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Girls lose to Burlington Central

in Girls Basketball by
Senior Ally Van Bogaert (32) gets pressured by a defender during the fourth quarter, while Morgan Weber (20) and coach Ernie Colombe look on. The Knights only scored four points to close out the final quarter. Photo by Mary Paulson
Senior Ally Van Bogaert (32) gets pressured by a defender during the fourth quarter, while Morgan Weber (20) and coach Ernie Colombe look on. The Knights only scored four points to close out the final quarter. Photo by Mary Paulson

Great effort falters in fourth quarter
SYCAMORE—In a game for the ages, the Kaneland girls basketball team led state second-ranked Burlington Central for three-and-a-half quarters of play. However, a furious 10-point fourth quarter comeback propelled the Rockets to a 44-38 win over the Knights in round two of the IHSA Class 3A Regional Tournament.

The season-ending loss gave Kaneland a final overall record of 18-10.
The Knights came out with aggression on both sides of the court from the opening tipoff. Kaneland guard Camri Conley (seven points, eight rebounds, six assists and three-of-five from the free throw line) played with relentless intensity, setting up her teammates with scoring opportunities, as well as creating her own with mid-range shots and hard drives to the basket. All of the Knights’ starters scored in the opening frame, led by Conley, guard Morgan Weber (team-high 11 points, three-of-eight from three-point range, five rebounds and two steals) and center Bailey Crimmins (nine points, five rebounds) as Kaneland went on an 8-0 run in the first 4:30 of the contest. Burlington Central had trouble with inside shooting early on, but found its outside shot late as the Rockets drilled four three-pointers, led by junior Sam Pryor. The teams were tied 14-14 at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter saw Kaneland’s trademark defense begin to clamp down on the Rockets as Burlington Central still had difficulty locating its inside shot. The Knights went on a 10-3 quarter-long drive as Weber hit another trey, and shots from Crimmins, forward Vanessa Gould (two points, eight rebounds) forward Ally Van Bogaert (seven points) and a free throw by Conley sparked the run. The Rockets’ three points came in the form of junior Kayla Ross. The Knights went seven-for-10 from two-point range in the first half while Burlington Central was only one-for-10 from two-point range, and Kaneland out-rebounded its opponents 22-12 as it led the Rockets 24-17 at halftime.

The third quarter began with Conley continuing her relentless command of the offense. Despite early full-court pressure by the Rockets, Weber got a bucket off a fast break after Pryor scored five straight points (including a three-pointer) for Burlington Central. Treys by Van Bogaert (one-of-nine from three-point range on the night) and Weber opened up the biggest lead of the night for Kaneland at 12 (34-22) with 2:15 remaining. The Knights outscored Burlington Central 10-7 to take a 34-24 advantage into the final frame of play.

The Knights’ overall game began to unravel in the fourth quarter. Although the continued leadership of Conley helped keep Kaneland in the lead for the first 6:45 of the last frame, the Rockets finally began to find their inside shot and became more aggressive on defense down the stretch. A two-point shot by Conley and two free throws by Crimmins were all the Knights could muster as the team suddenly went cold on offense as their defense began to falter. Forced shots by Kaneland turned into rebounds and scoring opportunities for Burlington Central as the Rockets went on a 10-2 run in the first 5:14. Key shots by Ross, free throws by senior Aly DeTamble and three-pointers by Pryor and junior Shelby Holt, as well as Holt’s three-point play, cut the Knights’ lead to one with two minutes to go in the game. Senior Alison Colby hit two-of-two free throws as the Rockets took the lead with 1:15 remaining. The Knights continued to intentionally foul as Burlington Central pulled away with five three throws in the last 30.1 seconds. Burlington Central outscored the Knights 20-4 in the final quarter to seal the comeback win for the Rockets.

Kaneland head coach Ernie Colombe offered thoughts on his team’s season-ending loss after the game.

“They’re (Burlington Central) a good team, and they stepped up and they made more plays (in the fourth quarter) than we did,” he said. “Our kids played hard the whole game. The effort was there the entire night. (It) just came down to hitting a couple shots at the end. They got us (on) the turnover once or twice there in the last couple (of) minutes, and that hurt. In the end, they just hit some shots.

