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Sports - page 42

Super Fans

in Boys Basketball/Girls Basketball by

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On Saturday, Rich and Nancy Miller were presented with the “Friends of the Program” award from the Kaneland basketball program. Rich and Nancy are both Kaneland graduates and support Kaneland sports in every way possible. Varsity Head Coach Brian Johnson (left) presented the Millers with their award. Photo by John DiDonna

Repeat champs

in Community Sports by

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A group of local student-athletes helped form the repeat state champion Martinez Fox Valley Elite wrestling team. The team won the Illinois Kids Wrestling Foundation State Dual Meet championship on Sunday at Willowbrook High School in Villa Park, Ill.

Mitch Jones, 14, Matthew Redman, 14, Riley Vanik, 13, and Nathan Orosco, 12, all of Sugar Grove; Jacob Shearer, 14, of Kaneville; and Luke Eggenberger, 13, of Maple Park, helped the Elite defeat the Plainfield Force 71-17 in the championship finals.

Jones and Vanik were also part of last year’s state title winners.

Drew it up

in Boys Basketball/Featured by

Photo: Drew David beats the defense to the basket in the first quarter against Sycamore on Tuesday. Drew went on to hit a 3-point buzzer-beater to win the game, 43-42. Photo by Patti Wilk

David’s clutch 3 beats rival Sycamore; KHS also downs L-P
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Your boys basketball team is 11-6, 5-1 in the Northern Illinois Big XII setting, and 10-2 in its last 12 contests.

Plays like the one that ended Tuesday’s win over Sycamore in Maple Park provide plenty of looks into why the Knights’ fortunes are turning positive.

With the Knights owning possession with 11.5 seconds remaining and down by two, Drew David eventually got the ball after several touches and sank a three-pointer with under two ticks left in the game.

The clock ran down before Sycamore could manage another play, resulting in a 43-42 win for the host Kaneland crew, which has won five straight.

“It’s a huge win, because they were a team we hadn’t beat yet,” David said. “We were trying to (get it to) Matt (Limbrunner) and try to get an easy layup, because they were switching the whole time, and they covered everything.”

David is used to similar finishes on the court, having helped defeat DeKalb with a late three pointer earlier in the season.

Sycamore enjoyed a 15-13 lead after one and a 28-21 lead after two frames.

Sycamore struck first again in the second half and had a 30-21 lead 31 seconds into the quarter, but two Limbrunner (12 points) buckets closed it to 30-25 with 5:42 remaining. Limbrunner struck again from inside with 3:56 to go to close within 32-27 with 3:56 to go.

Kaneland’s final flurry of the third frame included a David basket, Cole Carlson shot and a Limbrunner attempt off the glass to tie the score at 33 with 1:31 left. A Spartan three with 59.4 remaining to make it 36-33 before the buzzer.

The Spartans took a four-point lead in the fourth, but Limbrunner’s putback of a Tyler Carlson miss with 4:09 left closed it to 40-38, and a later attempt in the paint with 1:11 to go tied the score at 40.

Sycamore hit the front end of a free throw pair with 52.4 left, as well as with 22.5 left to enjoy a brief 42-40 edge before the final sequence.

“I told the boys at halftime that we had to try to get that lead to three going into the fourth and let the chips fall where they may,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said. “I think the boys did a nice job of doing that, and they were fighting and fighting. We had some key guys in foul trouble all night, and I thought some guys stepped up off the bench.”

In Saturday action, the Knights travelled to LaSalle County to face the L-P Cavaliers and left with a 34-32 win.

Only four Knights entered the scoring column, with Limbrunner totalling 14 and John Pruett 12

KHS had a 9-7 lead after one but went scoreless in the second quarter to fall behind 12-9 at the half. The Knights’ 19-10 flurry in the third had them up 28-22 at the horn before the final eight minutes.

The Golden Warriors of Sterling come through town on Saturday, Jan. 26, for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off.

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Knights grab 5th on NIB-12 mat

in Featured/Wrestling by

Photo: Sonny Horn, wrestling at 138 pounds, fights hard against his Sycamore opponent at the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference Tourney on Saturday. Photo by Patti Wilk

Kaneland’s 145-pound entry, Dan Goress, wins NIB-12 bracket
by Mike Slodki
SYCAMORE—Seeing what the rest of the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference can offer provides a nice opportunity.

For Kaneland, it gave a chance to see how many points it could collect.

The Knights put up a nice showing on Saturday at Sycamore High School, collecting 133 points, good for fifth place.

A scoring error shuffled some places and was corrected on Tuesday. Kaneland originally was tied for fourth with DeKalb, and Sycamore was crowned original winner.

After the modifications, Yorkville (218), Sycamore (216) and Geneseo (154.5) took the top three spots. DeKalb took fourth at 141.5.

LaSalle-Peru (108), Morris (93) and Sterling (88) took sixth through eighth.

