on Saturday, the Knights made five-of-nine shots to give KHS a 10-7 lead with 4:14 to go in the frame, until Hillcrest blitzed out to a 10-0 run. Carlson’s basket with 40 ticks left closed the first quarter scoring out at 17-12 in favor of the visitors.

In the second quarter, the deliberate pace and feeling-out process ceased and action picked up with the Knights converting on five of six shots, ending with a John Pruett putback to close it to 29-26 with 2:43 left in the half.

Pruett’s bucket with 2:21 left closed within 30-28, but that’s when the margin chasing stopped for KHS. Hillcrest closed the half on a 9-3 run to lead 39-31 at halftime.

The third quarter featured a flurry, including two foul shots from Pruett, a three-point play from Carlson, two more foul shots from Carlson and a free throw from Cole Carlson to close to within 47-40 with just over four minutes to play. Hillcrest then stretched the floor and went on a 9-2 run, ending with 1:56 to go. Hillcrest led Kaneland 56-44 by the end of the third. Kaneland’s deficit was as much as 25 at 79-54 with 1:18 to go in the game.

For Hillcrest, DeAngelo Isby had a game-high 22 points, followed by Taylor Adway’s 14. Pruett had 19 for Kaneland while Tyler Carlson had 13.

“It was nice being in the game,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said. “I thought we really got outmuscled on the glass. When you’re playing a team that’s a lot more athletic than you are and a lot taller than you are, you’ve got to do the little things right.”

Things could have gone more the Knights way if the first-quarter scheme held up.

“It was nice to see John start the game with a nice little step-back jumper. That was huge for John to show he could play with the big boys. We were trying to figure out what we could do successfully,” Johnson said.

The night also featured draw-down and 50/50 contests, chuck-a-ducks, hoops battles for Cagers and Kaneland Youth Program teams, and cheer and dance performances.

Teams were also brandishing “camo” shooting warmups on a day that proved bigger than hoops.

“That North Chicago-Larkin game was awesome. St. Charles North was excellent, and it was good to see Peoria Richwoods. It was a pleasure to put the name of Kaneland with those programs. We’re going to do it for sure next year, without a doubt,” Johnson said.

Larkin defeated North Chicago, 79-76, while SCN beat Richwoods 87-66 in other action at KHS.

Friday’s tilt against Yorkville featured a game-high 18 points for Tyler Carlson and 10 from sophomore Dylan Vaca.

Kaneland was up 14-10 after one quarter and 31-25 at halftime. Yorkville stormed back to chisel into the KHS lead at 44-43 by the end of the third, before the Knights’ deficit stretched enough for the win. The Knights also benefited from a 30-for-38 night from the foul line.

On Friday, Feb. 21, the Knights travel to Grundy County to face rival Morris.

Feb. 20 sports recap

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Freshman Girls BBall
Feb. 8, 10, 12 @ NIB-12 Tournament—The Lady Knights finished their 2013-14 season with a fourth-place showing at the NIB-12 Freshman Tournament, held at Rochelle Twp. High School. KHS won their first two games—38-35 over LaSalle-Peru and 33-30 over Sycamore—before falling to Rochelle in the quarterfinals. KHS lost the third-place game to Ottawa 54-28.

Sophomore Girls BBall
Feb. 13 vs. DeKalb—The Lady Knights jumped out to a 16-6 lead after the first quarter and never looked back in their 37-20 win over DeKalb. It was their final game of the 2013-14 season. Kristen Siebert led the team with 10 points, while Meg Cohrs and Kylie Modaff each had six points. Kiandra Powell had five points, Sophie Sandquist had four points and Jenna Harvell and Nichole Koczka each supplied three points. The Lady Knights ended the season with a 14-11 overall record, and an even 5-5 record in NIB-12 conference play.

