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IHSA schools approve three amendments

in Fall Sports/Football/Spring Sports/Tennis/Winter Sports by

Proposed change to football rules fails

BLOOMINGTON, ILL.—Illinois High School Association (IHSA) member schools approved three amendment proposals and rejected three others in the annual referendum that ended Dec. 30, 2014.

The online ballots were tabulated and certified in the IHSA office Tuesday. All the by-law changes will take effect on July 1. Proposal 8, which removes the “dead week” from the IHSA calendar, will likely be interpreted by the Board of Directors to cancel the remaining portion of the originally scheduled “dead week,” which was to begin on June 28.

Schools rejected Proposal 10, which would have revamped the football regular season and the football playoff system, by a margin of 212 for the proposal and 395 against it. Among football-playing schools only, the proposal was rejected by a count of 306-162.

Schools also narrowly rejected two proposals regarding the Scholastic Bowl season. Proposal 17 failed by a 313-291 vote margin, and Proposal 18 failed by just six votes, 305-299. Both proposals were voted down by a 55-to-45 percent margin among Scholastic Bowl-playing schools.

Here is a summary of the proposals and the vote totals:
• Proposal 1 (passed 370-239): Allows the Board of Directors to approve international programs that do not appear on the list of the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET), and thereby confer eligibility to students in those programs
• Proposal 5 (passed 375-234): Removes the mid-summer “dead week” provision that was approved last year.
• Proposal 10 (rejected 395-212): Would have revamped the football regular season and the football playoff system.
• Proposal 15 (passed 489-96): Moves the date of the first contest of the Girls Tennis season four days earlier, to Thursday of Week 7.
• Proposal 17 (rejected 313-291): Would have removed the season limitation currently in place for Scholastic Bowl.
• Proposal 18 (rejected 305-299): Would have increased the contest limitation for Scholastic Bowl from 18 dates to 30 dates.

A total of 613 of 810 member schools participated in the amendment balloting—a significant increase from last year’s 57.3 percent. A new email voting procedure is credited with turning out the vote, yielding the second-highest percentage since 1997.

Jan. 8 sports recap

in Bowling/Boys Basketball by

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

Kaneland’s Eric Baron named 2A Coach of the Year

in Boys Track/Sports by

MAPLE PARK—The Illinois Track & Cross County Coaches Association (ITCCCA) recently named Kaneland boys track and field coach Eric Baron its 2A Coach of the Year for 2014.

Baron began his coaching tenure at Kaneland in the fall of 1999, when he became an assistant cross country coach. That year, the Knights won a Sectional title and placed second at the IHSA State Championships.

In track, he coached the distance runners and helped out some with the jumping events as an assistant under head boys coach Ralph Drendel from 2000 to 2005.

After Drendel’s retirement in 2006, Baron was named Kaneland’s boys track and field coach. Since then, his teams have compiled a 75-10 dual meet record, and have won three NIB-12 outdoor conference titles (including the past two), the past three NIB-12 indoor conference titles, the past three Kane County Team Championships, and the past six IHSA Sectional team titles—from which they have advanced 55 individual athletes and 20 relay teams to the Illinois State Meet. At State, the Knights have won two second-place 2A team plaques and produced seven individual State champions.

Baron’s 2014 State meet team scored in 10 events and won titles in the shot put (Nate Dyer) and long jump (Ben Barnes), en route to placing second last spring behind perennial powerhouse Cahokia by a score of 90-84.

“During my nine seasons as head track coach, I have been extremely fortunate to have some outstanding assistant coaches,” Baron said. “In a sport with seven different broad event areas—18 events in all—and a team with more than one hundred members competing at two levels, that has played a critical role in the success we’ve had.”

Baron said his family is a huge part of who he is and what he does, and that he considers his wife, Deborah, his biggest supporter. Although she is not a runner, they met at a cross country meet (Deborah was an interpreter for a hearing-impaired runner) when she and Eric were both teachers in Tinley Park, Ill.

“Deborah understands the value of what I do, and her belief in me makes it easier to fulfill my commitment to a very time-consuming job,” he said. “My daughters, Nora and Ella, have been around the Kaneland track and field program all of their lives and enjoy watching our meets and cheering for our athletes.”

Eric’s personal running career began at Kaneland Middle School, where he was introduced to distance running in a sixth-grade P.E. class.

“That spring, a passion for running ignited within me during our annual track and field day,” Eric said.

His family moved to St. Charles when he was in the seventh grade. Later, at St. Charles High School, he was a two-time All-State cross country runner and a five-time State qualifier in track, setting school records in the 3200 meters,1600m, 4x800m relay and 4x400m relay. Today, he still holds the St. Charles East freshman mile record of 4:30.2.

