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Owning Ottawa

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__DSC_7886

Girls basketball keeps first two opponents at bay during Pirates’ holiday gathering

OTTAWA, ILL.—Not only can Kaneland girls basketball be happy with a 7-3 start, they can take pride in beginning the Ottawa girls basketball tournament with two consecutive wins.

KHS (7-3, 1-2 Northern Illinois Big XII) bested 2013 runner-up Pontiac on Friday by a final of 60-44, before stuffing Kankakee in a 37-12 decision on Saturday.

Against Pontiac, center Bailey Crimmins was also the center of attention with 23 points and nine rebounds.

“We tried to get the guards the ball first and work inside, and that really opened up the middle,” Crimmins said. “They started double-teaming me. We just needed to calm down after turnovers and play defense.”

Ally Van Bogaert supplied 12 points, with six boards. KHS was 25-for-45 from the field, and nine-of-15 from the foul line.

KHS went out to an early 15-12 advantage in the first eight minutes of play, and led 28-19 at the end of the first half.

Pontiac tied the game going into the third quarter in just over a minute’s span, but Kaneland persevered the rest of the third frame to lead 43-39 at third quarter’s end.

Pontiac was then plagued by poor shooting and an opportunistic Kaneland defense. The Knights held Pontiac scoreless over a seven-and-a-half minute stretch in the fourth quarter, cinching the Kaneland win. The Knights’ lead ballooned to 21 points in the fourth quarter before it settled to the 16-point margin of victory.

“They’re a good team,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said of Pontiac. “(They) came in second last year. My hat’s off to them, they made a spurt. We had to call time out after giving up a nine-point lead. Once we settled down and were disciplined, we did well. If we put up 60 points, we’re tough to beat. I’m real happy with the effort from our kids.”

Balanced scoring ruled the day for KHS against the Kays, with nine girls entering the column. Kylie Modaff and Crimmins paced the effort with eight each, and Crimmins had nine boards. Kaneland was 12-for-49 from the field and just eight-for-21 from the foul line. Kankakee made just four field goals on the afternoon.

KHS led 6-4 after one and 17-6 at the half, before pulling away to lead 30-9 at the end of the third.

Kaneland finished up its Ottawa tour on Monday with a 59-42 loss to Lincoln-Way West, as well as a Tuesday contest, with results for the latter unavailable as of press time. Bailey Crimmins on Monday led the Knights with 14 points and 11 boards. Camri Conley also had a big night, tallying 11 points, six rebounds and a steal.

The Knights’ recent four-game stretch marks their final competition in 2014, before a Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, meeting with visiting Rosary.

Pushing back the Barbs

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KHS girls bball v. DeKalb Dec 2014-4

Photo: Freshman Jennifer Weber dives for a loose ball during Friday’s 58-45 win over DeKalb. Weber had 10 points for the Knights. Photo by Laura Gampfer

KANELAND—What a way to stop a mini-skid.

Only one matchup came Kaneland girls basketball’s way this past week, with the home opener on Friday against visiting DeKalb.

Using 13 points from point guard Camri Conley and 10 from Jen Weber, the Knights’ overall game was good enough for a 58-45 win over the Barbs.

Kaneland’s record elevated to 5-2, with a 1-2 mark in Northern Illinois Big XII Conference play.

Seven of Conley’s point total came in the third quarter, and she also added seven boards and four assists.

“Camri has a great overall game for us. She is capable of having these types of games, and we feel like if she continues to stay focused in practice great things can happen for her, as well as the team. Camri is one of our leaders and played like it on Friday,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said.

KHS also helped its cause by going 23-for-32 from the foul line, complimenting a 16-for-54 night from the field.

The Knights led 15-6 after one frame and held on to a 25-20 lead at the halftime buzzer. The lead stretched to 41-29 before the tightly contested fourth saw Kaneland emerge the victor.

Friday’s matchup in DeKalb will try to be a positive harbinger of things to come when the Ottawa Holiday Tournament begins for the girls on Friday, Dec. 19. The Knights will try and handle Pontiac High School at 4:30 p.m.

“We just want to continue to get better in the tournament,” Colombe said. “We were without some key people last week in Emily Grams, Vanessa Gould and Morgan Weber, who played Friday. It was tough to be without three key wing players, but we want to get them all back before the start of the New Year and get them to gel as a group.”

