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Sports - page 59

Boys conquer home floors of Rochelle, Geneseo

in Boys Basketball by


Photo: Marcel Neil takes the route less travelled during Friday’s 60-56 comeback win in the land of the Hubs. Photo by Patti Wilk

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Last year’s Northern Illinois Big XII Conference East division champions are playing at quite the competitive level.

That piece of aggravating news is not exactly, what future opponents wished to hear, and it’s what foes Rochelle and Geneseo experienced first-hand this weekend.

With a 60-56 comeback win in Rochelle on Friday, followed by a two-hour trip west on Interstate 88 and a 55-46 win in Geneseo, the Knights currently sit at 13-6 (4-2 NIB-12). Kaneland is now in the midst of a three-game win streak, and has won seven of its last 10 contests.

The past two years at this time, the Knights have been 11-8.

The last two contests between the Knights and Hubs featured an energized battle for conference supremacy in Ogle County in February 2011, and a 16-point comeback win on the Knights floor the month prior.

This time, it was Drew David leading the way for Kaneland against the Hubs with 17 points, followed by Marcel Neil with 13, Thomas Williams with 12 and Dan Miller with 10.

Rochelle went on top early with an 18-15 edge after one quarter, and increased the lead to 32-27 at halftime, before staking out a 43-37 lead after three.

With a 23-13 in the fourth, KHS emerged victorious.

The Knights were also helped by the foul line advantage, going 14-for-17 from the charity stripe. Rochelle was just 1-for-3.

At the home of the Maple Leafs, Kaneland once again found balanced scoring in the form of Tyler Heinle’s 13, Matt Limbrunner’s 10 and David’s 10.

Kaneland also benefited from five three-pointers—three from Heinle and two from David.

KHS went out to a 15-12 lead, and stifled the Maple Leafs on the way to a 27-19 lead at the break.

In the third, Kaneland extended its lead to 42-27 before Geneseo closed the gap somewhat.

“We are lucky to have a really balanced scoring attack,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said. “Not a single player on the team feels as if they need to ‘get theirs’ when it comes to scoring. Our players are very unselfish and truly put the team first. They have a knack of getting the ball to the hot hand and to the right person during those late-game situations.”

Underclass action this week featured Kaneland sophomores beating Geneseo 57-34 and Rochelle 73-53.

Kaneland freshman fell to Morris 39-26 in the “A” tussle and 38-34 in the “B” game.

The next varsity task is Sycamore coming to town on Saturday, Feb. 4.

KHS begins competition season

in Cheerleading/Kaneland by

Photo: The sectional-bound KHS varsity cheerleaders are Captains Kristen Glover and Courtney Reiss (front); Madison Keith, Briana DiBenedetto, Samantha Markelz and Anna King (second row); Katrina Donnelly, Captain Laken Delahanty, Captain Abby West, Anna Croft and Denise Gombar (third row); and Jacqueline McClellan, Andrea Petrarca, Mattie Garrison and Nicole McClellan (back row). Courtesy Photo

KANELAND—Kaneland varsity cheerleaders began their competition season began in the Belvidere Competition on Jan. 7. KHS took home the second-place win in the medium division.

KHS competed in the ICCA regional competition at Andrew High School on Jan. 14, placing fourth and qualifying for ICCA State Championship Competition on Feb.11. Finally, the Kaneland Cheer Competition Squad participated in the conference competition at Rochelle, Ill. KHS took home the second-place win. For KHS, it’s on to IHSA sectionals on Jan. 28, in Rolling Meadows.

Ottawa stops Kaneland on lanes

in Bowling by

KANELAND—Not even snow and hazardous travel conditions from a week prior could delay the end result of Thursday’s Kaneland-Ottawa bowling matchup.

Finally making it out for the Northern Illinois Big XII crossover matchup, the Lady Knights (2-13) fell to their Pirate counterparts by a 2,854-2,596 margin.

For KHS, the high series were bowled by Angela Charhut at 476 and Christie Crews at 447. Meanwhile, top games were had by Charhut with 181 and 171, and Anne Salerno’s 166.

In JV happenings, the Kaneland girls lost 2,385-2,288.

Also occurring this past week was the second annual Northern Illinois Big XII Conference meet, hosted by Sterling High School.

Kaneland finished in 10th place with a pin total of 4,985 pins felled. Morris, with 6,528, took the conference crown, while DeKalb finished second at 6,385 and Sterling third at 6,380.

Crews had high game, while Amanda Strayve and Elissa Eckert had high series.