Rounding out the lower tier were Ottawa with 84, Streator with 60, Rochelle with 46 and Dixon with 22.

Dan Goress (30-3), at 145 pounds, emerged as the NIB-12 champ in his bracket with a 2:28 pin of Sycamore’s Dylan Foster.

It was a nice honor for Goress at the tail-end of regular season action, with the team anchor having used his penchant for tech falls and major decisions quite well.

“They’re just as important, but from a personal standpoint, it’s toughness,” Goress said. “It’s getting a workout out of it and just physically breaking your opponent more than just going out there and pinning them. It’s about getting in their head.”

Kaneland got going with a third-place nod for Stephen Gust at 113 pounds.

Gust (25-7) took the honor by 3-0 decision over Yorkville’s Dan Cikauskas.

Gust, no stranger to late-season competition, planned to use Saturday to its fullest.

“It’s kind of like a gauge to see what you can do in regionals, because regionals are tough, obviously,” Gust said.

At 120 pounds, Connor Williams (22-5) made it to the finals before dropping a 9-0 major decision to Morris’ Kenny Baldridge.

At 132 pounds, Esai Ponce (25-4) took second, his lone defeat at the hands of DeKalb’s Doug Johnson with 11 seconds left in the match.

Nick Sharp (25-10) was given fourth overall at 220 pounds after making it to the third-place match, defeated by Streator’s Isaias Macias in 4-0 fashion.

Zach Theis (22-5) earned second place, losing only to Sterling’s Curtis Lilly, 2-1, in the final.

Kaneland heads to Batavia for a meet with an old rival on Friday, Jan. 25.

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Lost weekend

in Featured/Girls Basketball by

Photo: Kaneland Senior Emma Bradford goes up for a bucket in the first half at Sycamore on Friday. Photo by John DiDonna
KHS girls drop pair at Sycamore, L-P
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—Kaneland girls basketball went through a weekend they’d like to have back, or not go through again.

Friday had another hotly contested matchup with Sycamore, this time along Spartan Trail and going down to the final seconds, when Sycamore handed Kaneland a 49-48 OT loss.

Saturday saw a trip south to LaSalle-Peru High School and a slim 49-47 setback.

The twinbill of losses dropped Kaneland down to 12-9 (4-4 Northern Illinois Big XII Conference).

Against the Spartans, which Kaneland defeated in extra time last month, Aly O’Herron’s four three-pointers paced the team with 12 points, followed by Brooke Harner with 11.

Bailey Gilbert of Sycamore had a game-high 14.

Sycamore had a decided advantage in the charity stripe game, going 23-for-36, compared to 7-for-12 for the Lady Knights.

KHS had an 11-8 lead after one and a 24-18 lead at the break.

A three-point play 37 seconds into the third quarter by Marina Schaefer gave KHS a 27-18 lead. Sycamore powered their way back to close within 32-31 on a foul shot, but an offensive putback by Ashley Prost with 20.8 seconds left extended the edge to 34-31 before the quarter expired.

Sycamore kept at it in the fourth, and took a 39-37 lead with 4:43 remaining before a Harner basket with 3:26 to go tied the score.

A Gilbert trey with 1:04 to go put the Lady Spartans ahead 42-39 before Harner’s three-point play with 39.4 to go knotted it up at 42.

Sycamore had a chance for a lead, but a Julia Moll three-pointer was waved off due to a called timeout on Sycamore’s sideline with two seconds left.

Sycamore saw all seven of its points in OT come from the foul line, with the only lead coming on Kaneland’s side from a Harner lay-in with :31 to go to make it 46-45. Two Gilbert free throws with 1:09 cemented the home edge.

O’Herron’s three try was off, with a Sarah Grams putback able to close the margin to one with 1.9 remaining.

“I thought it was a good game,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We played real well tonight, and I thought it came down to the line. When the other team goes to the line 37 times, we probably shouldn’t have even been in this game, so I thought we played well. We executed for the most part; we had shots and looks at the end of the game but didn’t hit them.”

In the loss to the Lady Cavs, the Lady Knights had Prost’s 19 and O’Herron’s 12 in the effort.

L-P had a 13-11 lead after one and 23-22 at the half before KHS took a 33-30 lead after three. The hosts outscored Kaneland 19-14 to cinch the matter.

KHS looks forward to hosting the Sterling Golden Warriors on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 4 p.m. in crossover action.

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Bowlers handle IMSA

in Bowling by

KHS group also deals with tough NIB-12 field
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—For their second win of 2012-13, Kaneland High School bowling didn’t have to go far.

In a meeting at St. Paul’s Lanes in Aurora, KHS earned a 2,280-1,989 win over Illinois Math and Science Academy in a match in which the top five scores were officially counted.

Kaneland saw its dual mark improve to 2-6.

Angela Charhut led the way with a 464 series, followed closely by fellow Lady Knight Morgan Wojciechowski’s 463. Christie Crews also contributed with a 441.