Dec. 18 sports recap

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

Sophomore Boys B-ball
Dec. 6 vs. Rock Island—Kaneland fell to Rock Island 57-47. Three Knights scored 11 points: Jake Hed, Josh Pollastrini and Garret Hukle. Brock Harner had eight points and Matt Noel had four. Hed made three three-pointers, and Hukle went 7-for-7 from the free throw line.
Dec. 13 @ Sycamore—Hukle led the Knights with 12 points as they cruised to a 41-25 win over the Spartans. Hed supplied seven points, while Dan Franck and Pollastrini each had six and Harner had five. The sophomore squad is 6-2, 2-0 in conference play.

Freshman Girls B-ball
Dec. 9 @ Sycamore—Kaneland defeated Sycamore 35-25. Addie Ringel led the team with 12 points, while Abigail Taylor had nine, Shanya Hurston had six points and Katrina Van Horn had four.
Dec. 11 vs Benet Academy—Van Horn’s 11 points led the Knights to a 33-21 win over Benet. Taylor and Hurston each had seven points and Faith Cowsert and Ringel each had four.
Dec. 12 vs Wheaton-Warrenville South—The Knights won a low-scoring battle 24-19 against the Tigers. Ringel had 10 points, Van Horn four, and Cowsert, Cierra Kuipers and Taylor each had three.
Dec. 13 vs. Oak Park-River Forest—Kaneland fell to OPRF 35-25. Huston and Van Horn each had seven points, while Kuipers had five and Cowsert and Ringel each had three.
Dec. 15 vs. Yorkville—KHS cruised to a 42-26 win over the visiting Lady Foxes. Van Horn led the way with 13 points, followed by Ringel’s eight, seven from both Cowsert and Hurston, and six from Taylor. The freshman girls are 8-3, 2-0 in conference play.

Sophomore Girls B-ball
Dec. 12 vs. DeKalb—The Knights earned their second conference win with their 37-33 effort over DeKalb. Sydney Davidson had 10 points to lead KHS, while Carley Elliott had nine, Jenna Harvell and Jamie Martens each had five, and Briana Bartman and Caitlin Hammermeister had four. Martens scored her five points from the free-throw line, going five of six with the Knights trailing by one point with 40 seconds to play. The sophomore girls are 4-3 overall, 2-1 in conference play.

Girls basketball solved by two NIB12 rivals

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__KHS girls basketball v. Sycamore Dec 2014-6

Photo: Junior Bailey Crimmins (right) had four rebounds and four points against Sycamore. Photo by Laura Gampfer

KANELAND—An excellent start by Kaneland girls basketball provides enough of a cushion to soften the blow of a two-game losing skid.

On Friday down in Grundy County, the Knights suffered a slim 43-42 loss to the host Morris Redskins, while Tuesday night saw a less-than-stellar trip to Sycamore in a 46-20 setback.

“Early in the year, regardless of outcomes of games, we are constantly trying to improve each day,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “Rebounding was our biggest area of concern coming in, but the girls have done a great job of working on that in practice, and we have been rebounding better in games. (There’s) still work to do, but definite improvement. Our biggest concern is cutting down on unforced turnovers.”

Kaneland (4-2, 0-2 Northern Illinois Big XII) suffered through a 13-for-59 night from the field against the Morris foe while going 14-for-25 from the foul line. Ally Van Bogaert was just one rebound shy of a double-double with 12 points and nine boards. Bailey Crimmins had eight rebounds in the losing effort.

KHS was up 13-12 after the first eight minutes of action, before seeing an 18-18 tie going to the halftime break. Morris ended the third frame up 27-25 before a tightly contested fourth quarter that saw the winning arrow point toward the hosts.

Facing rival Sycamore, Kaneland was just 8-for-39 from the field and 1-for-9 from the charity stripe. This marked the second straight contest KHS was able to only put up 20 on the Spartans, much like the season-ending Plano Regional semi-final loss back in February. Jen Weber had a team-high six points, and the team was plagued by a scoreless fourth quarter.

Ahead for the Knight crew is a crucial home matchup against the DeKalb Barbs on Friday, Dec. 12, Kaneland’s first home game of the season.

Dec. 11 sports recap

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

Freshman Girls
Basketball

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
Basketball

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.