The varsity bowlers head to IMSA in Aurora on Thursday, Jan. 26, where they picked up a late season win a year ago.

Anne Salerno has emerged as a bright spot for the Lady Knights, tallying series total of
1,319 pins in Kaneland’s last three encounters.

KHS wrestlers take third at NIB-12

in Wrestling by

Gust, Goress secure conference bragging rights
STERLING—If looking for incremental improvements that could go a long way, look at this year’s Northern Illinois Big XII conference meeting.

The Knights finished fourth as a team in the inaugural meet a year ago. This year, behind steady performances from a handful of Knights, Kaneland finished third with 164 team points, just two ahead of DeKalb High School.

Sycamore was crowned NIB-12 champs with 222.5 points, followed by Yorkville at 220. Rounding out the top five was LaSalle-Peru at 117.

Kaneland can boast 103-pound rep Stephen Gust as a conference champ with a 4-0 win over DeKalb counterpart Jackson Montgomery. Gust got to the finals with a 5-1 effort over Rochelle’s TC Hager.

Joining Gust on the first-place perch was teammate Dan Goress, who took the 138-pound class with a 13-6 win over Dixon’s Zach Lehman. Goress entered the final after beating Sycamore’s Thomas Ernster 9-2.

Making it to the finals was KHS junior Esai Ponce, who pinned Tyler Hermann of LaSalle-Peru in one minute, 23 seconds before losing 14-7 to DeKalb’s Doug Johnson in the final.

Ben Kovalick made it to the 220-pound final by virtue of a pin with 13 seconds left over Ottawa’s Cyrano Rayfield, and dropped a 7-3 match to Sycamore’s Matt Copple to end the day.

The regular season concludes with a home matchup vs. old rival Batavia on Friday, Jan. 27.

Boys stifle Pirate attack in Saturday win

in Boys Basketball/Featured by

Tyler Heinle (32) (above) goes up high for a shot in the fourth quarter of Kaneland’s 59-40 home win against Ottawa on Saturday. Ready for a rebound are Thomas Williams (24) and Dan Miller (22). Photo by Patti Wilk

KANELAND—KHS boys hoops posted a win on Saturday evening—a nice change from a hard loss the week prior to Morris.

With balanced scoring and home court advantage, the Knights took care of Northern Illinois Big XII West Division opponent Ottawa by a final of 59-40. The positive result raises Kaneland’s mark to 11-6 (3-2 NIB-12).

With Marcel Neil’s game-high 12 points and Tyler Heinle’s 10, Kaneland achieved its second-straight win over the Pirates, this after a 45-38 comeback win on Ottawa’s floor a year ago.

Kaneland led 11-7 after one and 25-22 at the halftime break. The margin increased to 42-33 and put the cinch on for the fourth quarter as the lead increased.

The Adam Wickness-coached sophomores also handled Ottawa with a 57-41 win, with Tyler Carlson supplying 18 points.

The sophomores are now 12-4.

In freshman action, the Knights took on Aurora Central Catholic on Thursday with the “A” side winning 34-30, and the “B” team falling 45-36.

Knight varsity hardcourt time continues on Friday, Jan. 28, in Rochelle—the site of last year’s conference clinching win.

The 88 keys

in Boys Cross Country/Kaneland by


The 1988 Boys Cross Country Team was inducted into the Kaneland Hall of Fame at halftime during the boys varsity basketball game against Ottawa last Friday. Pictured L to R: Kaneland High School Athletic Director Leigh Jaffke, Kaneland School District Superintendant Dr. Jeff Schuler, Kevin McQuade, Jim Probst, Tim Wolf, Jake and Luke Fahrenbacher (Coach Eddington’s grandsons), Chad Clarey and Casey Wright. Shown is Dr. Schuler shaking the hand of Coach Eddington’s grandson Luke. Photo by Patti Wilk

Kaneland girls drill Bulldogs, Indians

in Featured/Girls Basketball by

Photo: Ernie Colombe gathers the troops during a timeout in the midst of Kaneland’s 41-27 win over Lemont on Tuesday. The Lady Knights are enjoying a 14-6 record through 20 games. Photo by Patti Wilk

Lady Knights secure first winning record since 05-06
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Looks like the KHS girls basketball crew can get used to this modified schedule.

Much like last week’s snowstorm forced the Lady Knights into an extra day of rest only to come back with a win in Morris, Kaneland’s scheduled contest on Friday was shelved and the action continued on Saturday afternoon vs. Streator.