Wojciechowski paced KHS with a team-high 177 game, followed by Charhut’s 170.

Mikayla Petesch of IMSA was tops for the Lady Titans with a 466 series.

At the Northern Illinois Big XII meet hosted by DeKalb at Mardi Gras Lanes, Kaneland took 10th in the 10-team gathering, with a final total of 5,305 pins knocked down. Nearby Sycamore won the tournament.

“We did not have a bad day, but the other teams just seemed to be bowling exceptionally well,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said.

Wojciechowski’s 218 and 193 games and 1,012 series were team-highs on the day. Ellissa Eckert added a 188 game of her own.

Up next for the Lady Knights is a meet with visiting Lisle on Wednesday, Jan. 30.

Girls hoops run over Redskin rival

in Featured/Girls Basketball by

Photo: Brooke Harner (22) passes out of a crowd to teammate Vanessa Gould (14) in the first quarter against Morris on Tuesday evening. Photo by Patti Wilk

Second-half explosion neutralizes previous
loss to Ottawa

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Tuesday evening in Maple Park was exhibit “A” on how fortunes can change on a dime.

Kaneland and Morris met for the first time since their meeting in the Ottawa Holiday Tournament in late December, and were embroiled in a hotly contested Northern Illinois Big XII outing that saw the visitors up 26-25 at halftime.

Five steals and three three-point plays began the third quarter and shifted the contest into Kaneland’s favor as it outscored the Redskins 27-6 in the third, on the way to a 65-32 shellacking.

The win did its part to take the sting off of a 50-30 loss to host Ottawa on Saturday afternoon.

The Lady Knights are now 12-7 and 4-3 in the Northern Illinois Big XII.

Vanessa Gould hit a basket on a putback, and Emma Bradford hit a foul shot to give Kaneland a 12-9 lead over Morris with 1:08 to go in the first until Morris launched a three-pointer with 42.1 left to tie the score at 12. The first quarter ended with the same score.

Morris withstood baskets by Brooke Harner (career-high 15 points) and a three-point play by Sarah Grams to tie it at 23 with 2:33 left in the half.

Bradford hit a basket to give KHS a 25-23 lead before a Morris trifecta with 1:44 to go in the half sent Kaneland down one.

The third quarter began with KHS on a 12-0 run thanks to a three by Aly O’Herron (22 points), a three-point play by Grams, a three-point play by O’Herron and a three-point play by Harner to give KHS a 37-26 lead with 5:45 to go in the frame. A second flurry with two Harner foul shots, a Bradford basket, a Caroline Heimerdinger shot and two more Harner free throws extended the lead to 45-28 with 3:35 to go.

“In the second half, we realized we were a better team than this, and we need to play better,” O’Herron said.

To add an exclamation point on the third-quarter, O’Herron caught an inbound pass with one tick left and nailed another trifecta to give KHS a 52-32 lead after three.

“I was supposed to screen and run across and I saw nobody around me, so I was like, ‘Caroline, here,’ and my eyes lit up,” O’Herron said.

Kaneland forced Morris into a scoreless fourth quarter and an 0-for-9 stretch from the field as the Lady Knights put up 13 more points of their own.

“I think the girls were disappointed in the first half and came out better on defense in the second half,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “They stepped up in the second half. Any time you hold a team to six points in a half at this level, it’s excellent.”

Ashley Prost led the Lady Knights with 10 points against the Ottawa counterparts, but KHS struggled with a 12-for-39 effort from the field, and 6-of-23 from the charity stripe.

KHS was down 17-9 after one and 28-14 at the half. Ottawa was up 36-21 after three before the final frame.

On Friday, Jan. 18, Kaneland faces host Sycamore at 7 p.m.

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Knights at hub of victory

in Boys Basketball/Featured by

Photo: John Pruett executes a leaping lay-up in the fourth quarter of Kaneland’s 65-62 home win against Rochelle on Thursday. Photo by Patti Wilk

Limbrunner, Pruett combine for 40 in NIB-12 win
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Eight out of 10 isn’t bad.

Outside of two setbacks at last month’s Plano Christmas Classic, the Knights don’t have a blemish on the slate since junior guard Drew David saw his way back into the lineup from injury.

The narrative continued on Thursday evening against the visiting Rochelle Hubs, as the Knights staged a 65-62 comeback win.

The win raises KHS prospects to 9-6 (4-1 Northern Illinois Big XII).

“We still have a long way to go offensively. The nice thing about having Drew back is that we are taking care of the ball better. But our consistency needs to improve,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said.

Helped by a 16-for-24 evening at the line, compared to just four tries for the visitors, Kaneland beat its 2012 regional final opponent from a year ago. Matt Limbrunner had a game-high 23 points, to go with teammate John Pruett’s 17. Dan Miller added nine in the win.