After high school, Eric attended Eastern Illinois University on a track scholarship, where he was a 14-time All-Conference performer in cross country and indoor/outdoor track. His senior year, he was runner-up in his conference cross country meet and indoor conference champion in the 3000m run.

After college, he had a brief post-collegiate running career in which he ran a 4:02.7 mile indoors at Indiana University. Later, he finished seventh overall in the mammoth Shamrock Shuffle 8K in Chicago’s Grant Park. Eric developed pneumonia after the Shuffle (held in 8-degree temperatures that March), which effectively ended his running career.

“I enjoy giving back to the sport that has given me so much,” Eric said. “I can’t thank the coaches in my life enough for what they have taught me. Most of all, I have been blessed to work with so many talented, dedicated young men who have been entrusted to me by their parents and our school. It is a great honor to be named ITCCCA 2A Track Coach of the Year—an honor I share with my family, our assistant coaches, and all the Kaneland athletes I have been privileged to coach.”

Knight girls split Ottawa tournament encounters

in Girls Basketball by

KHS finishes third

KANELAND—A third-place nod made for a decent last-minute stocking stuffer for the Kaneland High School girls basketball squad following its final pair of Ottawa Holiday Tournament gigs last week.

On Dec. 22, Kaneland (8-3, 1-2 Northern Illinois Big XII) fell to New Lenox, Ill., outfit Lincoln-Way West in a 59-42 affair, before decking the host Pirates 43-37 in the third-place game the following day.

“We really try not to look back and just keep moving forward. We want to win every game, so we focus on going 1-0 each game. We lost to a good LWW team—they are currently still undefeated and beat some good teams, especially Ottawa and Pontiac,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said.

Lincoln-Way West would end up topping Yorkville in the final, 61-54.

Against the Warriors, the Knights trailed 33-21 at the halftime break and 48-32 after the third quarter, and were outgunned 11-10 in the final eight minutes.

Post presence Bailey Crimmins paced Kaneland with a team-high 14 points.

Facing Ottawa, Kaneland was led by Crimmins’ 16 points and point guard Camri Conley’s 12. Crimmins also added nine rebounds, while Morgan Weber was good for six steals. The roster was 15-for-36 from the field and 11-for-23 from the foul line.

KHS trailed 14-9 after one, but had a stellar second quarter to lead 21-17 at halftime. In the third, Kaneland upped its lead to 36-26 at quarter’s end before Ottawa slimmed the lead.

With a balanced attack and Crimmins getting her share of key points, Colombe stresses that the team’s progress lies within the entire lineup.

“We really do not have one standout player right now,” Colombe said. “All of our players rely on the other four players on the court in order to have success. Our low-post players have been getting better, and that goes hand-in-hand with our guards getting better at getting them the ball.”

The girls will enjoy a New Year’s break before hosting Rosary on Tuesday, Jan. 6.

Boys basketball battles through Plano field

in Boys Basketball by

Initial win over Indian Creek preceded loss to BC, win over Seneca

KANELAND—Plano High School’s 52nd annual Christmas Classic found Kaneland trying to make waves in the bracket while also looking to get its season back on track.

On Dec. 23, Kaneland (3-7), the 14th seed, bested Indian Creek by a 67-53 count. On Friday, Burlington Central, the 3-seed, trounced KHS by a 66-57 count. Saturday saw Kaneland beat the Seneca Irish by a 43-29 score.

Against the T-Wolves, Kaneland led 15-12 after one and 31-29 after two before pouring it on with a 25-15 run in the third quarter.

“It was something that we really needed,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said. “We found our guys with good positions to score. Keeping it basic and making the smart plays helped us out.”

Ryan David had 19 points, while Jacob Gomes and Connor Fedderly supplied 13 each. Indian Creek’s Drew Winterton had a game-high 26 points.

Fedderly, who supplied three of Kaneland’s six three-pointers, felt good about adding a “W” to the season column.

“We have a lot of respect for Indian Creek—they are run-and-gun style, and we were happy to come out with a win. We’re feeling pretty good,” he said.

Against the rival Rockets, Kaneland fell behind 29-12 after one before inching closer at 40-27 at the halftime buzzer. KHS closed to within 54-43 before the fourth quarter’s short efforts.

David had a game-high 27 points, the only Knight in double figures.

Against the Irish, Kaneland was able to storm out to a 15-2 advantage before Seneca closed within 20-19. A 13-8 third quarter created a little more breathing room before the Knights sealed the game with a 10-2 fourth quarter.