KHS handed the crossover foe Bulldogs a 60-22 shellacking, and followed that win with a 41-27 win against visiting Lemont, and improved its record to 14-6, and 5-1 in the Northern Illinois Big XII.

With five games remaining in the 2011-12 regular season, the Lady Knights have eclipsed last year’s win total and clinched the program’s first winning record since 2005-06, and the first in coach Ernie Colombe’s six-season tenure.

On Saturday, the defense forced the visiting Lady Bulldogs into 40 turnovers and 27 percent shooting, while 23 steals supplanted the effort, as well. Allyson O’Herron and Brooke Harner led the squad with five each.

Despite shooting 21-of-61 from the field and 14-of-24 from the foul line, Kaneland was the recipient of a supremely balanced scoring attack. Alli Liss had a game-high 14 and Ashley Prost had 10 points and five boards.

Kaneland led 19-8 after a quarter of play and clamped down on the visitors once again to have a comfortable 34-11 lead at the half. The margin was upped to 46-17 after the third quarter.

Meanwhile, the sophomores (14-4) had an easy time against Streator with a 42-6 win. Sydney Strang had 15 points.

Freshmen girls beat Yorkville on Monday, 43-35, and handled DeKalb on Thursday, 33-19, to improve to 16-2 on the year.

On Tuesday, Prost contributed a double-double with 16 points and 10 boards.

Despite the Indians storming to a 7-0 lead, Kaneland closed to within 8-5 by the end of the quarter.

Kaneland’s 10 steals came in handy the rest of the contest, with plenty of breakaway opportunities and crisp passing producing success.

Down 13-11 in the second frame, Kaneland’s Marina Schaefer’s baseline jumper and Aly Harner’s three-pointer in the last 66 seconds gave Kaneland a 16-13 edge at the break.

In the third, Prost and Brooke Harner hit baskets to go up 27-15 with 1:48 to go, but Lemont closed to within 27-19 by the end of the half.

Cutting the lead to 29-23, Lemont had Kanreland reeling until a 9-0 run keyed by an Bradford pass to Prost made it 38-23 with 2:30 to go.

“We all just tried to put a lot of pressure on them,” Bradford said about the effort on both sides of the floor. “We wanted to force turnovers, and we were really getting into their guards’ heads.”

Ahead for the varsity group is a trip to Maple Leaf country to face Geneseo on Saturday, Jan. 28.

Maple Park registration open online, or in person

in Community Sports by

MAPLE PARK—Maple Park Baseball, Softball and T-Ball registration is now open for the 2012 season. To register, visit the Maple Park baseball website at mapleparkbaseball.net, or walk-in registration will be available on Saturday, Jan. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Maple Park Civic Center. Children ages 4-14 are welcome to join. The registration deadline is Feb. 24.

Kaneland wrestlers own Flott Invite

in Featured/Wrestling by

Photo: Senior Ben Kovalick goes for the win in his match on Friday. Kaneland emerged with a 38-36 dual win in NIB-12 action.
Photo by Patti Wilk

KHS surge highlighted by 1st place, plus win vs. Morris
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—A recent seasonal trend with Kaneland wrestling is an uphill climb at first, but once Kaneland gets tournaments under its belt and conference season hits the homestretch, things look better.

It’s no different this year.

A marquee Friday evening matchup against rival Morris yielded a close 38-36 win over the Redskins, while Saturday’s annual Margaret Flott Memorial Tournament showed a first-place effort for the Knights, their third in a row for the gathering.

The Knights have now eclipsed last year’s dual win total, and sit at 10-12, with the IHSA Class 2A Regional taking place in just over two weeks.

“To have seven wrestlers even get into the finals and having every one of them win says a lot about their drive and determination at this point in the season,” KHS coach Monty Jahns said.

Against the Redskins, Luke Kreiter earned a decision victory over Morris’ AJ Vota by a 9-7 clip.

Kaneland’s Esai Ponce stuck a pin in :57 over Brandon Walker. Teammate Dan Goress took the 138-pound matchup with a 21-6 technical fall.

In the 152-pound meeting, Knight Zach Russell pinned Kyle Abney in 3:03, and 170-pounder Austin Brummel won his matchup via 3:21 pinfall.

Ben Kovalick staked his claim to the 220-pound category with a 1:20 pin on Dalton Ness, while Zach Theis conquered John Guistat in 46 seconds for the heavyweight bragging rights.