The 65 points marks a team-high for 2012-13 thus far, and held up despite Rochelle’s mind-boggling 14 three-pointers. Grant Prusator had a team-high five treys.

Rochelle led 19-14 after one quarter and 40-29 at the end of the first half. Kaneland closed within 51-45 at the end of the third frame before making a 20-11 run spanning the fourth quarter.

Kaneland hopes the effort shows on the court in this second half of the season.

“The boys are buying into our defensive philosophy. They also work hard on a consistent basis,” Johnson said.

Kaneland travels to conference crossover adversary LaSalle-Peru on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 6:30 p.m.

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Wrestlers take down Morris, host Flott

in Featured/Wrestling by

Photo: Junior Zack Russell won the championship in the 160 pound weight class against a Prairie Central opponent. Photo by Patti Wilk

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Fourth time is a charm for local wrestlers.

For the fourth straight season, KHS wrestling was crowned king of its own mat at the Margarett Flott Memorial Tournament held in Maple Park on Saturday.

The Knights also took down Morris in a slim 40-35 encounter on Thursday, raising their dual mark to 13-12.

The Knights’ improvement in 2012-13 is already tangible, with the Kaneland group eclipsing last season’s dual meet mark of 11-12.

“We’re a better tournament team than a dual team, but we did well and we’re down to an important part of the season,” KHS coach Monty Jahns said.

Kaneland’s total of 227 beat Elgin (156), Prairie Central (141), Ottawa (128.5) and Niles North (105) to round out the top five in the 10-team invite.

Connor Williams captured the 120-pound mantle with a 4:12 pinfall over Ottawa rival Christian Boswell. Williams reached the final with a 14-2 major decision over Elgin’s Daniel Easter.

Esai Ponce conquered the 132-pound group with a 6-2 decision over Bradey Weinrich of BC. Ponce reached the final with a 3:11 pin over Prairie Central’s Nick Kauffman.

Sonny Horn won the 138-pound gathering with a 4-1 win over Marian Catholic’s Nick Remke. Horn made the final via 4-2 decision over PC’s Ben Traub.

Kaneland standout Dan Goress captured the 145-pound title with a 3-1 decision over Evan Bahler of PC, after a 15-1 major decision over Larkin’s Alex Duran.

Zack Russell staked the 160-pound claim by 5:35 pinfall over PC’s Jake Adams. Russell made the final by 6-5 win over Niles North Calvin Rosenburgh.

Zack Theis captured the heavyweight final with victories over Alex Vara of Ottawa (1:20) and Grant Ricketts of PC (1:30). Teammate Justin Diddell had a 9-2 victory over Ottawa’s Sean Taulbee in the same bracket.

113-pound asset Stephen Gust made it to the finals of his bracket by a technical fall over Ottawa’s Alex Brown before dropping a 3:50 fall to Zachery McCullough in the final.

At 126 pounds, Dane Goodenough beat Burlington Central’s Michael Metz in :57 before losing in the final to Larkin’s Duke Bogicevic by 6-2 count.

At 220 pounds, Nick Sharp made it to the finals with a :49 pinfall of PC’s Cody Parks before dropping the final to Ottawa’s cornerstone Cyrano Rayfield in 5:15.

At 106 pounds, Knight Adam Mish defeated Jacob Meyers of Rochelle by 6-5 decision to secure third place.

At 152 pounds, Austin Parks made it to the third-place match with an overtime win over BC’s Brad Roberts before losing to Niles North’s Stephen Heilman by 3:05 pinfall to finish fourth.

Against Morris, Mish won via pin in 1:30, Gust took a 5-0 win over Jake Crowther and Goodenough won a 5-3 decision over AJ Vota.

Kaneland’s David Barnhart won a :24 pin in his 132-pound encounter, and Horn’s 12-2 major decision also helped the KHS effort.

Dan Goress, at 152 pounds, beat Andrew Olson in 1:44, while Parks also managed a 3:35 pinfall over Kyle Abney.

Theis also earned a 2:52 pinfall over Morris’ Dalton Ness in the win for heavyweight supremacy.

On Saturday, Jan. 19, the eyes of the NIB-12 wrestling landscape will be in Sycamore for the conference meet.

“They just have to push themselves,” Jahns said. “We need to focus on every meet and every match like it’s our last.”

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Senior Connor Williams took the championship<br /><figcaption class=in the 120 pound weight class vs Ottawa in the finals of the Margaret Flott
Invitational. Photo by Patti Wilk" width="385" height="580" class="size-full wp-image-27816" /> Senior Connor Williams took the championship
in the 120 pound weight class vs Ottawa in the finals of the Margaret Flott
Invitational. Photo by Patti Wilk

Lady Knights drop pair of matches

in Bowling by

KANELAND—The KHS bowling team dropped a pair of matches this week, both by narrow margins.

Kaneland hosted fellow Northern Illinois Big XII outfit Ottawa in DeKalb, and after Tuesday’s loss at Rochelle on Tuesday, fell to 1-7 on the dual campaign tour.