Girls battle IC roads

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KHS battles Westmont/ Nazareth/IC Catholic triad to win tournament
KANELAND—After a steady season-opening win over Elmwood Park last week, the Lady Knights contingent took to the IC Catholic courts in Elmhurst, Ill., to complete the pre- and post-Thanksgiving tour.

Kaneland’s final three challenges saw two double-digit wins and a spotless slate for the tournament championship and a 4-0 mark to start the 2014-15 season.

On Nov. 25, the Lady Knights took it to Westmont 48-31, and did the same on Nov. 26 to Nazareth Academy 44-30, before besting IC Catholic 40-31 in the final on Friday.

“We feel like we give ourselves a chance to win if we can take away a few of the things that our opponents like to do offensively. Our team did a nice job of making our opponents work hard for a shot,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said.

In the win over the Interstate Eight Conference entry Sentinels, the Lady Knights saw post presence Bailey Crimmins produce 16 points, followed by Morgan Weber with eight.

Crimmins also had eight rebounds in the winning effort, as did Camri Conley, who also swiped five steals. Kaneland was 7-of-14 from the foul line for a 50 percent clip. KHS was 20-of-55 from the field.

Kaneland trailed 12-10 after one, but used a 14-5 run the span of the second quarter for a 24-17 lead. Westmont closed to within 33-27 after the third quarter buzzer before KHS pulled away with a furious fourth.

Squaring off against the Roadrunners of Nazareth, the Lady Knights went 15-for-39 from the field and 10-for-15 from the charity stripe. KHS allowed only seven total field goals on the day.

Morgan and Jen Weber led the way with 11 points each, and Conley pulled down nine boards—from the point guard position—along with three steals.

KHS dialed it down against the opposing IC Catholic Lady Knight squad, going 11-for-32 from the field and 15-for-24 from the line. Crimmins carried the charge with a 13-point, seven-rebound effort. Ally Van Bogaert contributed eight points.

Ahead for Kaneland is the tip-off for Northern Illinois Big XII action in Morris on Friday, Dec. 5.

Dec. 4 sports recap

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Boys Sophomore
Basketball
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 sports@elburnherald.com or fax them to (630) 365-2251.

Skills session

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Girls hoops conclude harried June, find rhythm
KANELAND—While most everyone this month had to dodge damaging winds and difficult amounts of rainfall, the Lady Knights dodged opposing defenders and difficult opposition as the summer league action came to a close this week.

With the planned Kaneland participation in the Ottawa Shootout on Monday cancelled due to the onslaught of a harsh weather system, the KHS June campaign for coach Ernie Colombe and the crew instead finished up their busy June with an above-average record of 22-10. The conclusion of summer also included a trip to the Naperville, Ill., Neuqua Valley Shootout on June 25.

“We feel like we have a much better idea of what we need each player to work on individually before we get started next year, and also what we need to tweak in terms of the playbook,” Colombe said. “The summer has shown us that this team has a lot of potential.”

With returnees from all the levels making their way to the girls side in a busy month that saw trips to Morris and Ottawa as part of the Illinois Valley League, the rotation of sharpshooters were able to win 17 of its final 26 contests.

With talent like Camri Conley taking over the point guard position after splitting the duties a year ago, the roster was able to get used to playing with each other despite some injuries.

“Overall we were very happy with our play this summer,” Colombe said. “We were missing some key pieces throughout the summer. Vanessa Gould was out with a stress fracture in her foot, and Kristin Siebert was out with a bad back. Both players should be key parts to our team next winter.”

Colombe said he feels good about the month’s turn of events and what it could mean the ensuing winter.

“Based on the summer, we feel like we will have a mix of players in terms of class and will have one of our best offensive teams. We have a lot of work to do on the defensive end but we are confident we will be much better once we begin practicing on a daily basis,” Colombe said. “We should be a fun team to watch next year if everyone is healthy.”

In other hoops action, Kaneland’s boys squad lost four of five games at the Glenbard East Shootout this past Friday, including a loss to Sycamore. On June 24, Kaneland boys lost two of three at the Waubonsie Valley shootout.

Familiar faces

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019

Photo: Sophomore Jenna Harvell plays in a home game against the visiting Huskers Monday. Photo by Patti Wilk

Girls take to court in summer session
KANELAND—If this is what’s in store for the ensuing school year, then the girls basketball program from Kaneland has quite a bit to look forward to.

Already 6-1 through competition in the summer’s Illinois Valley League, the Lady Knights have been to work in a big way.