Sophomore Boys BBall
Feb. 14 at Yorkville—The Knights beat their Route 47 bretheren 48-42 behind Mark Lilly’s 14 and Jake Marczuk’s 10 points. Joe Laudont had seven points for the Knights, while Jacob Violett and Brett Hansen each had five points. Jason Edwards had four points and Tanner Robertson had three points.

Feb. 15 vs. Hillcrest—The Knights dropped just their fifth game of the season against a strong Hillcrest team 72-46. Violett had 10 points, while Mitchel Groen had nine, while both Marczuk and Matt Vanenborn each had eight points and Robertsen had three.

Feb. 18 vs. St. Charles North—The Knights earned their 17th win with a 73-66 triumph over the North Stars. Marczuk led the way with 18 points, while Lilly had 15, Robertsen and Laudont each had 12, Groen had nine and Hansen had seven. The team is 17-5 overall, with a 7-1 conference record.

Helping hands

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Six-team shootout at Kaneland on Saturday to benefit worthy cause
KANELAND—It stands to be no ordinary Saturday at Kaneland.

You’ll have your customary weekend basketball action, but the Kaneland boys team and dedicated volunteers are coming together for something bigger than jump shots.

The first-ever Hoops For Heroes-Kaneland Day and Knight of Hoops will feature five other Chicagoland teams, and proceeds from the six-game extravaganza go to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. The Wounded Warrior Project organizes to honor and empower wounded veterans.

Scheduled to run from noon to 9 p.m., beginning with sophomore contests, the Knights battle Hillcrest High School from Country Club Hills, Ill., in the 7:30 p.m. nightcap, with North Chicago and Larkin doing battle at 5 p.m. and St. Charles North meeting Peoria Richwoods at 2:30 pm.

“The volunteers and I decided for this night to have some special meaning, and we have some great basketball programs coming in,” KHS boys coach Brian Johnson said.

The first of its kind in Kaneland basketball history, the gathering already holds importance before the jump ball.

“It’s important to be there for those that have served and come back. I’ve told the team it’s bigger than basketball that night,” Johnson said.

The night, also featuring Bob and Donna Harner receiving a Friend of the Program award, is also set to feature games for Kaneland Youth Basketball and Cagers, as well as performances by the KHS Pep Band and cheer programs.

“It’s an honor to be able to host the event, and we have storied programs and a couple of top-20 ranked teams,” Johnson said. “If you take Kaneland out of it, it’s still a big night at KHS.”

Saturday also featues 50/50 and draw down raffling and Chuck-a-duck contests that benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.

For information on the night’s proceedings, head to support.woundedwarriorproject.org/individual-fundraising/hoopsforheroes.

2-13 sports recap

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Sophomore Girls BBall
Feb. 6 at Morris—KHS treked south on Route 47 and returned with a 43-35 NIB-12 win over Morris. Kiandra Powell’s 16 points led the Lady Knights, and Meg Cohrs was close behind with 12 points. Nicole Koczka supplied seven points while Hollie Fedderly had four.
Feb. 8 at LaSalle-Peru—The Lady Knights defeated LaSalle-Peru 44-40 Saturday. Kristen Siebert led the way with 14 points, while Powell had nine, Koczka had eight and Kylie Modaff had five for KHS.
Feb. 10 vs. Yorkville—Twenty-one turnovers doomed KHS in a 44-22 loss at home to Yorkville. Fedderly, Koczka and Siebert each had five points, while Cohrs had 4. The sophomore Lady Knights are now 13-11, 4-5 in NIB-12 play before playing DeKalb at home tonight.

Sophomore Boys Bball
Feb. 7 at Rochelle—The sophomore Knights fell on the road 78-72 at Rochelle. Tanner Robertsen, Mark Lilly and Jake Marczuk each had 18 points, while Joe Laudont had eight points and Kevin Fajardo and Brett Hansen each had three.
Feb. 11 at West Chicago—KHS lost for just the fourth time all season at West Chicago Tuesday, 66-56. Lilly led the way with 15 points and Marczuk had 14. Mitchel Groen had eight points, Laudont had five, Robertsen and Jacob Violett each had four points and Fajardo and Hansen each had three points. The Knights are 15-4 overall, 6-1 in NIB-12 conference play. They play at Yorkville Friday.