Against Ottawa, Kaneland suffered through a slim 2,803-2,757 setback on the lanes.

Ottawa’s best individual series was a 603 total. Kaneland was lifted by Angela Charhut at 508. Amanda Strayve added a 487.

Teammate Morgan Wojciechowski added a 484 series of her own.

Charhut had the team-high game effort of 224, while Wojciechowski supplied a 172 for second-best.

In JV action, Ottawa bested KHS by a 2,437-2,102 score. Dominique Lee had a team-best 393 series.

Kaneland came out with a game-one victory at Rochelle on Tuesday, 938-894, before dropping the next two games and the match overall, 2,715-2,688.

Ellissa Eckert notched the Kaneland high game with a 168 in game two. Wojciechowski put up the team’s high series with a 482.

Kaneland’s JV squad posted a victory at Rochelle, 2,059-1,859. The team swept all three games, led by Karizza Sotelo’s high game of 172 and Dominique Lee’s high series of 419.

On Thursday,. Jan. 17, the Lady Knights face host Illinois Math and Science Academy, with a 4:15 p.m. start.

Kaneland Youth Soccer spring registration deadline nears

in Community Sports by

Elburn—The Kaneland Youth Soccer Organization (KYSO) is taking registrations for spring recreational soccer through Wednesday, Jan 30, at www.kanelandyouthsoccer.com.

The spring season includes six games running from April 13 until May 18. All games and practices are held at the KYSO fields, next to Kaneland High School in Maple Park.

Registration is open to boys and girls ages 4-17. Registration fees are $85 for the first child, $65 for each additional child, and include a soccer jersey, shorts, socks, end-of-season trophies and certified referees. A refundable $20 volunteer fee is added to the first child’s registration to help offset league costs. Refunds are available by coaching, participating on the KYSO Board, or helping with various roles during the season. Email volunteer@kanelandyouthsoccer.com for details.

KYSO also provides a TOPSoccer program for players with special needs. TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer) is a national soccer program created to train young people with disabilities in a caring coaching environment. The program is generally carried out by volunteers at the local level, with financial support from US Youth Soccer and local youth soccer organization such as KYSO.

About KYSO
KYSO provides Big Rock, Elburn, Hinckley, Kaneville, Maple Park, Sugar Grove and Virgil youth with recreational soccer opportunities. KYSO has approximately 50 recreational soccer teams for boys and girls ages 4-14 (U5-U14). KYSO recreational program teaches soccer through the use of smaller teams and fields, maximizing participation by all. The program also allows young players to learn and enjoy soccer in a positive and fun environment, usually in their own community with the same children with whom they go to school.

For the player who is primarily interested in fun, fitness and friendship, KYSO provides a healthy activity through its recreational and small-sided games program. This program emphasizes fun and de-emphasizes winning at all costs. Every child is guaranteed playing time, and the game is taught in a fun and enjoyable atmosphere.

Nomination deadline for Chiefs’ Athletic Hall of Fame approaches

in Waubonsee Sports by

Sugar Grove—The deadline for nominations to Waubonsee Community College’s Athletic Hall of Fame is quickly approaching. Individuals or groups can be nominated for the 2013 class of inductees until Feb. 1.

Hall of Fame selections will be announced the week of April 8, and inductees will be honored at the school’s year-ending Athletic Banquet on May 9, 2013. Nomination forms are available online at www.waubonsee.edu/athletics or through Waubonsee’s Athletic Office on the college’s Sugar Grove campus.

Inductees will be determined by a selection committee representing Waubonsee’s staff, administration and former Waubonsee student-athletes.

Nominated athletes must be five years removed from competing for Waubonsee. Nominees will fall into one of five categories: administrators, faculty and staff; athletes; coaches; community supporters; and specific teams. Criteria for induction varies based on the category of nominee, but includes involvement in sports, dedication to Waubonsee, athletic successes, years at Waubonsee, and contributions to the community or career accomplishments earned after leaving Waubonsee.

For more information, please contact the Waubonsee Athletic Department at (630) 466-2524.

Back to even

in Featured/Girls Basketball by

Photo: Kaneland’s Brooke Harner played tough defense against Burlington on Saturday at home. Photo by John DiDonna

Comeback win over Rochelle evens KHS conference mark
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Bouncing back from adversity could be the difference in later games this season, and Kaneland girls basketball put it into practice this past Friday and Saturday as the calendar switched to 2013.

Friday saw a laboring battle against visiting Yorkville, and KHS fell 39-26. Kaneland rebounded on Saturday with a 56-53 win over Burlington Central.

Down five late against visiting Rochelle on Tuesday, the Lady Knights went on a 12-0 run spanning the fourth quarter and overtime in a 54-47 overtime win.

Kaneland now sits at 11-6 (3-3 Northern Illinois Big XII).