“It’s a good time for these girls to step up,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We lost a good group, and they are getting used to different roles now.”

The summer slate, besides the camps, looks a bit different now that snow days made it difficult to rejoin the summer circuit at Glenbard South.

“We are part of the Illinois Valley League this summer and it’s nice. We host games along with Ottawa and Morris,” Colombe said. “It’s good competition, and it’s with teams you don’t really see a whole lot of.”

The opposing teams are sure to get a whole lot of Kaneland.

“We did lose good girls, and we’re off to a good start. They are putting in time and getting comfortable,” Colombe said.

Suiting up in these steady tempuratures are returning upperclassmen like Aly Van Bogaert, Taylor Eaves, Rachel Miller, Emily Grams, Camri Conley, injury-free Vanessa Gould and Bailey Crimmins.

Now joining the upperclass ranks in the summer are Nicole Koczka, Kiandra Powell and Meg Cohrs.

Lower-class assets are Kylie Modaff, varsity returnee Morgan Weber, Kristen Siebert, Jenna Harvell and Jessie Weber.

“They are getting to know each other’s strengths and have a chance to step up in new roles. Camri Conley split time as point guard with Caroline Heimerdinger in the winter, and she’s taking over as point right now,” Colombe said.

The month of June turns out to be pretty busy, with consecutive Mondays at Morris and then at Ottawa. Shootouts take place at Morris, East Aurora, Neuqua Valley and Ottawa.

End game

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Photo: Sophomore Camri Conley and the Lady Knights dispatched hosted Plano on Feb. 19 regional semifinal, but fell to rival Sycamore in the final 40-20 on Friday. Photo by Ben Draper

Lady Knights finish 14-15 after Plano Regional final loss
PLANO—For the span of the second quarter on Friday night, the Lady Knights looked like they could pull off a sizable comeback and regional final win over Sycamore.

Then the bottom fell out of the court.

A 14-2 comeback spurt spanning the second and third quarter, which tied the game at 18-all, gave way to a 20-0 run by Sycamore to finish the third frame.

Kaneland was unable to recover and fell to the No. 1 seed Lady Spartans, 40-20, ending their season in the Plano Regional.

The loss came just six days after a 40-35 win on Kaneland’s Senior Night.

After the win over No. 3 Kaneland, Sycamore was ousted by Burlington Central in the Belvidere Sectional semifinal on Monday evening. BC was scheduled to play Rockford Lutheran in the sectional final.

Kaneland’s 2013-14 campaign ended at 14-15 and won five of its last seven, after two consecutive years of winning records. In a positive development for KHS girls basketball, the Lady Knights were able to get back to a regional final after a one-point loss to Plano in the Burlington Central Regional semi of a year ago.

To some measure, KHS earned a bit of hoops of revenge last Wednesday with a 43-27 win over No. 2 Plano, which finished at 14-15.

Against Sycamore, the Lady Knights were just 7-of-38 from the field the entire game, including an 0-for-22 slide to finish the game after Ally Van Bogaert’s game-tying three-pointer in the third. Van Bogaert and Morgan Weber had five points each to lead the Lady Knights. Sycamore was paced by Morgan Picolotti’s 11.

The first quarter had the Lady Knights down 9-2 after the first eight minutes, and Kaneland fell behind 16-4 with 4:28 to go in the second quarter.

A Kelly Wallner foul shot, followed by a Caroline Heimerdinger three, a Wallner basket, a Weber trifecta and an Amber Winquist-Bailey bucket off a Heimerdinger steal, closed it to 18-15 just before the half.

After the Van Bogaert three just 20 seconds into second-half play tied the score, Sycamore went 6-for-8 during third quarter play and added a foul shot to complete the 20-0 run. Marina Schaefer would end up converting the final points of the season for Kaneland on two foul shots with 2:47 to go that closed the deficit to 38-20.

“Overall, we were pretty happy with our defense. We held them to 40 points and Bailey Gilbert to five. I thought we played our butts off on defense, but we couldn’t hit a shot. One out of 22 in the second half, you’re not going to beat many people,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said.

In the semifinal against Plano, things went more swimmingly for KHS, with 13 points from Wallner and nine from Heimerdinger. Equally as key was holding 6-foot-3 center Clarisa Martinez, a 1,000-point scorer for the Lady Reapers, to just eight points. Kaneland was 13-for-49 from the field and 14-for-22 from the foul line.