Emerging victors

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Photo: Senior John Pruett continued his torrid scoring streak, putting up 26 points Friday at Rochelle, and following that up with 28 more against West Chicago Tuesday evening. Fellow senior Tyler Carlson (23) was the team’s high-scorer with 33 points against Rochelle. Photo by Patti Wilk

KANELAND—Whatever questions exist concerning the fortunes of Kaneland boys basketball, the offense doesn’t have to be included.

Dealing with an athletic West Chicago lineup on Tuesday in a road jaunt, the Knights withstood the floor-spreading attack and emerged with a 71-65 win.

That came on the heels of a successful Friday trip to Rochelle, where KHS ran to a 91-67 win over the host Hubs.

Kaneland enjoys a 12-7 record with a 3-3 mark in Northern Illinois Big XII conference play.

The Knights’ win on Joliet St. in West Chicago proved considerably more agreeable than the 54-43 Wildcat win from a year ago.

Kaneland resisted several lead changes and 27 points from scoring threat John Konchar by utilizing John Pruett’s 28 points, including 14-of-17 shooting from the foul line in the win.

“I’m just coming out here, and it’s my senior year, and this could possibly be the last time I play basketball, in high school for sure, at least,” Pruett said. “I’m just going to try to end it with a bang.

An even first quarter ended with West Chicago up 13-11, and the close tempo held for much of the second quarter when Pruett’s three-pointer with 2:25 to go in the half gave KHS a 24-22 lead. After a WC three, Pruett came back with a three-point play with 1:14 to go for a 27-25 lead. An offensive putback on the other end tied the affair. Drew David’s bucket with 43.4 to go put the Knights back on top, 29-27, but a Wildcat three with 29.7 ended the scoring at 30-29 for the first half.

The third quarter saw West Chicago get out to a five-point lead during one stretch, but the Knights were helped by two foul shots from Pruett, a foul shot from Tyler Carlson and a putback by Carlson in a 49 second stretch to lead 49-45 at the end of three.

A Pruett three 21 second into the quarter gave the Knights a seven-point edge at 52-45, but WC wouldn’t go away, missing just three shots in the quarter and going six-for-nine from the charity stripe.

Kaneland saw its lead grow to eight with 2:26 to go at 66-58, but a WC trey with 1:59 left closed it to 66-61. Two Pruett foul shots with 1:14 left made it 68-61 before a Wildcat trifecta and a foul shot cut it to 68-65 with 48.5 left.

With the Wildcats potentially able to tie the score on the next possession, the senior cornerstone David’s quick steal of a pass led to a foul and two free throws with 19.9 left. The pair gave the Knights a 70-65 lead which iced the contest.

“(The steal) was huge,” Pruett said. “Drew is a four-year starter. Whenever we need him, he’s always coming through. Free throws, threes or steals, he’s always doing what we need to do.”

“The boys were a little more comfortable, and that was a game we were going to have to play hard,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said. “There’s no let-up in them, and I thought the boys responded. They played hard and they played physical.”

Against the Hubs, Kaneland was helped by a 33-point night from Carlson and 26 from Pruett in the win. Pruett also went 12-of-18 from the foul line.

Kaneland and Rochelle were deadlocked at 18 after one, and the Knights led 36-29 at the halftime buzzer. Up 65-52 after three frames, Kaneland poured it on and outscored the Hubs 26-15 in the fourth.

On Friday, Feb. 14, the Knights head to Yorkville for NIB-12 play, and Saturday, Feb. 15, brings Kaneland’s first Day and Night of Hoops with six varsity and sophomore games featuring storied programs.