KHS shot just 10-for-41 against the Lady Foxes and scored just two points in the third quarter of play.

Aly O’Herron and Emma Bradford paced the Lady Knights with six points each, while Corrine Rowe had a game-high 10 points for YHS.

Yorkville was up 11-8 after one quarter and 22-19 after the first half of play before leaving the third quarter with a 31-21 lead. Yorkville outscored Kaneland 8-5 in the final eight minutes to cinch it.

Against BC, Ashley Prost and Bradford had 12 points each, while Sarah Grams added 10.

Despite shooting just 12-of-46 from the field, the Lady Knights converted 31-of-39 foul shots.

The two squads were tied at 8-8 after one, and Kaneland led 23-18 after a half before BC closed within 32-30 after three. BC sent it to an extra period by outscoring Kaneland 14-12 before KHS outscored the Lady Rockets 12-9 in OT.

Against Rochelle, Kaneland was down 24-22 at halftime. The two squads exchanged baskets until Grams hit two straight and O’Herron stole and converted to tie the score at 30.

Rochelle scored with 1:56 to go to take a two-point lead before Brooke Harner’s offensive putback tied the game with 3.8 left in the quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Michelle Dobbs of Rochelle hit a bucket and then hit one-of-two foul shots for a 36-32 edge with 4:33 to play. The Lady Hubs hit four of six free throws down the stretch for a 41-36 lead with 47.6 seconds remaining in the game. O’Herron responded by launching a rainbow perimeter attempt that connected with 40.3 to go, making it 41-39. Prost tied the game at 41-41 with a basket converted off a steal with 20.9 to go, and Rochelle missed on two shot attempts near the end.

In the extra four-minute session, Emma Bradford made good on a lay-up, and O’Herron launched a trey for a 46-41 lead with 2:49 left. Prost nailed a pair of free throws to give KHS a 48-41 lead that completed the 12-0 run.

Dobbs hit a bucket and a pair of free throws to close within 48-45 with a minute to play, but a Prost basket, as well as foul shots from O’Herron and Grams, put the contest away after much tension.

“The key to the game was really our composure,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said following the second consecutive OT win. “We got down early. Dobbs is a dynamic scorer, and we wanted to make her work a little bit harder.”

Kaneland plays in Ottawa on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 2:30 p.m.

Photos by John DiDonna:
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Bowling drops duel with Huntley

in Bowling by

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Kaneland bowling is trying to up the competitive fire against good teams, and its opponents are making sure it’s a difficult ride.

Facing familiar adversary Huntley on the road on Monday evening, KHS fell with a 2,978-2,728 loss in the first meet of 2013.

For KHS, Christie Crews had a team-high series total of 545 and a high game of 205 and Morgan Wojchiechowski added a 527 total and high game of 189.

Kaneland played hosts to visiting Sycamore on Tuesday and pulled out a tight 933-925 win in game three, although the team fell overall, 2,923-2,759.

Annie Salerno led the team with a 204 high game, and Angela Charhut paced the Lady Knights with a 519 high series.

Kaneland travels to Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb to battle crossover foe Ottawa on Thursday, Jan. 10.

“On Thursday, we face Ottawa at home, and that match could go just about any way,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said. “They appear to be a bit inconsistent with their scores, just like us. They’ve had some amazingly high games, but they’ve also shown weakness at times, so it should be a good match.”

Grapplers open 2013 with dual win

in Featured/Wrestling by

Photo: Kaneland’s Austin Parks (152 pounds) gets the upper hand on his Rochelle opponent during wrestling Senior Night home match on Jan. 3. Photo by Mary Herra

Wrestlers battle through Sycamore Invite field, stifle Rochelle
KANELAND—Nothing like a tough Sycamore Invite and a Northern Illinois Big XII battle against a familiar foe to measure your team’s progress.

In the usual early-January stop, the Knights finished ninth at the furious Sycamore Invite with 363.5 points.

Kaneland also evened up its dual mark at 12-12 with a 43-15 win over visiting Rochelle on Thursday.

Rockton’s Hononegah High School took first in Sycamore with 679 team points, followed by Grant at 591.5 and the hosts with 567.5.

Noteworthy finishes began with 120-pound asset Connor Williams, who nabbed third place overall with a 5-0 win over Grant’s Troy Parent.

Teammate Esai Ponce did well with a third-place finish, capped with a 2:39 pin over Marian Catholic’s Frank Voltattorni.

Dan Goress continued his trajectory and made it to the 145-pound final before losing to McHenry’s Wade Lardy by 5-2 count.

Against the Hubs, wins were plentiful, including 113-pound rep Stephen Gust winning a 3-1 decision and Williams taking a 5-0 win.

Ponce took a major decision by 8-0 count, and the KHS crew collected two pins from the efforts of Sonny Horn at 138 pounds (2:58) and Goress (1:28).