The Flott Memorial Tournament, hosted by Kaneland, provided some home mat advantage in the form of seven first places and a 163-point total for the Knights, just four points better than Burlington Central. Addison Trail took third with 143 points in the 10-team clash.

Sonny Horn defeated Rochelle’s Josh Ankeny in overtime, 6-4, then beat Larkin’s Joshua Brooks in a 4:12 tech fall before beating BC’s Jordan Fillmore in a 16-4 major decision for the 132-pound crown.

Goress beat BC’s Andrew Brown in 1:44, beat Addison Trail’s Koani Smith in a technical fall outcome and beat Prairie Central’s Evan Bahler in an 8-3 meeting for the 138-pound nod.

Knight Steven Hlatko was declared champion of the 195-pound group after beating Rochelle’s Tyler Voegler, 5-1, and beating Ottawa’s Alex Fuentes, 7-2.

Kovalick shelved Ottawa’s Cyrano Rayfield in 1:48 and Rochelle’s Logan Sutton in a 4-2 final.

Theis beat Marian Central Catholic’s Scott Taylor in 4:59 and Devontate Joshua of Larkin with :14 left in regulation before handling Danny Robles of Addison Trail in 1:10 in finals action.

Connor Williams took the 113-pound mantle with a 3:32 fall over Larkin’s Tyler Vonnessen and a 13-8 win over Addison Trail’s Jake Plekavic.

Ponce took the 126-pound grouping by shutting out Rochelle’s Joe Goshko 5-0, and then outlasting Prairie Central’s Ben Traub, 6-2.

World sport

in Boys Soccer/Featured/Girls Soccer/Kaneland by

Photo: American troops hand out donated Kaneland soccer warmups and old uniforms among care packages in an Afghanistan village. Courtesy Photo

Knights soccer sends goodwill Afghanistan’s way
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—In Afghanistan, moments of kindness are always welcome in the face of hardship.

For inhabitants of the mountainous country, survival and basic necessities trump luxury.

This fall, basic necessities and warmth were provided to villagers by the United States Army—courtesy of the Kaneland High School soccer program.

“Scott Parillo and I discussed what to do with old Kaneland soccer uniforms that had accumulated, that we’d outgrown or just replaced due to upgrading to a different style,” Javier Martinez said.

Martinez, social science teacher and head adviser to the student council, wondered where the uniforms could end up.

“They took up a bunch of space at the end of summer, so we wondered what we could do with it or where to donate,” Martinez said.

Overtures were made toward Operation Support Our Troops, based in Lisle, Ill., and with a member of the outfit having a son serving with the United States Army in Afghanistan, the choice was made.

“We were able to donate the uniforms, and we thought the warmups and uniforms could create a little goodwill in that area with the local people,” Martinez said.

Donating Kaneland soccer garb like old uniforms and warmup kits provides no downside, according to Parillo.

“We decided to donate these items to help those less fortunate in Afghanistan,” Parillo said. “It is also to help our soldiers over there, as well. Our program will do anything to help our soldiers. We have donated soccer balls in the past and thought old uniforms would be a nice gesture. Our soldiers aren’t always the most popular people when they are there, and this can help to show that they mean well and are doing their jobs.”

“We were able to donate the uniforms, and we thought the warmups and uniforms could create a little goodwill in that area with the local people,” Martinez said.

Now locals in Afghanistan, with help from the United States’ best line of defense, can enjoy the best warmups Kaneland High School had to offer.

The ‘82 crew

in Wrestling by


On Friday, Kaneland High School honored the 1982 wrestling team before the varsity match against Morris. The team had a record of 16 wins and only 6 losses, with five of those losses being by eight points or less. Pictured are (L to R) Gary Baum, Kevin Callaghan, Coach Terry McCoy, Tom Medernach, Roger Stockl, Greg Stockl and Coach Joe Thorgesen. Not Pictured: Mike Castello, Pat Rink, Chuck Hare, Mike Krider, Don Flynn, Reagan Mack, Dan Vicars, Kent Goff, Tom Sauber, Joel Huggins, Jeff Apgar, Todd Michels, Mike Hooey and Coach Jim Butler. Photo by Patti Wilk

Rochelle tops Kaneland bowlers

in Bowling/Featured by

Photo: Madi Bluml launches on the lane during Kaneland’s JV win over Rochelle on Tuesday. Photo by Patti Wilk

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—After a Thursday snowfall shelved Kaneland’s meeting in Ottawa, the Lady Knights took to the lanes on Saturday as part of the IMSA Invite, and on Tuesday when they hosted Rochelle.