Kaneland tips off against Hillcrest in the 7:30 p.m. nightcap, with proceeds from the event benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project.

Starts and stops

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Photo: Sophomore Ryan David had six points for the Knights at DeKalb Tuesday. Photo by Patti Wilk

KANELAND—It was a game that had two near-misses.

Unfriendly weather had shelved the Kaneland boys basketball team to Elgin outfit St. Edward on both Jan. 30, and Thursday before finally settling for a Friday tip-off.

With no elements in their way, the Knights worked toward a 65-55 victory.

After yet another makeup contest on Tuesday in DeKalb, the Knights sat at (10-7, 2-3 Northern Illinois Big XII).

The Knights have alternated wins and losses in their last six games.

The DeKalb contest was originally set for Saturday, while the Knights have yet another makeup contest against visiting Sycamore scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 22, from Jan. 24.

Senior John Pruett continued his high-level of play in 2013-14 with a 29-point evening, followed by classmate Tyler Carlson with 17.

The Knights also benefited from 32 chances at the foul line, allowing for 16 baskets from the charity stripe for a 50-percent night.

KHS and the Green Wave were deadlocked at 13-all before Kaneland stormed to a 30-21 advantage at halftime. Kaneland led 45-36 after three before stretching the lead with a 20-19 fourth frame.

Against DeKalb, Pruett had a game-high 23 points, but DeKalb had four players in double-digits, as the Barbs used a 19-13 opening quarter to pave the way for a 76-70 win over visiting Kaneland. Tyler Carlson had 19 points and Cole Carlson had 15 for the Knights in the loss.

Kaneland continues the NIB-12 tour with a trek to Ogle County on Friday, Feb. 7, against Rochelle, in what continues a five-game road swing.

Feb. 6 Sports recap

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Girls Soph. Basketball
Jan. 31 at Yorkville—Bailey Crimmins had 16 points and Kiandra Powell had 11, but the Lady Knights fell to the host Lady Foxes 56-43 Friday. Kristen Siebert had six points for Kaneland. KHS was 11-10, 3-4 in NIB-12 play through Jan. 31.

Boys Soph. Basketball

Jan. 31 at St. Edwards—The sophomore Knights defeated St. Edward 56-47 Friday. Tanner Robertsen had 17 points, while Brett Hansen supplied nine points. Mark Lilly, Mitchel Groen and Joe Laudont each had eight points, and Jacob Violett had four points.
Feb. 4 at DeKalb—The 15-2 sophomores (6-0 in NIB-12 conference play) routed the host Barbs 50-32 Tuesday. The Knights did it with even scoring, with Robertsen, Lilly and Jake Marczuk each supplying nine points, Hansen with eight points, Groen with six points, Laudont with five points and Violett with four points.

Jan. 30 sports recap

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Sophomore Girls Basketball
Jan. 23 vs. Sycamore—Bailey Crimmins’ seven points paced the cold-shooting Lady Knights against Sycamore, as the squad lost 41-26. Jenna Harvell had four points, while Nicole Koczka and Kiandra Powell each had three.
Jan. 25 at Rochelle Twp.—Kristen Siebert led the Lady Knights with seven points as KHS defeated Rochelle 41-25. Kylie Modaff, Powell and Crimmins each supplied six points, while Harvell, Meg Cohrs and Hollie Fedderly had four points apiece. The Lady Knights are now 11-9 overall, and 3-3 in NIB-12 play.

Sophomore Boys Basketball
Jan. 23 vs. Sycamore—The Knights rolled over the visiting Spartans 53-35. Connor Peterson paced the team with 14 points, while Tanner Robertson and Jake Marczuk each had 12. The trio of Mark Lilly, Mitchel Groen and Kevin Fajardo had five points each. The Knights are 13-2 overall, and 5-2 in NIB-12 play.