“We were pretty happy, defensively,” Colombe said. “(Martinez) is a load down there, and we had a couple of cold spells on offense, and it’s tough to play against her because she alters a lot of shots.”

Leading Plano 15-11 after one, Kaneland used quick offense and backcourt play to keep Plano’s frontcourt out of rhythm. A Heimerdinger trey made it 19-14 with 3:21 left in the half. Another three by Heimerdinger and a basket by Wallner with 2:03 left in the half made it 24-14 before a late Plano basket cemented Kaneland’s halftime lead at eight.

Heimerdinger’s long-range game was enough to give the Lady Knights a boost.

“It was good in the first-half, I guess,” Heimerdinger said. “I was looking to see if I had a little bit of room, but I was mostly looking to get it inside.”

A Schaefer basket down low with 25.2 ticks left in the frame meant a 31-21 edge going into the fourth quarter. Schaefer and Bailey Crimmins were responsible for the only field goals of the fourth quarter. With 3:21 to go, Martinez fouled out, effectively ending a Plano comeback bid.

With the Sycamore loss, the Lady Knights say goodbye to six seniors: Wallner, Heimerdinger, Winquist-Bailey, Schaefer, Brittany Kemp and Katie Brinkman.

“They set a great tone for the kids coming up,” Colombe said. “Probably the thing we’re most proud of is how they acted as teammates.”

Getting in their shots

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Late-season run brings Lady Knights mark to 13-14
KANELAND—Four out of five isn’t bad.

In fact, it might be coming at the right time for Kaneland girls basketball.

After a five-game losing skid that lasted from Jan. 11-31, the Lady Knights began righting their victory ship two weeks ago with a win at Morris. After two more conference wins, the Lady Knights’ final regular season week featured a 52-39 loss to visiting DeKalb last Thursday, and a regular season finale win over Sycamore on Senior Night, 40-35.

The uptick in play means the Lady Knights final regular season tally sits at 13-14 (5-5 Northern Illinois Big XII).

The homestretch set up the IHSA Class 3A Plano Regional grouping, which was set to feature Kaneland facing Plano on Wednesday, with results unavailable for press.

With the postseason still remaining, the Lady Knights finished the regular campaign with a losing record for the first time since the 2010-11 slate, which ended 13-16, with the last loss coming at the hands of Wheaton Academy in the playoffs.

Kaneland had executed consecutive winning seasons, most notably a sectional final appearance in 2011-12.

In the double-digit loss to DeKalb, Kaneland was led by Kelly Wallner’s 12 points. KHS was 11-of-35 from the field, and 15-of-22 from the foul line on the evening.

DeKalb stormed out to a 16-5 lead and kept a 23-12 lead going into the locker room. Kaneland was able to close to 37-30 by the end of the third before the Lady Barbs added to their lead with a 15-9 fourth frame.

In the five-point win over the Lady Spartans on Valentine’s Day, which secured a regular season split between the two schools, Kaneland was paced by Caroline Heimerdinger’s 14 points. The total included a six-for-six stretch on free throws in the final two minutes. Wallner had seven points to go along with her 13 rebounds.

KHS was 11-of-33 from the field and 15-of-20 from the foul line.

The Lady Knights led 10-6 after the first eight minutes and 17-13 at the half. Sycamore inched closer and trailed just 26-24 before KHS held firm.

The postseason journey for third seed Kaneland held a familiar obstacle in the Plano Regional setting in the form of the host Lady Reapers, the No. 2 seed.

A year ago in the Burlington Central Regional semi, Kaneland was a missed three-pointer away from pulling off a stellar fourth-quarter comeback from 15 points down in a 52-51 loss.

Last year’s Plano crew finished at 22-7, compared to 14-14 in 2013-14.

The winner was set to face either No. 1 Sycamore, No. 4 Rochelle or No. 5 Sandwich in the regional final on Friday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m.

Feb. 20 sports recap

in Boys Basketball/Girls Basketball by

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.

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.

More like it

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Photo: Freshman Morgan Weber had four points in Kaneland’s 51-41 win over the visiting Lady Foxes of Yorkville Monday. Photo by Ben Draper

Girls hoops stabilizes in season homestretch
KANELAND—Kaneland girls basketball made sure its recent five-game losing streak was a thing of the past this week.

It remains to be seen what’s in the immediate future with the postseason looming.