Outscoring teams like Chicago outfit St. Ignatius, the Lady Knights (2-12) got some valuable time out on the lanes before heading into Tuesday’s home finale against Rochelle, where Kaneland was edged 2,590-2,452.

In IMSA, bowlers were grouped according to season average, and KHS was treated to a first place in division 7 by Angela Charhut, a second place by Amanda Strayve in division 6 and a first place for Seleana Isaacs in division 6.

Isaacs had high game for the day at 214 and high series in 508.

Taking on the Hubs for Senior Night, the Lady Knights took solace in a 458 series from Anne Salerno and a 448 series from Strayve.

High game was bowled by Salerno at 177.

Senior Isaacs thinks the overall game for the Lady Knights is improving, and felt no added pressure on her last home matchup.

“I tried not to let it mess me up and just tried to focus on the game,” Isaacs said. “I tried not to worry about it. I think we’re getting better throughout the year slowly, and aren’t losing by as much. We just want to be consistent with the regional coming up.”

Kaneland’s JV squad earned a 2,230-1,957 win over its Hub counterpart.

KHS was scheduled to travel to Ottawa on Thursday, Jan. 21, for a snow makeup date.

Lady Knights get kicks off Route 6

in Girls Basketball by

MORRIS, Ill.—Kaneland has shown no fear when it comes to the slate of games in the Northern Illinois Big XII conference, and that’s something other girls basketball outfits should be leery of.

The only element stopping the Lady Knights from more success this past week was snow, as the game against Streator scheduled for Thursday was shelved until Saturday, Jan. 21, at 1:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, KHS went down to Morris to face the Lady Redskins and came away with a 54-44 victory Tuesday, improving to 12-6 (5-1 Northern Illinois Big XII).

Kaneland is now just one win off last year’s season total.

Inside presence Ashley Prost had a game-high 20 points in the winning effort, while teammate Emma Bradford had 15.

KHS shot over 50 percent in the win, going 19-for-36, tempering the 15-for-28 night from the line.

The Lady Knights went up 13-4 after one quarter and emerged with a 31-14 halftime lead.

Morris caved the deficit slightly and trailed 40-24 after three before closing to within 10 in the final eight minutes, but Kaneland held on for the win.

In other levels of action, the sophomores fell to 13-4 with a 39-33 loss to Morris. Additionally, the KHS freshmen crew squashed Rochelle on Saturday by a final of 37-6, thanks to a balanced scoring output from 10 Lady Knights. Monday saw KHS beat Sycamore by a final of 37-23, thanks to 10 points from Katrina Paulick.

Besides the Streator makeup this weekend, KHS also hosts Sycamore on Friday, Jan. 23. The Lady Knights beat the Lady Spartans by four back on Dec. 9.

Boys hoops can’t find third win vs. Morris

in Boys Basketball by

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It’s tough to take three in a row against any opponent—much less in a competitive and tight Northern Illinois Big XII conference, and much less the Morris Redskins, who enjoy a stark homecourt advantage.

While Knights boys hoops blazed a comeback trail from a double-digit margin, too many possessions ended in turnovers and Morris took 46 trips to the foul line in a 67-58 setback.

The Knights fell to 10-6 with a 3-2 record in NIB-12 play.

Both teams were quite familiar with the charity stripe on Friday, with Morris converting 26-of-46 opportunities, and Kaneland making 21-of-28.

Morris’ Danny Friend scored 23 points to lead the home crew effort, while Kaneland was paced by the two-pronged 13-point output from Thomas Williams and Marcel Neil.

KHS coach Brian Johnson felt a flat start made things tough for his Knights.

“We needed to play with a greater energy level, and we needed to play defense with our feet instead of our hands,” Johnson said. “Tonight, Morris hit some nice shots and had a lot of and-1 putbacks, and when you have open shots, the shooter will make them.”

Making a point to spread the floor, Morris went out to a 17-7 lead in the first quarter before a basket by Neil with 29.5 seconds left closed the margin to 17-9 by the end of the first frame.

Three consecutive successful shots and a free throw gave Morris an 11-point lead in the second quarter, but the Knights used a three-point play from Williams and two free throws from Tyler Heinle to close to within 28-25 with 1:27 to go, but two more foul shots from Friend made the halftime margin 30-25.

Heinle made a couple of buckets, and John Pruett converted a shot to close within 43-42 with 36 seconds remaining in the third quarter before Morris increased the lead to 45-42 with eight minutes to play.