Hoops for Heroes Feb. 15

in Boys Basketball/Kaneland by
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Kaneland to host inaugural Day and Knight of Hoops
MAPLE PARK—Kaneland Boys Basketball announced the Hoops for Heroes inaugural Day and Knight of Hoops, to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15.

Six premier varsity/sophomore basketball programs—Kaneland, St. Charles North, Hillcrest, Elgin Larkin, North Chicago and Peoria Richwoods—sporting deep traditions in basketball, community, service and youth sports, will be showcased throughout the day.

In addition to the great action on the court, the event will also have plenty of off-court entertainment as well, including:

• Exhibition games by the Kaneland Youth Basketball and Cagers programs
• Kaneland Pep Bands filling the place with sound
• Team cheers and spirit for all teams, by Kaneland Youth Cheer
• Food and drink by the Kaneland Sports Boosters
• Customizable event clothing, to capture the memories
• 50/50 Raffle with winners all day and “Knight” long
• Draw down raffle following the hoops at Maple Park’s Bootlegger’s Bar and Grill with a $2,000 Grand Prize

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, to honor and empower wounded veterans.

In addition to attending the event, sponsorship opportunities are available as well,

For more information or to donate, click here.

1-23 Sports Recap

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Soph. Girls Basketball
Jan. 17 at DeKalb—Kiandra Powell’s 18 points led the Lady Knights as they romped the host Lady Barbs 53-24. Powell made four treys. KHS led 35-8 at halftime. Bailey Crimmins had nine points, Jenna Harvell and Nicole Koczka each had six points, and Kylie Modaff had five. KHS is now 10-8 overall, and 2-2 in NIB-12 play.

Soph. Boys Basketball
Jan. 17 vs. Yorkville—The Knights used a strong start and finish to hang on and beat the visiting Foxes. After down 17-10 in the first quarter, Yorkville closed within one point to start the fourth quarter. The Knights outscored the Foxes 16-11 in the final frame to seal the victory. Tanner Robertson led the way with 15 points, while Jake Marczuk supplied 14 and both Mark Lilly and Joe Laudont each had 11 points. The sophomore Knights are 12-2 overall and 4-0 in NIB-12 conference play.

Don’t see your lower-level results here? Send them to sports@elburnherald.com or fax to (630) 365-2251.

Knights contain Cadets

in Boys Basketball by
david

Photo: Kaneland varsity boys basketball coach Brian Johnson and his team honor senior Drew David for breaking the program record for most games played. David has played in over 87 games for the Knights varsity basketball team as of Tuesday against Marmion. Photo by Mary Paulson

Late FTs down Marmion in busy three-game week
AURORA—While the Kaneland High School boys hoops squad would have preferred a clean sweep of the week, two out of three will do fine for now.

On Tuesday off of Butterfield Road in Aurora, the Knights got two late free throws from Tyler Carlson to down the host Marmion Academy Cadets 49-47. That dramatic result took some of the sting out of a Saturday road loss to Burlington Central in a 67-43 result, while Friday night had a 42-41 comeback win over the invading Morris Redskins after a Carlson basket with under a second remaining.

The KHS record improved to 9-5, and 2-1 in the Northern Illinois Big XII conference.

The Knights went out to an early 12-5 lead as Marmion struggled to find its shot, and KHS took advantage of turnovers. A John Pruett basket and two Carlson free throws gave KHS a 23-11 lead at halftime. The lead ballooned to 37-22 with 1:59 left in the third before Marmion went on a 12-1 run to end the frame, thanks in part of a late basket and two foul shots due to a technical foul on head coach Brian Johnson.

In the fourth, Pruett fouled out, after being responsible for the only field goal the Knights would make in the quarter. Kaneland would go 9-of-12 in the fourth from the charity stripe, including Carlson going 7-of-8. His front-end shot with 2:45 to go made it 43-40 with 2:45 to go, and two more would give KHS a 45-40 lead with 1:57 left. Another later pair made it 47-44 with 1:02 remaining before a game-tying three try for Marmion athlete Michael Sheehan with 51.2 left tied the score.