Vaca led with 12 points, and David supplied 10.

Kaneland’s last two games at Plano took place Monday and Tuesday, with results unavailable for press. KHS then plays on Saturday, Jan. 3, against St. Charles North at Chicago’s United Center .

Cheering on winter break

in Cheerleading by

JOLIET, ILL.—A rollercoaster ride the past two weeks ultimately led to a less-than-ideal competition-season opener for the Kaneland cheerleaders. From a car accident to the flu, the squad was simply not at 100 percent.

Although they placed 11th out of 12 teams, the rest of the competition season looks promising.

“We’ve had a really rough past couple weeks, so to pull it together for competiton means a lot,” senior Nicole McClellan said after Sunday’s competition. “Four of our cheerleaders got in a roll-over car accident—including me—and three of them are (still) out. Last week we missed eight girls during the week, and this week we missed two girls (due to the flu).”

The girls in the accident are OK, confirmed coach Jennifer French.

But with so many athletes out, it meant a lot adjustments for those that were preparing for Sunday’s Cheerfest.

“We had to fix everything,” said McClellan. “It was a lot of work.”

French was pleased with the effort she saw from the girls that competed Sunday.

“We had some falls and touch downs, which caused us to have seven points worth of deductions,” French said. “Overall, I’m always proud of what these girls do. It takes a lot to get out on a mat in front of an entire field house full of people and perform.”

Senior Lexi Lund was excited for the beginning of the competition season.

“Football season is fun—it’s good to be involved with the school—but comptition (season) is definitely where us cheerleaders shine,” she said. “We practice every day instead of maybe twice or three times a week. Sundays or Saturdays we have all-day competitions, so it’s very time-consuming.”

McClellan echoed Lund’s sentiment about the competition season.

“We feel like a family together. We get so much closer to our girls, it’s just a lot more fun,” she said.

Looking ahead, the Knight cheerleaders have some time to prepare for their next competion, which takes place in Belvidere, Ill., on Jan. 10. The regular season ends at the DeKalb Sectional Jan. 31.

“There are plenty of things we will be working on for our January competitions, and I look forward to seeing the progress from this first competition to our last,” French said.

With only two seniors—Lund and McClellan—the team has promise this year and beyond.

“I feel like this team has a lot of potential to do really good this year, and even when we do leave, if they keep up their hard work and have their hearts in it, I feel that they will continuously get better,” Lund said. “I see a lot of improvement in the team, and I see them going far.”

Competition Schedule:
Jan. 10: @ Belvidere
Jan. 18: Conference @ Sycamore
Jan. 25: @ Huntley
Jan. 31: Sectionals @ DeKalb

Owning Ottawa

in Girls Basketball by

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.

Bowling falls at Huntley

in Bowling by

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.

Did UC them?

in Boys Basketball by

Knights established unique history on Chicago’s NBA floor
KANELAND—Getting a chance to play on New Year’s Eve would be a special opportunity for any high school basketball squad.

On Dec. 31, 2008, the Kaneland High School basketball team took the occasion to compete on a special floor.

It was that meeting with then-conference rival Geneva that kicked off a relationship with the one and only United Center, as part of the Chicago Bulls’ agreement with suburban basketball programs.

Fast approaching the fourth occasion for KHS boys to take the same court as Jordan, Pippen, Rose and Noah, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015, marks the first occasion for Kaneland to battle St. Charles North, a switchup from the previous three against Geneva.

“This is just something that I felt the players really liked to do. They get excited for the fact that they are playing on the same floor that the professionals play on. Also, it is a unique experience for them and something that they can look forward to,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said.

“Walking through the tunnel for the first time against Geneva, and you look up at the stands and see your family, that’s great,” Tyler Carlson said.

Carlson, who helped represent Kaneland back on Jan. 4 in a close, 54-51 loss to Geneva, scored 21 points to lead an almost-comeback against the Vikings, but still had some adjustments to make.

“Straight ahead, the sightlines weren’t too bad, it was when you were taking corner shots that you kind of had to get used to them,” said Carlson, now an Aurora University Spartan.

Class of 2014 standout Drew David, point guard from the last Knights’ UC effort, can identify with the somewhat off-kilter surroundings.

“The fact that the ceiling is so high gets you, and also that the stands go all the way around,” David said.

“Once the game starts, at least for me, nothing changes from playing on a normal court,” Johnson adds. “The kids still need to do the little things to execute.”

“It’s really something special, and as you’re playing, you just have to keep calm,” Carlson said.

The game 11 months ago at the Madhouse of Madison marked the first venture to the 20,500-seat arena since Feb. 20, 2010, a 49-40 loss that also marked KHS coach Brian Johnson’s first foray to the Tom Thibeadoau-manned sideline.