Two foul shots by Neil gave KHS a brief 46-45 lead with 7:07 to go. Three free throws sunk by Pruett and Williams sent the score to 50 each with 6:02 to play, but a Morris basket with 4:54 to go gave the Redskins a brief lead. Two Dan Miller free throws would tie the score at 52 with 4:26 to go, but Morris went on a tear, with a 12-4 run that ended with Kaneland’s last basket, a Miller shot with 49.1 to close within 64-58 before the final Morris points.

The varsity Knights host the Ottawa Pirates on Saturday, Jan. 21.

Mat warriors finish 14th at Sycamore

in Featured/Wrestling by

Photo: Kaneland’s Austin Brummel (170 lbs) gets the upper hand with his Pontiac opponent during his match at Sycamore’s 37th annual wrestling invitational on Saturday. Over 20 schools competed in the event. Brummel eventuallly got the pin and the win. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It’s tough to stand out at a wrestling invite, 22 teams deep.

For a select few KHS wrestlers, they were able to barrel through their fields for some noteworthy finishes at the 37th annual Sycamore Invite on Saturday.

KHS finished in 14th place with 327.5 team points, ahead of Pontiac by 22.

Minooka won the meet with 585 points, 22.5 ahead of Grant High School of Fox Lake.

Host school Sycamore finished sixth with 464 points, as the only other Northern Illinois Big XII representative.

In the 126-pound group, Esai Ponce made it to the championship final and finished second. 138-pounder Dan Goress finished third, and Ben Kovalick took second in the 220-pound field.

Other finishes included Connor Williams in 10th for 113 pounds, Luke Kreiter in 18th in the 120 group, and Sonny Horn in ninth for 132.

Austin Brummel served in the 170 bracket and finished 14th, but made short work of Pontiac’s Jesse Carter with a pin in under two minutes.

“It was good to get out there and win,” Brummel said. “It was intense and a tough match, and I just tried to move around as much as I could.”

Teammate Steven Hlatko took eighth in the 195 pairings, and heavyweight Zach Theis took sixth.

Ponce began his day with a 1:04 pin over Moline’s Tanner Woods, then won by 5-2 tally over Rock Island’s Chase Wiggins. In the semifinal, Ponce took a 10-5 win over Harlem’s Tanner Anthony before losing to Crystal Lake South’s Nick Gil by a score of 2-0.

Goress’ day began with a 5-2 win over Grant’s Devin Monroy, followed by a 7-5 win over Minooka’s Jake DeKlerk, After dropping an 18-3 technical fall to Mundelein’s Matt Ornoff, Goress rallied to beat McHenry’s Wade Lardy in the third-place clash by a 5-2 final.

Kovalick continued to provide a season-long example of how to get it done against varied competition, beginning his day with a 1:37 pin over Mundelein’s Jose Jimenez. Kovalick took a quarterfinal matchup with Crystal Lake South’s Mike Romanelli by virtue of a 3-2 clip.

Kovalick earned his last win of the meet with a 12-3 major decision over Nathan Gunn of Minooka, before succumbing to Grant’s Quinton Quarles by a 2-1 margin.

KHS emerges the victor over Yorkville, Rochelle

in Featured/Girls Basketball by

Photo: Brooke Harner (22) tries to control the ball in traffic on Friday, with teammates Marina Schaefer (33) and Ali Liss close by. Photo by Ben Draper

Girls’ wins take sting out of OT loss at BC
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—The girls basketball crew from Kaneland found what it liked in at Yorkville on Friday, and had what it liked, but lost it on Saturday.

A 20-point cruise was just the ticket over host Yorkville, 48-28, while a sizable halftime lead up in Burlington eventually slimmed up. An overtime and a late putback sent KHS packing with a 49-47 overtime loss. It was the second loss of that kind in three games, as the Lady Knights dropped a two-point result to Plainfield East on Dec. 30 in the finals of the Oswego East Wolves Winter Classic.

However, the Kaneland group still finds itself in good standing with an 11-6 record and a 4-1 Northern Illinois Big XII tally after a win in Rochelle on Tuesday, 38-30. That marked the first win on Rochelle’s home court in five years.

“Even though we didn’t have games go our way at the end recently, we’ve won a lot of close games earlier,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We just had to compose ourselves and play well at the end.”

Facing Rochelle, the Lady Knights were lifted by eight members in the scoring column, and led by Kelly Evers’ eight points.