With time running out, Carlson was fouled on an offensive putback try with 1.3 to go. After nailing both tries, Tom Van Bogaert stole an inbounds heave to end it.

Pruett and Carlson each had a game-high 16 points for Kaneland.

“(Tyler) made some big free throws, and he was running a play that we run for John, and he was able to execute on that. We ran it earlier and John was able to get a look. It probably helped having Ty down there,” Johnson said.

With Pruett’s exit and Marmion’s comeback, Kaneland handled the in-game adversity well, according to Johnson.

“Having Drew (David) and John in foul trouble and having guys do things they weren’t used to doing, and that puts a lot of pressure on the other guys and I thought they handled it pretty well,” Johnson said.

Against BC, Carlson’s 13 points was the only double-figure total. Kaneland was down 14-10 and 33-23 after the first half concluded. The Rockets pulled away to lead 50-31 at the end of the third quarter.

Carlson had a game-high 18 points in the Morris outing, followed by Pruett’s 14. David (8 points) and Cole Carlson (2) were the only other Knights to find the scoring column. The Knights led 8-7 after one and pulled away some, 19-11 at the half, before the margin closed to 31-25 after three.

After this latest stretch, the Knights roster is home against rival Yorkville on Friday, Jan. 17.

Jan. 16 sports recap

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JV Girls Bowling
Jan. 8 @ La Salle-Peru—The Lady Knights were led by Amber Spaetzel’s 126 game and 329 series, but fell to the host Lady Cavaliers 2,114-1,478. Kayla McDuffee bowled a 277 series, while Grace Lindgren had a 246, and Natalie Barnhart had a 186.
Jan. 11 @ IMSA Tourney—The Lady Knights placed sixth out of eight teams at Saturday’s IMSA tournament. Emma Nawrot led KHS with a 349 series, followed by Barnhart’s 328. Barnhart also bowled a Kaneland-best 135 game. Summer Gibbs (322 series), Margaret Nelson (286) and Spaetzel (237) rounded out the JV bowlers.

Soph. Girls Basketball
Jan. 9 vs. Morris—The visiting Lady Redskins defeated KHS 47-37. Meg Cohrs led the Lady Knights with 11 points, while Kylie Modaff had 10. Kiandra Powell had five points, Bailey Crimmins had four and Morgan Weber had three.
Jan. 11 at Burlington Central—Crimmin’s 13 points and Kristen Siebert’s six led KHS as they defeated the host Lady Rockets 33-28. Madi Edwards had four points while Nicole Koczka and Modaff each had three.
Jan. 13 at Plano—KHS led by double-digits at halftime, and handed Plano a 49-28 loss. Koczka’s 14 points led the Lady Knights. Crimmins had seven points, Cohrs, Modaff and Powell each had six points, and Siebert had four points. The sophomore Lady Knights are now 9-8 overall, while 1-2 in NIB-12 play.

Soph. Boys Basketball
Jan. 10 vs. Morris—After a deadlocked first quarter at 13 apiece, the Knights outscored the visiting Redskins 38-23 in the final three quarters to win 51-36. Tanner Robertson’s 16 points led the team. Mark Lilly had 13 points, while Joe Laudont had eight, Jack Marczuk had six and Mitchel Groen had four.
Jan. 11 at Burlington Central—The Knights prevailed in Rocket-land 41-32. Robertson again had a team-high points, with 10. Marczuk had nine points, Lilly and Groen each had seven and Laudont had six.
Jan. 14 at Marmion—the Knights lost for only the second time this season with a 60-40 setback to the Cadets. Robertson led the team with 10 points, while Lilly had nine. Four nights had four points: Marczuk, Groen, Jacob Violett and Kevin Fajardo. Connor Peterson had three points. The Knights sit at 11-2, 3-0 in NIB-12 conference play.