“It’s fun to see the kids’ reactions when they first get on the floor. I love the 5th quarter that we play for the kids that might not get into the first game. My first year, David Dudzinski played extremely well, and you could tell he was ready to play on that type of stage in college. Last year, I thought we played one of our best games of the year,” Johnson said.

The first venture to Chicago for Kaneland, right before the calendar turned to 2009, was a 57-40 setback to the Vikings.

David, who will attempt to see younger brother Ryan play in his second United Center game, thinks it’s best to take the good with the bad.

“We were able to shoot around about an hour before the game started, and you tried to get comfortable, and in one of my first shots, I shot an airball that missed by two feet. I was kind of nervous, but the floor is the same,” David said.

Paired with the chance to see the Bulls take on the Boston Celtics, Kaneland fans buying tickets will hope not only for a Bulls win, but for a first-ever Knights win on the hallowed floor.

Pushing back the Barbs

in Girls Basketball by
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.”

Knights face big tests

in Wrestling by

Photo: Junior Austin Parks looks for an opportunity to take down Yorkville’s Derek Cajina Dec. 11. Parks won 14-1. Photo by Mary Paulson

Back-to-back days against larger opponents see KHS go 1-2
KANELAND—A week that saw the Knights go 1-2 at home against three larger schools still featured much success for the KHS wrestling squad.

Last Wednesday, Kaneland beat Class 2A rival Crystal Lake Central on their home mat, 34-23 before falling to 3A Cary-Grove 44-23. The next day, the Knights grapplers fell to No. 13 ranked 3A school Yorville 48-15. The 2A No. 9 ranked Knights now sit at 9-3.

“Normally, we don’t like to schedule matches on consecutive days. But this was a calendar anomaly,” said head coach Joe Orosco. “Last year we won only one match vs. Yorkville, so our goal was to increase that number.”

On Wednesday against the 2A No. 10 Crystal Lake Central, the Knights were led by Austin Kedzie’s pin at 106 pounds, a 15-0 technical fall by Riley Vanik, and major decisions by both Colin Gussman at 170 pounds and Austin Parks at 182 pounds. Against Cary Grove, KHS got pins from Gussman and 195-pound entry Tom Price. Kedzie and Parks provided major-decision wins.

On Thursday against the Foxes, Kedzie continued his success with a pin over Johnathan Salgado, while 152-pound entry Hayden Patterson won a close 8-7 battle.

“The team score may look like a rout, but we had to forfeit three weight classes and had several close decisions that we lost by only a few points,” Orosco said “Whereas, last year, we lost those matches to pins.”

Next up for the Knights is tonight at Morris, starting at 7 p.m.

Spartans pick their spots

in Boys Basketball by
DSC_6964 (2)

Photo: Junior guard Dylan Vaca made two three-pointers Saturday against Sycamore. Photo by Mary Paulson

KANELAND—Knights boys hoops would have loved to take it to the host Sycamore Spartans in the second Northern Illinois Big XII matchup on Saturday, but the weekend took a turn for the worse.

Plagued by an 8-for-17 night from the foul line and not enough time on the clock, the Knights fell to 1-6 (0-2 NIB-12) in the lone matchup of the week, 46-36.

Connor Fedderly helped from the perimeter to lead the Knights with a game-high 14 points, but Sycamore’s lineup had nine separate scorers.

Fedderly and Dylan Vaca each supplied two three-pointers each.

KHS trailed 10-7 after one and 14-13 after the first half of play, before Sycamore turned it on with a 34-25 advantage going into the fourth quarter.

“Of late, our free throw shooting has been extremely poor,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said. “We are going to need to block off more time in practice for them to work on it. The only problem is that we make our free throws in practice. It’s hard to simulate game free throws. Even if we put running on the line for missed free throws in practice, it still isn’t the same as shooting them in the game.”

Knight boys hoops has ample time to recover from the conference loss, not suiting up until Tuesday, Dec. 23, at the prestigious Plano Christmas Classic that goes through Tuesday, Dec. 30.

Dec. 18 sports recap

in Boys Basketball/Girls Basketball by

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.

Knight grapplers continue to roll

in Wrestling by

Photo: Wrestling at 160 pounds, sophomore Riley Vanik (center) pins Sycamore’s Michael Emster. Photo by Mary Paulson

KHS picks up crucial early season wins vs. Sycamore, Lemont
KANELAND—Winning six of its first eight encounters has the Kaneland High School wrestling squad feeling good—especially onsidering the competition.