The Lady Knights took advantage of accurate passing that usually found its targets in the forms of Evers, Ashley Prost and Emma Bradford.

“That just happens all the time in practice,” Evers said. “Not just with Emma, Ashley or I, but with the whole team. There’s open looks and magic happens.”

KHS went out to a 10-8 lead, and increased to the lead to 10 points in the second quarter, thanks to a down-low look by Evers and a bucket by Sarah Grams. Kaneland was ahead 22-12 at the break.

After ending the third frame up 30-20, the margin shrunk to 33-29 with three minutes to go.

A key steal by Ashley Castellanos stunted Rochelle’s game plan and Grams and Liss made it to the foul line for insurance free throws until game’s end.

Against Yorkville, Lady Knights basketball was paced by Prost’s 21 points, which included 12 in the first half. Prost also added a co-team-high six boards, matched by Evers.

KHS held the Lady Foxes to 11-for-48 from the field.

KHS went out to a slim 13-12 lead after the first eight minutes, and clamped on the pressure to go up 26-15 at the halftime break.

In the third quarter, Kaneland outscored YHS 14-5 to go up 40-20, setting the stage for the final result.

On Saturday afternoon at the home of the Lady Rockets, things looked to be going well for KHS as it went out to a 13-4 lead after one and maintained a 23-14 lead at the break.

BC closed within 34-29 after the third quarter before deadlocking KHS at 40 going into the extra frame.

With two seconds remaining in overtime, Burlington Central’s Camille De La Cruz put back a missed shot to give the hosts the close win.

KHS was 11-for-48 from the field on Saturday, and 15-for-23 from the charity stripe.

The loss for Kaneland was despite the best efforts of Evers, who scored 10 points and brought down 14 boards. Prost had a team-high 11 points.

Looming on the horizon for the varsity girls: a meeting with visiting Streator on Thursday, Jan. 12.

Kaneland rebounds from loss in Yorkville with win at Burlington

in Boys Basketball/Featured by

Photo: Matt Limbrunner (42) put up 10 points in the tough loss to Yorkville on Friday. Photo by Ben Draper

KANELAND—For now, the scales of the Kaneland-Burlington Central boys basketball rivalry tipped toward Kaneland.

KHS took care of the host Rockets on Saturday evening by a final of 65-46, serving as a nice contrast from the 56-51 loss to conference foe Yorkville on Friday evening.

The Knights now sit at 10-5 (3-1 Northern Illinois Big XII).

Facing the Rockets, the Knights were treated to 18 points from Marcel Neil, Drew David (15 points) and 12 from Matt Limbrunner.

Also helping the cause was a stellar 14-of-15 night from the foul line.

Despite being down 11-10 after one, Kaneland rallied to take a 30-25 lead at the halftime break.

KHS was ahead in the matter by a 44-34 margin before outgunning the Rockets 21-12 in the fourth quarter.

The Foxes sprinted out to a 25-7 lead after one quarter on Friday, but saw KHS compress the deficit to 37-28. Kaneland trailed 50-41 going into the final quarter.

The Knights were paced by 14 points from Tyler Heinle and 10 from Limbrunner and Thomas Williams.

In earlier action, the sophomores took care of their Yorkville rivals by a 43-41 score. The freshman “A” squad lost 39-28 to the Foxes, while the “B” team lost 45-29.

The Knights try to power their way through the season’s second half with a trip to Morris on Friday, Jan. 13.

The Knights have already taken two previous meetings with the Redskins, including two weeks ago at the Plano Christmas Classic.

Lady Knights rule lanes against Geneva

in Bowling by

KANELAND—Geneva bowling is a relatively new program, but one thing is already familiar to the Lady Vikings.

Their fate when it comes to battling KHS.

Kaneland swept the season series, punctuated by the win on Monday at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb.

With a 2,439-2,324 win over Geneva, it took the sting out of earlier losses in Sycamore on Thursday, and Huntley on Jan. 4.

Lady Knights bowling sits at 2-11 in dual competition for the season, thus far.

Defending the lanes on Monday featured a 457 series by Seleana Isaacs and a 424 series by teammate Ellissa Eckert. Top games were bowled by Isaacs with 181 and Anne Salerno with 159.

The JV team also came away with a win by the count of 1,875-1,594.

Kaneland lost to its Spartan counterpart in a road meeting by a final of 3,092-2,447. Top series went to Isaacs at 439 and Christie Crews at 429. Top games were bowled by Crews at 172 and Isaacs at 166.

In JV action, the Lady Knights beat Sycamore, 2,401-2,123.