“We (the coaching staff) told our kids in (the locker room) we’re proud of their effort. It wasn’t for lack of effort (or) lack of intensity. We had that for the entire 32 minutes. Our future is bright. Kudos to them (the Rockets,) but it was a good experience for us. We showed we can play with teams like this.”

Colombe also gave his take on Conley’s aggressive gameplay.

“She’s one of our best players. She’s got the ability to be one of the best players in the area, and I think tonight you saw why she had the ability to control the tempo,” Johnson said. “She goes in there; she rebounds. She’s playing defense. She’s running the offense. She’s a big key for us, and we’re really proud of the way she’s progressed from the start of the year until now.”

Crimmins also weighed in on the contest.

“We played a great effort throughout the entire game. No one wasn’t hustling for every ball,” she said. “We rebounded really well. I think we took really good shots; we played defense. But it just didn’t fall our way. We went in with the mentality to play as a team. No one needs to be a hero. No one needs to go out and try to win the game for us. We kept our composure. We played with the momentum and just really hustled.”

Crimmins then reflected on the season as a whole.

“I think we had some tough losses, but overall it was really successful. Next year, we’ll be even more successful,” she said.

Tracking their legacy

in Boys Track/Girls Track/Kaneland by

KHS inducts 16 track and field athletes into Hall of Fame
MAPLE PARK—Kaneland High School on Feb. 7 and 14 inducted 16 track and field alumni into its Hall of Fame in recognition of their personal athletic achievements. All were individual State champions or members of State championship relay teams.

The class of nine tracksters recognized on Feb. 7 is the largest single Kaneland Hall of Fame class to be inducted in any sport. They were introduced during halftime of the Knights’ Girls Basketball Shoot-Out game versus Aurora Central Catholic following a reception and induction ceremony in the school library.

IMG_0707The inducted class included 1975 boys State champion 4x400m relay team members Marty Lyle, a Harley-riding, U.S. Navy veteran who now owns Marty’s Automotive Repair Shop in Aurora; Larry Will, a four-sport letterman who went on to help Illinois win two Big Ten Conference track championships, then, during his 26-years as an international airline pilot, became a national karate champion, multiple business owner, and private investment banker in Fort Myers, Fla.; Mark Claypool, founder and CEO of the global website company Optima Worldwide, who earlier at the 1975 State meet won the 440-yard dash and long jump, then in 1977 set the still-standing school 200/400m records before becoming a Big Ten champion, team captain, and NCAA All-America at Illinois; and Ron Ackerman, a three-sport star who also won the 1975 State title in the 880-yard run with a school record time that went unbroken for 38 years, then attended the University of Kentucky on a track scholarship before beginning a 31-year career as a West Chicago fireman, the last nine years of which he served as chief of the department before retiring in 2011.

IMG_0708Also celebrated on Feb. 7 were 1986 girls State champion 4x400m and 4x800m relay team members Amy Eddington-Fehrenbacher, daughter of Kaneland Hall of Fame track coach Larry Eddington, and herself a four-year State track meet qualifier, a six-time State track medalist, 1987 State 3200m champion, and the Knight’s first cross country State qualifier and All-State performer, who attended Marquette University on a track scholarship and is now a physical therapist, residing with her family in Batavia; Kerry Rink, an All-State performer in cross country, basketball and track, a three-time State champion in the 800m, and a third-place finisher in the State cross country meet before earning NCAA All-America honors at the University of Kentucky, and following from the Washington University School of Medicine, is now an occupational therapist who has worked for the Chicago, Los Angeles and San Diego school systems; Heidi Hagberg-Modaff, a four-year State track meet qualifier and member of school record 4×400/4x800m relay teams who, after graduating from Parkland College as a dental hygienist, has been employed for the past 27 years at Fairview Dental in Aurora while residing in Sugar Grove with her husband and three daughters; Malora Carson-Baumgartner, a four-sport letter-winner who went on to graduate from Northern Illinois with a degree in interior architecture and work for RGLA Architects before becoming a full-time soccer/swimming/ orchestra mom, chauffer, and super-fan for her two children while organizing local art awareness and faith-based activities; and Shelly McManus-Kalmas, a three-sport athlete, Kanelands’ first State track medalist, a four-time medal winner and member of its first State championship track team, who, after graduating from Lewis University, has continued to run competitively and is a nationally-ranked marathoner in her age group while being employed as a director of operations.