The Knights on Dec. 4 were able to invade Northern Illinois Big XII rival Sycamore and exit with a slim 34-31 win. On Saturday in Maple Park, KHS followed that win up with a more sizable 49-22 finish over the visiting Lemont Indians.

Highlights against Sycamore included a pin by 160-pounder Riley Vanik and a similar outcome for 220-pound representative Tom Price (Vanik). Austin Kedzie at 106 and George Strang at 145 each had technical falls to help the cause.

“The mid to heavier weights have definitely been towing their weight, and then some, but the team as a whole has been doing a good job picking up the slack from the holes in the lineup, due to some forfeits at 120 and 220. Everyone has been willing to sacrifice for the team,” KHS coach Joe Orosco said.

Kedzie earned a 1:26 pin against Lemont over the weekend, while teammate Matthew Redman took an 11-3 major decision in 126 action. At 132, Knight Jacob Shearer was able to earn a 1:03 pin. Vanik upped his ante with a 1:57 pinfall, and fellow KHS entry Colin Gussman continued his trajectory at 170 with a 10-3 decision. After a pair of forfeits, Price stuck a :53 pinfall, and heavyweight Zach Thielk rose with a :54 pinfall of his own.

Kaneland was set to travel to Crystal Lake Central on Wednesday to face the hosts and Cary-Grove, before hosting NIB-12 rival Yorkville on Thursday.

Girls basketball solved by two NIB12 rivals

in Girls Basketball by
__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.

Boys basketball to play at United Center

in Boys Basketball by

Tickets on sale through Dec. 19
CHICAGO—The Kaneland boys basketball team will play St. Charles North at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015, at the United Center in Chicago—prior to the Bulls game against the Boston Celtics.

Tickets are $60 and provide admission to both the Kaneland/St. Charles game and the Bulls vs. Celtics game at 6 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at Kaneland High School through Stephanie Douglas at Stephanie.douglas@kaneland.org.

Tickets will be on sale until Friday, Dec. 19.

Photo from UnitedCenter.com

Dec. 11 sports recap

in Bowling/Girls Basketball by

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

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.

Knights dealt more early-season blows

in Boys Basketball by

Boys hoops 1-5 after Morris, Rock Island setbacks
KANELAND—It’s not the start the Knights boys basketball team was hoping for, but with the season still in the beginning stages, there is time for adjustments to be made.

The best hope for the 1-5 (0-1 Northern Illinois Big XII) Knights is to learn and put studies into action.

On Friday in Morris, Kaneland was pushed back on its collective shoes with a 53-46 loss, and Saturday saw a trip to the Quad Cities area all for naught in a 57-30 loss.

Against the host Redskins, it was Jacob Gomes leading the way for KHS with a team-high 14 points, followed by Dylan Vaca with 13, including two three-pointers. The Knights were 14-for-22 from the foul line on the evening.

Up early by a 14-8 count after the first quarter, Kaneland still maintained 24-19 and 34-32 leads at the end of the next two frames. It was a 20-12 run the entire length of the fourth quarter that spelled doom for the visitors.

KHS coach Brian Johnson liked the play from Gomes, who looks to contribute more in 2014-15 after an unhealthy 2013-14 season.

“Jacob is getting better every game,” Johnson said. “As a team, we need to work off of him in the post. It is important for us to get him touches. With his success, it will open up shots for his teammates from the outside.”

Against the Rocks, the Knights were hurt by an 11-for-42 night from the field in a game that saw an 18-8 first quarter deficit balloon to a 30-14 halftime deficit, and a 43-19 lead after three.

On Saturday, Dec. 13, the Kaneland boys continue conference action with a trip to Sycamore in the eighth of 13 straight road games.

Bowlers vanquish Lisle in 3-headed week

in Bowling by

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.

Wasco Fastpitch registration begins Jan. 1

in Community Sports by

WASCO—Wasco Girls Fastpitch Softball registration for the 2015 Spring/Summer season begins Thursday, Jan. 1. WGFSL is a recreational softball league celebrating its 27th year.

Registration is open to all girls grades kindergarten through 12th grade. Games are played in the evenings and some Saturdays in northwest St. Charles. Practices start in April and games conclude late June/early July with tournaments.

In addition to its in-house recreational league, Wasco Fastpitch offers 10U, 12U, 14U 16U All Star light travel teams, the Wasco Warriors. The Warriors participate in the in-house season but also in several area tournaments—without the year-round commitment and expense of full time travel team—all the while gaining great experience for the more advanced player. Tryouts are Jan. 18, 2015.

Athletes can register online at www.wascofastpitch.com, download a mail-in registration form or call (630) 513-1200.

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