After falling to a season-low 9-13 at the beginning of the month, Kaneland rattled off a three-game win streak. On Monday, the Lady Knights capped off the successful stretch by laying waste to visiting Yorkville, 51-41. In a Saturday crossover contest with host LaSalle-Peru, KHS beat the Cavaliers, 57-24, and saw a trip to Grundy County last Thursday turn productive in a 74-67 win.

Kaneland sits at 12-13 on the year, with a 4-4 record in Northern Illinois Big XII play.

“We played well in all three games,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We have been working hard in practice and trying to get better each day.”

Kaneland was able to get revenge on the Lady Foxes after a 19-point loss back on Jan. 31. After falling behind 16-9 after one quarter, and 26-23 at halftime, the Lady Knights took advantage of poor opposing shooting and went on a 22-1 run that spanned two quarters, thanks to key baskets and defense. Up 38-30, Kaneland saw the lead grow to 17 before the final margin.

“We stuck with what we wanted to do even after we got down 26-15. We got on a big run and really controlled the tempo of the game. In our first meeting with Yorkville they really controlled the tempo and game from start to finish,” Colombe said.

Leading the way were Kelly Wallner with 18 points and Amber Winquist-Bailey with 11 points and four steals. KHS was 19-of-44 from the field and 11-of-23 from the free throw line.
Against the West division Cavs, Kaneland’s defense and 18 steals made life miserable in LaSalle County for L-P fans.

“We needed to get better in our rotations and also better at stopping dribble penetration,” Colombe said.

Up 15-4 after one, the Lady Knights led 36-11 at the conclusion of the first half. The lead stretched to 49-14 after three before the final frame. Winquist-Bailey had a team-high 13 points, followed by Bailey Crimmins’ 11 and Ally Van Bogaert’s 10. KHS ended 27-of-58 from the field.

Facing the Lady Redskins, the Lady Knights led 21-9 after the first eight minutes and 36-27 at halftime. Seeing the lead shrink to 52-48 at the end of the third, the Lady Knights were helped by 14 foul shots to secure the win.

Guard Caroline Heimerdinger lifted the victory effort with 16 points. Wallner had 15 and Camri Conley put in 11 of her own.

Going 22-of-45 from the field, KHS went to the charity stripe an astounding 47 times, hitting 27 shots.

This week features home matches up against challenging teams DeKalb, on Thursday, Feb. 13, and Sycamore on Friday. Feb. 14, in a quest to eclipse .500.

The IHSA postseason plan was released last week, with Kaneland set for Class 3A Plano Regional action beginning as the No. 3 seed against No. 2 Plano on Wednesday. Feb. 19, at 8 p.m. The winner is scheduled against No. 1 Sycamore, No. 4 Rochelle or No. 5 Sandwich in the regional championship on Friday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m.

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.

Hard Luck Lady Knights

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Skid hits five after road loss to rival Yorkville
YORKVILLE—With as hard as the Lady Knights basketball team plays game in and game out, the bad luck could end soon.

The shame is that the bad luck keeps going at a critical juncture.

Falling in a 12-2 hole early and dealing with an up-tempo game patrolled by hosts like Corrine Rowe and Lindsay Schlichting, the Lady Knights were forced to play catch-up in a 53-34 loss to host Yorkville on a flurry-filled Friday evening.

The lone game of the week brought the Lady Knights mark down to 9-13 (2-4 Northern Illinois Big XII). A scheduled Saturday afternoon matchup with Illinois Math and Science Academy in Maple Park was cancelled due to poor driving conditions.

The five-game losing streak means the last win for KHS came back on Jan. 9 against Morris.

Leading the way for the Lady Knights was post presence Kelly Wallner with 10 points and 13 rebounds for a double-double. KHS was just 12-for-45 from the field in the Kendall County setting, with a 9-for-21 night from the foul line.

“Their guards did a good job; I thought their whole team did a good job of spacing us out,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “They were hitting shots, and we were scrambling.”

Rowe had a game-high 17, while Schlichting had 13 for the Lady Foxes.

Down 10 early, the Lady Knights closed to 12-10 by the end of the first frame.

Bailey Crimmins cut the lead to 14-12 with 6:34 left in the half, and other baskets were supplied by Ally Van Bogaert and Morgan Weber. Rowe and Schichting added three key baskets, with Yorkville making six shot attempts in a row enroute to a 26-17 lead at halftime.