The seven inductees honored on Feb. 14 brought the Knights’ track and field Hall of Fame membership to a total of 25. They began with three of the four members of the 1989 boys State champion 4x800m relay team: Jim Probst, a pastor at Eastview Christian Church in downstate Illinois who was an All-Conference performer at North Central College after setting the still-standing Kaneland freshman mile record of 4:45; Dave Beebe, who recently succeeded his brother Don as athletic director and head football coach at Aurora Christian High School, after graduating from Northern Illinois University following a career as a three-sport athlete for the Knights; and Jon Stultz, currently a high-level USSS softball player and coach who was an All-Conference wide receiver at Kaneland, starter on the basketball team, and track team captain and State qualifier in three events.

IMG_0704Also inducted Feb. 14 were Jerry Oksas, co-owner of Tailwind outdoor furniture manufacturers, who was raised in a Maple Park family of pole vaulters before placing third in the state in 1989, winning the boys’ State title in 1990, and going on to compete collegiately at Southern Illinois University; Marty Keifer, the 1998 boys State pole vault champion whose career began in sixth grade, clearing a bar suspended between two trees in his back yard, and culminated with him clearing a personal best height of 17 feet, 1 inch, at the Missouri Invitational as a University of Illinois senior, before joining the staff of Knights head coach IMG_0709Ralph Drendel and coaching multiple state pole vault medalists and champions himself; Kurt Long, 1999 boys State pole vault champion and member of the exclusive 15-foot vaulters’ club, a member of 1998-99 Kaneland State football championship teams who, with his wife Mary, now reside in Sycamore and enjoy supporting their three children’s interests in sports; and Janine Zylinski, owner of an Algonquin custom cake business who was the 2004 girls State shot put champion before going on to compete at Illinois State and then Ohio State, where she was a NCAA All-America performer with a best throw of 54’, 6.5”.

About the Kaneland Hall of Fame
The Kaneland Hall of Fame was created in 1999. Honorees must have graduated at least 10 years prior to their year of induction. Personal athletic achievement is one of eight separate categories of Kaneland Hall of Fame recognition. There is a committee of 11 Kaneland alumni, and present and former school and athletic administrators who review and select nominees for induction. Inductees are each presented with a large commemorative plaque that includes their picture and list of their personal accomplishments. A smaller version of the plaque is placed in the trophy case located in the high school. Beginning this year, Hall of Fame inductees are recognized sport by sport. Nominations for Kaneland High School Hall of Fame recognition can be made at http://web.kaneland.org/hall_of_fame.

Up and down

in Wrestling by

Photo: Junior Austin Parks celebrates after earning fifth place at last weekend’s IHSA State Individual Tournament. Parks and the Knights took on Geneseo Tuesday night in the team Sectional as a team, but lost to the Leafs 43-26. Photo by Stephanie Vanik

Two Knights bring home individual medals; team falls in Sectional
KANELAND—It’s never easy to end a season on a loss, but the future looks bright for Joe Orosco’s Knights wrestling team.

The Knight grapplers celebrated two State medal winners this past weekend in junior Austin Parks and sophomore Riley Vanik. But a 43-26 loss to Geneseo in the Dual Team Sectional saw the Knight’s season end Tuesday. Kaneland finished as the sixth-ranked team in Class 2A, according to IllinoisMatmen.com.

Over the weekend at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, four Knights set their sights on individual glory at the State Individual Tournament. All four Knights won their opening-round match.

Parks was the highest-placing Knight, earning a 7-6 win over Lavall McNulty of Lincoln-Way West in the fifth-place match at 182 pounds. Parks won his opening match over Brandon Pettis of Hubbard 9-6 and a 3-1 sudden victory over Mahomet-Seymour’s Hunter Crowley in the quarterfinal. In the semifinal, Parks lost via technical fall to eventual State-champion Xavier Montalvo of Montini. In a chance to wrestle in the third-place match, Parks lost to Triad’s Alex Crehan 3-1 before prevailing in the fifth-place match.

