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.