Austin Parks won an 8-6 OT victory in the 152-pound match, while Nick Sharp added a 1:15 pin.

Kaneland will wrestle at the Flott Invite on Saturday, Jan. 12.

Knights take care of Yorkville, BC

in Boys Basketball/Featured by

Photo: Kaneland’s Tyler Carlson passes as a Burlington player goes down during Kaneland’s home contest on Saturday. The Knights defeated the Rockets 38-30. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—The silver-and-black-clad Knights are making good on committing to excellence in 2013.

After splitting the last competition of 2012 in the 50th running of the Plano Christmas Classic, Kaneland got off to a nice start with the new year.

Kaneland handily solved a visiting Yorkville squad on Friday evening by a final of 51-30 and stifled a lineup from Burlington Central in Maple Park on Saturday by a final of 38-30.

KHS sits at 8-6 (3-1 Northern Illinois Big XII) on the year, having won seven of its last nine.

In NIB-12 action against the Foxes, the Knights were paced by John Pruett’s 14 points, Matt Limbrunner’s 10 and Tyler Carlson’s 10.

After taking a 12-8 lead after the first eight minutes of play, YHS hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to 12-11 23 seconds into the second quarter.

Limbrunner then hit two baskets, including one on a crisp pass down low from guard Drew David, to take a 16-11 lead with 6:10 to go.

Baskets by Dan Miller and Cole Carlson and two foul shots from Tyler Carlson gave KHS a 22-18 edge with two minutes to play in the half, the Foxes’ basket with 1:19 left closed the first-half scoring out at 22-20.

The third quarter saw the scales tip even more in the Knights’ favor as a mid-quarter flurry of baskets from Tyler Carlson, Limbrunner and a three-pointer from Pruett made it 31-22 with 2:28 to go. Yorkville missed six straight shots in the quarter at one point, while Limbrunner converted on two baskets and David hit a shot, giving KHS a 37-28 lead with 1:02 to go that closed out the scoring.

Yorkville hit just one of four shots in the fourth quarter, while Pruett hit the first three baskets of the quarter for KHS to give the hosts a 14-point lead.

“We know they ran their 2-2-1 press, and we were pretty much game planning that all week,” Pruett said. “Yorkville is good at getting pressure and turnovers, and we were just getting the ball down the floor.”

The lead grew to 21 on a three by freshman Dylan Vava with 1:26 to go, while Yorkville scored just two points in the frame.

“(Yorkville) did a good job early on at causing us to make some mistakes and not necessarily take care of the basketball, but it was nice to get a little bit of breathing space in the fourth quarter,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said.

Limbrunner led the Knights with 16 in the comeback win over visiting BC, but the visitors enjoyed an 8-6 lead after one quarter. Kaneland powered through for a 19-16 lead at halftime before BC emerged with a 25-24 lead after three. KHS went on a 14-5 run encompassing the fourth quarter for the win.

Kaneland hosts rival Rochelle on Thursday, Jan. 10.

Photos by John DiDonna:
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KC Cougars, Cubs host ‘Hot Stove’ events in February

in Kane County Cougars by

Geneva—The Kane County Cougars will host a pair of events in February as anticipation for the 2013 season grows and the organization prepares for its first season of affiliation with the Chicago Cubs.

The Cougars will host a “Meet the Cubs” hot stove event on Friday, Feb. 1, and a free coaches clinic on Saturday, Feb. 2. Information on both events is currently available at kccougars.com.

The Meet the Cubs party, to take place inside the Fifth Third Bank Ballpark Super Suite from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1, will provide fans a proper introduction to Kane County’s affiliation with the Chicago Cubs. Scheduled speakers include Cubs Senior VP of Scouting & Player Development Jason McLeod, Cubs Director of Player Development Brandon Hyde, and Cougars manager Mark Johnson. Johnson was named the 15th manager in Cougars history last month.

Admission is $60 and includes an all-you-can-eat buffet, draft beer and a question-and-answer session with the evening’s guest speakers. A portion of proceeds will be donated to JDRF, in honor of the late Cubs Hall-of-Famer Ron Santo.

Seating will be extremely limited, and fans are encouraged to order their tickets early. Tickets can be purchased by calling (630) 232-8811 or by visiting kccougars.com.

The following morning, the Cougars will hold a free Coaches Clinic that will feature professional instructors from the Cougars and Cubs organizations. The clinic will take place from 9 a.m. until noon inside the Fifth Third Bank Ballpark upper deck level. Attendees are asked to RSVP by calling the Cougars at (630) 232-8811 or by emailing sfreed@kanecountycougars.com. The clinic is provided free-of-charge to participants as a community service from the Cougars and Cubs organizations.

Donuts and coffee will be provided for attendees.

Season tickets, ticket packages, catered event group outings and single-game tickets are on sale for the 2013 season. Opening Night at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark is set for Thursday, April 4, when the Cougars host Quad Cities at 6:30 p.m. Fans can learn more about the 2013 season at kccougars.com.