Vanik became the youngest Knight to ever medal at the State tournament with his sixth-place showing at 160 pounds. He earned a 15-4 major decision over Carmel’s Nathan Morris before losing to Mt. Zion senior Jacob Morgan 6-3. A pin over Champaign Central’s Amir James gave Vanik a chance to get into the third-place match, but he lost 5-0 to Pontiac’s Jake Lanning. In the fifth-place match, a rematch with Morgan ended in a 3-1 overtime loss, but Vanik earned his medal with a sixth-place showing during the tournament.

Junior George Strang and sophomore Colin Gussman also competed at the tournament. Strang, wrestling at 145 pounds, won his opening match 7-4 over Kendall Miller of Rich East before losing 7-0 to eventual third-place winner Jake Eckenrod of Mt. Zion. In wrestlebacks, Anthony Swindell of Carmel ended Strang’s weekend with a 7-4 decision.

Gussman, wrestling at 170 pounds, won a high-scoring opening round over Rich South’s Cody Ralston 18-15 before getting pinned by eventual runner-up Cole Witzig of Triad. A 8-4 loss to Lakes junior Jared Smith ended Gussman’s weekend in wrestlebacks.

“The boys wrestled very well against some tough competition,” Orosco said Sunday. The good thing is they will be back next year.”

On Tuesday at Geneseo in the team Sectional round of 16, senior 285-pounder Zach Thielk gave Kaneland a 6-0 lead early with a pin over Cole Howard. Sophomore Austin Kedzie extended the Knight lead to 11-0 with his 16-1 technical fall at 106 pounds over Charlie Schlindwein. Geneseo would take a 12-11 lead with pins at 113 and 120 pounds before sophomore Matt Redman would take it back with a 16-0 technical fall at 126 pounds over Chase Boone.

The 16-12 lead after five matches was the last time KHS held the lead over the fourth-ranked Leafs. Two more Geneseo pins at 132 and 138 pounds put Geneseo up 24-16.
Strang got the Knights within four with a 15-6 win over Ethan Kennedy at 145 pounds, but Geneseo would rattle off four-straight decisions at 152, 160, 170 and 182 to grow its lead to 37-20. Senior Tom Price-Vanik earned the final Knight win of the season at 195 pounds with his pin over Justin Scott. A KHS forfeit at 220 pounds set the final at 43-26.

“We are hoping to add to our (individual) State qualifiers next year by increasing the number of our wrestlers who are participating in freestyle and greco this spring,” Orosco said. “We also need to commit to time in the weight room to get stronger.”

Final 4

in Wrestling by
Team Sectional information
The Knights will travel to Geneseo at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24, with an opportunity to qualify for the Team State Tournament. Fourth-ranked Geneseo is the favorite, but the sixth-ranked Knights were only four points behind the Leafs when the teams met in January.

Four Knights proceed to State, team Sectional looms
STERLING, ILL.—The hits keep coming from the Knights.
Four individuals from coach Joe Orosco’s varsity lineup qualified out of the Sterling Sectional to the Individual State Tournament, which will begin Thursday at the State Farm Center on the campus of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

George Strang
2nd Place, 145 pounds
Record: 27-12
Strang at Sterling earned a first-round bye before dispatching 12th-ranked (IllinoisMatmen.com) Bryce Sandoval of East Peoria 13-6. A 12-6 decision over Joliet’s Cameron Haney put Strang in the final against Daniel Close of Ottawa

Strang will open up the State meet against Rich East’s Kendall Miller, a senior with a 35-12 record.

Riley Vanik
4th Place, 160 pounds
Record: 32-10
Vanik earned a first-round bye and then defeated Cody Baldridge of Morris 7-2 before losing to Geneseo’s Josiah Cropp 5-2 in the semifinal. Vanik pinned Sterling’s Tyson Hall in 4:27 to earn his spot in the third-place match, where he lost to Pontiac’s Jake Lanning 7-3.

Sixth-ranked Vanik will open the State meet against Carmel junior Nathan Morris, ranked 5th with a 28-2 record.