Last week against visiting Huntley, the Lady Knights fell 2,668-2,466, despite the best efforts of Crews with a 481 series and Salerno with a 458 series.

Ottawa provides the next challenge in the form of a Northern Illinois crossover battle in LaSalle County on Thursday, Jan. 12.

Schools courted by Ozzie’s Reading Club

in Kane County Cougars by

GENEVA—Chicagoland schools are encouraged to take part in Ozzie’s Reading Club, the Kane County Cougars’ reading incentive program.

Named after Cougars mascot Ozzie T. Cougar, Ozzie’s Reading Club included nearly 145,000 students from 427 schools who improved their reading skills through the Cougars’ program last season. The 2012 season will be the 18th year for Ozzie’s Reading Club, and interested teachers can learn more by contacting Amy Mason, Ozzie’s Reading Club coordinator, at (630) 232-8811 or amason@kanecountycougars.com.

Regarded as one of the most successful and rewarding reading incentive programs in the Chicagoland area, Ozzie’s Reading Club allows teachers and reading specialists to set goals for students at different grade levels. Students receive rewards for reading a certain number of books or pages, with prizes awarded as they read their way to first base, second base, third base and finally to home plate. Students hitting a home run receive a ticket to an April or May Cougars game designated by their school, along with a food voucher and free t-shirt. Graduates are also recognized in a pre-game parade on the field and are admitted free to any Sunday-Thursday Cougars games during the months of June through September.

One of the unique features of Ozzie’s Reading Club is its availability to readers of varying reading levels, including students up through eighth grade.

“To have a program which appeals to 14- year-olds as much as 6-year-olds is a great thing,” said Mason. “Home run hitters of all ages are so excited when they see Ozzie as they enter the stadium. It’s wonderful to see how proud they are of their reading accomplishments.”

The Ozzie’s Reading Club program has received national recognition and praise from the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues and at the annual Baseball & Sports Marketing convention.

“We are very proud of the relationships we have established with local schools over the past 17 years of Ozzie’s Reading Club,” said Mason. “Teachers and administrators have seen our commitment to building reading skills and we appreciate the confidence schools have shown in our program.”

KHS finishes 3rd at Plano Christmas Classic

in Boys Basketball/Featured by

Photo: Marcel Neil (23) holds his own block party in the initial Plano Christmas Classic matchup against Morris last week, with teammate Thomas Williams (24) close by. For his efforts in the four games, Neil was named to the All-Tournament team for the third-place Knights. File Photo

PLANO, Ill.—If you want to improve yourself as the year ends to give yourself hope in the new year, Kaneland boys’ basketball had the right idea.

The Knights improved on last year’s sixth-place finish at the Plano Christmas Classic by finishing in third place, including a win over last year’s Classic champ.

When the final buzzer sounded on 2011 play, the Knights went 3-1 in the tourney. After a Dec. 27 win over Morris, the Knights beat Streator 53-47 on Dec. 28, lost to Yorkille 61-50, and edged 2010 champ Rockford Christian 45-41, with a late rally to cinch up a record of 9-4 (3-0 Northern Illinois Big XII).

Against conference crossover rival Streator, the Knights saw 16 points from Drew David, 12 from Marcel Neil and 11 from Tyler Heinle in the win. Additionally, the Knights were also beneficiaries of 31 trips to the line, of which the KHS crew had 21 conversions.

KHS had a 17-14 lead after one quarter and led 30-20 at the half. Streator closed to within 41-36 at the end of three before the Knights held firm.

Against the Foxes, Neil’s 14 points were tops, along with Thomas Williams’ 11 points.

Yorkville led 14-13 after one, but KHS rallied for a 27-25 halftime lead. The Foxes then took charge with a third quarter that ended with KHS down 42-36 before the final frame.

In the finale against the Royal Lions, the Knights were paced by Dan Miller’s 13 points and Williams’ 10.

KHS led 11-10 before falling behind 23-18 at the half. The Knights still trailed 33-29 after three before a 16-8 run closed the game in Kaneland’s favor.

With the holiday tournaments out of the way, the Knights prepare for Yorkville once again, in Kendall County on Friday, Jan. 6.

Top finishes at the Plano Christmas Classic
Championship:
Belvidere 61,
Yorkville 51

Third-place:
Kaneland 45,
Rockford Christian 41

Fifth-place:
Aurora Ch. 75,
Ottawa 45

Seventh-place:
Streator 59,
H-BR 55

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