Wallner was responsible for all three KHS field goals in the third quarter, but Yorkville increased its lead to 43-26 by the end of third quarter play. Yorkville increased its edge to 23 points at 53-30 with 1:15 to go before a Kaneland mini-run.

“The attitude’s good; the kids are working hard. But (Yorkville) controlled the tempo, and that’s what seniors do,” Colombe said.

On Thursday, Feb. 6, Kaneland continues on the NIB-12 circuit in Grundy County at Morris.

[st_box title=”Looking back…” type=”info”]Looking at the Lady Knights’ five-game loss streak, the longest skid of the 2012-13 season was three: Jan. 18, 19 and 26 of 2013 at Sycamore, vs. LaSalle-Peru and vs. Sterling, respectively.[/st_box]

Lady Knights endure weekend conference loss

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KANELAND—It hasn’t been an easy stretch for KHS girls hoops.

Kaneland girls basketball has had just one opportunity to play a game in Maple Park since Dec. 10, and had lost three in a row coming into Saturday afternoon’s contest in Ogle County against the host Lady Hubs of Rochelle.

Getting revenge for the six-point KHS win on Dec. 10, Rochelle was able to quiet the Lady Knights in a 65-55 affair, Kaneland’s first game in eight days.

“We have had players sick or missing with a school activity conflict at least once per week,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. We sent four players home from the Dixon Tourney with the flu. Throw in the weather and it has been tough to find a consistent rotation. We have had a lot less practice time due to the weather. It impacts conditioning and also impacts skill development.

“The good news is the players are working real hard to get better and are a fun group to be around each day.”

Kaneland is now 9-12, losers of four in a row, and 2-3 in the Northern Illinois Big XII landscape with eight regular season games left on the slate.

The Lady Knights were 20-of-55 from the field on the contest, and 5-of-10 from the free throw line. Amber Winquist-Bailey led the Lady Knights with 16, followed by Ally Van Bogaert’s 15 and Kelly Wallner’s 10. The perimeter game picked up with three three-pointers each from Winquist-Bailey and Van Bogaert.

Rochelle got out to an 11-8 lead after the first frame and was up 25-22 at the halftime break before extending the margin to 46-38 at the end of the third. The Lady Knights were outscored 19-17 in the fourth.

Kaneland’s Friday contest against visiting Sycamore was postponed to Friday, Feb. 14. On Friday, Jan. 31, the Lady Knights travel to Yorkville for conference play and the first meeting of the 2013-14 season between the two rosters.

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.

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.

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Downed in DeKalb

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DSC_0188

Photo: Senior Kelly Wallner was the high scorer for the Lady Knights with eight points against a strong DeKalb squad. Photo by Mary Paulson

DEKALB—Kaneland girls basketball, despite being 9-11 (2-2 Northern Illinois Big XII), has managed to hang tough in many of its 20 contests thus far.

When they end up of the wrong side of a result, such as Friday night in DeKalb, the Lady Knights know they’ve been on the court with tough teams in their own right.

In the Lady Knights’ lone contest of the week, DeKalb handed KHS a 41-25 loss on the strength of a prolific first half.

The Lady Barbs’, winners of their 13th game of 2013-14, held Kaneland to a rough 10-of-38 evening from the field. Kaneland’s top scorer was frontcourt asset Kelly Wallner with eight points. DeKalb junior Madelyne Johnson supplied a game-high 14 points.

Kaneland was also just 4-of-10 from the foul line on the DeKalb hardwood.

KHS kept it somewhat close and trailed 15-10 after the first eight minutes, before managing just two points in the second quarter and falling in a 29-12 hole. In a slower-tempo third quarter, KHS closed it to 33-18 before the final frame.

“The girls did an excellent job defensively holding DeKalb to 41 points,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “They have a lot of weapons. We have struggled shooting the ball this season and we had a rough night shooting on Friday. The effort is there, we just need to knock down some shots.”

The other teams in the NIB-12 landscape are shaping up to how Colombe saw.

“We felt like the conference would be very strong and it is. DeKalb is the defending champ and is until someone else takes it from them. They feature two girls who are D1 recruits. Sycamore has arguably the top player thus far in conference in Bailey Gilbert, and they play very well as a team,” Colombe said.

The girls deal with Sycamore at home on Friday, Jan. 24, and will try to halt a three-game skid.

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