Dudzinski named Patriot League Player of the Week

in Boys Basketball/Elburn by

WORCESTER, Mass.—Holy Cross junior forward Dave Dudzinski, an Elburn resident and Kaneland High School alum, was named the Patriot League/Anaconda Player of the Week, for competition from Dec. 17-23. This marks the first time Dudzinski has won Patriot League Player of the Week honors during his collegiate career.

In two contests that week, Dudzinski averaged 26.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots per game, while hitting 69.2 percent (18 of 26) of his field goal attempts, 80.0 percent of his three-pointers (four of five) and 92.9 percent (13 of 14) of his free throws. He opened the week with a career-high 31 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in the 73-63 victory at San Francisco on Dec. 18. Dudzinski then totaled 22 points, two assists, two blocks and two steals in the 72-65 loss at Harvard on Dec. 22.

On the year, Dudzinski has averaged a team-best 15.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.0 blocked shots per game. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has totaled 577 points, 336 rebounds and 53 blocked shots, while connecting on 50.2 percent (211 of 421) of his field goals and 80.6 percent (133 of 165) of his free throws.

Top-tier finish in Plano for boys hoops

in Boys Basketball/Featured by

Photo: Kaneland boys varsity beat Newark 54-35 on Dec. 27 at the Plano 50th annual Christmas Classic tournament. No. 22 Dan Miller goes up and over his opponents for a score. Photo by Patti Wilk

by Mike Slodki
PLANO—Kaneland boys basketball is slowly but surely gelling again.

At the 50th running of the Plano Christmas Classic, that reality stood as an ominous warning to some teams and a statement of fact to the teams that bested the Knights.

Kaneland finished in fourth place, one spot worse than in 2011, but still continues to make strides with a healthy lineup and new faces.

Coupled with a win back on Dec. 22 against Sandwich, the Knights returned to action with a handy 47-29 win on Dec. 26, against sixth-seed Lisle. On Thursday, they handed Newark a 54-35 loss before losing to Ottawa on Friday, 60-50. Saturday’s third-place game saw Aurora Christian hand Kaneland a 54-46 loss.

Ottawa, a 10th seed, won the entire tournament with a 55-53 win over top-seed Belvidere on Saturday night.

With the 3-2 showing at the tourney, Kaneland’s record is now 6-6.

Against the Lisle Lions, Kaneland was led by Matt Limbrunner’s 23, Tyler Carlson’s 11 and John Pruett’s 10.

Two Limbrunner hoops gave KHS a 10-5 lead with under a minute left, but a technical foul on the Kaneland bench gave Lisle four foul shot attempts, only to convert on one of the tries. Kaneland led 10-8 at the first-quarter horn.

It was once again the Limbrunner show in the second quarter, with four of the five team baskets.

The senior was able to power down low to make it 19-12 with 3:02 to go in the half. After Lisle’s hoop 19 seconds later, Limbrunner went low for a 21-14 edge with 2:21 to play, closing out the first-half scoring.

KHS then went on a 13-4 run, taking care of the entire third frame. Back-to-back three pointers by Carlson grew the lead to 14 points with 29.1 left, and two Pruett foul shots with 15.8 to go made it 34-18 as the quarter wound down.

Baskets by Pruett and Limbrunner within the fourth quarter’s first minute made the lead 38-18, while free throws from Limbrunner, Dan Miller and Connor Fedderly iced the game.

Limbrunner and crew persevered against a higher seed and an up-tempo style of play for a handy win.

“It was nice; we knew they wanted to play fast,” Limbrunner said. “So we wanted to play our game, slow it down, and it worked out really well.”

KHS coach Brian Johnson was wary of the No. 6 seed in the Classic.

“We wanted to make sure we could control the tempo,” Johnson said. “Lisle is pretty athletic and big, and they want to get out and run.”

In the win over the Norsemen, Carlson paced the Knights with 16. Kaneland was ahead 15-3 after one frame and 26-18 at the halftime buzzer before leading 41-26 after three. KHS shot 17-for-38 in the win and 17-for-22 from the foul line.

In the loss against the eventual champ Pirates, Miller had a team-high 12, while Ottawa’s JD Bryant had 16 of his own.

Kaneland was plagued by a 19-for-53 day from the field. Ottawa was ahead 15-12 after one and 30-18 at the half before the Knights closed to within 39-33 after three.

Miller had a team-high 15 in the loss to the local rival Eagles in the tourney conclusion. Cory Windle had a game-high 16.

Kaneland was plagued by a 19-for-50 night from the field.

AC went up 22-9 after one frame and 36-24 after the first 16 minutes of play before the Knights closed to within 45-36, but a 10-9 fourth in favor of Kaneland wasn’t impactful enough.

Kaneland continues Northern Illinois Big XII action on Friday, Jan. 4, against visiting Yorkville.

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