Colin Gussman
3rd Place, 170 pounds
Record: 32-9
Parks earned a first-round bye before pinning Limestone’s Ervin Durking in 3:18. In the semifinal, Parks lost a close 5-4 battle with Trevor Schmidt of Lincoln-Way West. A 12-8 decision over Washington’s Ethan Sperry got Parks to the third-place match. Parks was awarded third place via injury by Geneseo’s Ryan Pitra.

The eighth-ranked Parks will open the state meet against 11th-ranked Brandon Pettis, a 39-1 senior out of Hubbard.

Austin Parks
3rd Place, 182 pounds
Record: 25-6
Gussman earned a first-round bye and then proceeded to defeat Lincoln-Way West’s Anthony Bendy 5-3. In the semifinal, Gussman lost to eventual champion Jake Warner (41-3, top-ranked wrestler at 170) of Washington by technical fall. Gussman defeated Sycamore’s Michael Beaudoin 5-3 to get into the third-place match, where he used a 3-1 decision over Geneseo’s Cole Hunzeker to secure third place.

The seventh-ranked Gussman will open the State meet against sixth-ranked Cody Ralston, a junior out of Rich South with a 32-9 record.


Editor’s note: In the print edition of the Feb. 19, 2015 Elburn Herald, we mixed up the names of Austin Parks and Colin Gussman. They are correct here on the online version. The Elburn Herald regrets the error.

Late momentum

in Girls Basketball by

Girls basketball wins final home game, opening round of Regional
KANELAND—Before the last home game of the season, the Kaneland girls basketball team honored senior players Emily Grams and Ally Van Bogaert. After the honors were presented, Van Bogaert led the Knights with 13 points—including three-of-six from three-point range—in a 41-30 win over the Sterling Golden Warriors.

A win over St. Edwards on Monday during the opening round of the Sycamore Regional helped the Knights continue through the State Tournament.

The wins boosted Kaneland’s record to 18-9 overall and 6-7 in the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference.

Kaneland against Sterling showed defensive pressure early on as they held their opponent to eight points in the first quarter. Golden Warriors guard Gabby Sandoval (19 points) scored half of her team’s points, while forward Jailyn Borum and guard Denajha Phillips combined for the rest. Knights guard Camri Conley (two points, three rebounds, three assists and a steal) continued her leadership on offense, setting up her teammates as guards Jennifer and Morgan Weber each connected from downtown. Center Bailey Crimmins (12 points with five rebounds) scored four points to help Kaneland to a 10-8 advantage at the end of the quarter.

The Knights came out in the second quarter with a balanced attack on offense and a smothering defense to back it up. Forward Vanessa Gould (eight points and five rebounds) hit two-of-two from the free throw line early as she and Crimmins scored all of the Knights’ 10 points in the second quarter. Kaneland’s defense continued it’s aggressive play, creating Sterling turnovers and holding the Golden Warriors to just five points. Sandoval, Borum, center Lauren Fritz and forward Rashel Robinson scored for Sterling as Kaneland took a 20-13 lead into halftime.

Although both teams showed offensive prowess in the second half, it was Kaneland forward Ally Van Bogaert who came out on fire from the start. She drilled three three-pointers and a two-point field goal as she led the Knights with 11 points in the third quarter. Gould scored the other two points for Kaneland as Sandoval and Borum each hit three-pointers of their own for Sterling. The Knights went on an 11-7 run the first seven minutes of the quarter and took a 10 point lead of 33-23 heading into the final frame.

Sterling attempted to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter, as Sandoval hit two-of-two from three-point range and Robinson split two from the line for the Golden Warriors. However, those were the only points Sterling scored for the rest of the game. Though Van Bogaert found herself in trouble with three fouls, she, Conley, Gould and Crimmins scored eight points for the Knights. A change of tempo on offense, combined with aggressive rebounding and ever-solid defense sealed the win for Kaneland.

The Knights on Monday night traveled to Sycamore to take on the St. Edward Green Wave in the IHSA Class 3A Regional Tournament. Led by forward Van Bogaert’s 13 points—including three-of-eight from three-point range—the Knights withstood a furious second-half comeback by St. Edward to advance with a 39-37 win.