Boys Bowling
Jan. 13 at Streator (NIB-12 Meet)—The Kaneland boys bowling club took on the NIB-12 field in Streator Monday. Steven Becker led the Knights with an 1,119-pin day, while Nate Dyer (1,076) and Joey Mendoza (1,048) also broke the 1,000 pin mark. Tyler Rowe (971), Joe Kusarek (891) and Josh Rodrigues (636) also bowled for the Knights.

Knights renew UC rivalry with Geneva

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Photo: Senior Cole Carlson tries to recover a rebound in the first quarter of Kaneland’s 54-51 loss to Geneva at the United Center Saturday. Photo by Patti Wilk

Late 3-pointer dooms Knights; KHS closes Plano tourney as 9th-place team
CHICAGO—It’s been the home site of three Bulls championship-winning seasons, and two previous meetings between former conference rivals Kaneland and Geneva.

On Saturday, the United Center housed the first meeting of the Knight and Viking boys hoops teams in nearly four years and saw momentum ebbs and flows until a late three-pointer from Nate Navigato with 3.7 seconds left from Geneva cinched a 54-51 loss for Kaneland. Geneva has won all three meetings at the United Center, including December 2008 and February 2010.

Kaneland (7-4) also ended its Plano Christmas Classic tour on Dec. 30, with a 47-42 win over Northern Illinois Big XII crossover foe Dixon.

Against Geneva, Tyler Carlson had a game-high 21 points, while John Pruett had 16.

Carlson found himself with minimal adjustment to the NBA setting on Saturday.

“Just with the backdrop on the hoop,” Carlson said. “It’s kind of hard to judge how to shoot it and see how far away you are. You see bleachers instead of walls back there but we had a pretty good adjustment.”

Down 37-33 going into the fourth quarter, and down by as much as 10 with two minutes left in the third, Kaneland went to work after ending the third frame on a long-distance heave by Carlson.

A basket by Drew David and two baskets with a pair of foul shots from Pruett had Kaneland in a 42-39 lead with 4:53 to go.

Pruett hit two foul shots to extend the lead to 44-41 with 3:59 to go, and Ryan David’s two free throws broke a tie with 2:55 to go to make it 46-44. Geneva and Carlson traded a foul shot to make it 47-45 with 2:27 remaining. The Vikings would score five in a row to take a 50-47 lead with 1:16 remaining, and Pruett’s free throw with 56.8 to go would close it to 50-48.

After Geneva hit the back end of two foul attempts for a 51-48 lead with 44.6 to go, a play drawn up for Carlson had the senior connecting on a three-point try with 17.1 remaining.

With Geneva connecting on the late trifecta, the Vikings fouled David with 2.3 seconds left. With David missing two straight, Connor Fedderly grabbed the errant attempt and missed a three try from the corner that ended the tight contest.

Kaneland had led 13-12 after the first quarter and was down 20-19 at the half.

“We had some big moments, and it was nice to see the guys compete against a team and a coach I think very highly of,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said. “We competed and wanted to get the win, and it just didn’t happen.”

Johnson stressed to the team beforehand to treat Saturday’s contest like a home game.

“Yesterday, we were able to get into Aurora University and practice on a bigger floor, and I thought our wind was good and were able to press a little bit, and everybody played hard,” Johnson said.

Geneva didn’t miss a shot in the fourth quarter and was 8-for-11 from the charity stripe.

In the Plano Christmas Classic finale for Kaneland, Carlson had a game-high 19 points, while Pruett had 17 of his own. The Knights were up 12-6 after one and 20-17 at the half before nursing a 34-25 lead at the end of three.

The Knights host the visiting Morris Redskins, the 2013 Plano Christmas Classic runner-up, on Friday, Jan. 10.

Photos: KHS boys basketball vs. Geneva at the United Center

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Geneva 54, Kaneland 51
Photos by Patti Wilk

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