Kaneland’s defense played a major role in the team’s first-half dominance, holding the Green Wave to only 10 points at halftime. The Knights’ ability to create turnovers and out-rebound St. Edward on both sides of the court (35 total) were also contributing factors. Guard Camri Conley (two points and a team-high eight rebounds) continued to be Kaneland’s leader on the floor, with guard Morgan Weber (11 points) in fine form, as well.

The second half saw the Green Wave come roaring back to tie the game with 3:30 to go in the fourth quarter. A re-energized St. Edward defense, partnered with a resurgent offensive game, kept the Knights on their toes. Green wave forward CeCe Rapp led her team with 13 points and an inside game that nearly got the better of Kaneland’s defense. Leading by two, Crimmins (seven points, five rebounds and two steals) made a game-saving steal with six seconds to go in the game. Crimmins’ key play, along with Van Bogaert’s 11 second-half points, proved to be the difference in Kaneland’s all-important victory.

Round two of the IHSA Class 3A Regional Tournament will feature the Knights against the top-seeded Rockets at 6 p.m. Wednesday (results not available before press). The Knights lost 44-38 and ended their season with an 18-10 record. See next Thursday’s paper for complete game coverage.

Photos by Ben Draper

3 of a kind

in Boys Basketball by

Boys basketball loses three in a row
KANELAND—The Knights on Friday night simply had no answers for the DeKalb Barbs’ relentless offense and overpowering defense. DeKalb overwhelmed the Knights 60-37 on the Barbs’ home floor.

On Saturday night, Kaneland would falter again—this time at home—as the Larkin Royals defeated them 68-51.

The Knights continued their mini-skid Tuesday evening, losing to Geneseo 59-53 at home.

Kaneland’s overall record sits at 11-13 and 6-5 in the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference.

DeKalb was off and running from the very beginning of Friday’s game and never let up. The Barbs were ultra-aggressive on both sides of the court as Kaneland committed early turnovers and forced shots continuously against DeKalb’s stifling defense. The Barbs went on a 21-3 run in the first quarter as Barbs guard/forward Michael Pollack hit two of his three three-pointers. Guard Rudy Lopez added an additional trey, and contributions from forward Luke Davis and guard/forward Jace Kitchen helped build Dekalb’s commanding lead. Only a quarter-ending three-pointer by guard Dylan Vaca (team-high 11 points) saved Kaneland from a complete first-frame shutout.

The Knights were again out-gunned by DeKalb in the second quarter despite Vaca showing poise at the free throw line (five-of-seven). The Barbs went on a 19-8 run in the second frame, led by two slam-dunks and a three-pointer by Kitchen. Another trey by Pollack and field goals by guard Ethan Conroy and forward Robert Mitchell put DeKalb up 40-11 at halftime. Kaneland scored eight points behind Vaca, center Jacob Gomes (four points) and forward Zach Douglas (two points.)

Kaneland began to show signs of life in the second half as it outscored DeKalb 15-14 and 11-6 in the third and fourth quarters, respectively. In the third frame, guard Connor Fedderly scored all of his five points and showed the relentless aggression that has become his trademark on both sides of the court. In the third, Vaca hit a three-pointer, forward Ryan David scored all of his four points, guard Tanner Robertsen split two from the line and Gomes scored two on a dunk. The Knights were also more aggressive on the boards as they went on an 8-5 run to start the second half. However, foul trouble was Kaneland’s undoing as it committed 10 in the third quarter alone. Kitchen, Davis and guard Cole Tucker combined to hit eight free throws for DeKalb as it led 54-26 heading into the final period of play.

With starters on the bench in the fourth quarter, Kaneland found inspiration in the form of forward Steven Limbrunner, who hit three-of-three three-pointers for nine points while guards Kevin Fajardo and Jacob Marczuk each split a pair from the line. However, substance won over inspiration on the night as the Barbs padded their huge lead with six additional points on free throws from Conroy and field goals from forwards Ahmed Gadim and Terrell Farrell. The Barbs’ first-half offensive barrage was just too much for the Knights to overcome.

Kaneland head coach Brian Johnson gave his take on his team’s blowout loss after the game.

“They (DeKalb) came out with a lot more energy than we did. They were kind of a team on a mission in that first quarter,” he said. “They did a good job of taking us out of what we wanted to do; they did a great job of making us feel uncomfortable on offense. Defensively, we really couldn’t play ‘D,’ because it was fast break after fast break, or open shot after open shot.”

Johnson praised Fedderly’s play on both sides of the court.

“He plays hard all the time. He was trying to be a leader on the floor by just working hard. That’s who Connor is,” Johnson said. “He’s probably one of our hardest workers, and he wasn’t going to give up. No matter what the end score was, I knew Connor was going to put forth the max effort. That’s just how he plays.”

Johnson also evaluated the performance of Limbrunner and other players who came off the bench in the fourth quarter.

“They play hard. A lot of the times, those guys do our scout stuff. So when they get a chance, they want to play hard,” Johnson said. “Steven (Limbrunner’s) a senior (and) he can catch fire, and he made some nice shots. He was ready to shoot those open jumpers. He plays hard, he’s a great kid (and) has a great work ethic, and I’m glad he had some success tonight. That whole group was playing hard and just trying to finish up the game strong, and that’s all you can ask.”

On Saturday, the Knights again fell behind early in their home loss to the Larkin Royals. Despite 23 points from Vaca, Kaneland could not overcome a 22-point third-quarter onslaught by the visitor.

Tuesday saw the Knights enter the fourth quarter up 46-39, but the Leafs outscored KHS 20-9 in the final frame to steal the win on the road 59-53. David had a team-high 18 points, while Lilly had 13 and Vaca 11 points.

The varsity boys go on the road this Friday to take on Yorkville at 7 p.m.

Photos by Mary Paulson

Feb. 19 sports recap

in Boys Basketball/Girls Basketball by

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

Girls Basketball

Feb. 6 @ Yorkville—A tight game got out of hand when Yorkville went on a 16-6 run on their way to a 35-17 win over the Knights. Kristen Siebert led the Knights with seven points and seven rebounds, while Carley Elliott had six points.
Feb. 7 vs. Ottawa—The visiting Pirates bested the Knights 35-31, despite a Kaneland comeback. Siebert led with 10 points and seven rebounds, while Jamie Martens put in nine points and eight rebounds. Sydney Davidson had 10 rebounds to go along with five points.
Feb. 12 vs. Sterling—In their season finale, the Knights turned a five-point lead going into the fourth quarter to a 34-20 win. Siebert led with 10 points and five rebounds. Jenna Harvell had eight points, while Addie Ringel had four points and eight rebounds. Elliott had five points. The Knights ended the year with a 16-9 overall record, and a 9-4 record in the Northern Illinois Big XII, earning second place in the conference.

Sophomore Basketball

Feb. 11 @ St. Charles North—The North Stars beat the Knights 55-36. Jake Hed led the Knights with 13 points. Luke Calabrese had six points, Garrett Hukle had five points and Josh Pollastrini had four points.
Feb. 13 @ DeKalb—The Knights beat DeKalb 39-31. Pollastrini led the team with 13 points, with three three-pointers. Hukle went four-for-four from the free throw line and finished with 10 points, while Jack Marshall went five-for-six from the free throw line to finish with nine points.
Feb. 17 vs. Geneseo—The Knights buried Geneseo 52-22, behind Brock Harner’s 18 points. The Knights allowed 12 points in the first quarter, then clamped down on defense, allowing only seven, two and one points over the final three.Marshall had nine points, Hed had eight points and Hukle had six in the win. The Knights sit at 13-9 overall, 18-3 in Northern Illinois Big XII play.

Cougars single-game tickets on sale Feb. 21

in Kane County Cougars by

GENEVA—Single-game tickets for the upcoming 25th anniversary season of Kane County Cougars baseball will go on sale Saturday, Feb. 21. That day, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., fans may purchase tickets at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark, 34W002 Cherry Lane, Geneva. Also beginning at 10 a.m., fans can order tickets online at kccougars.com. From 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., fans can order tickets over the phone by calling (630) 232-8811. Group outings, season tickets and ticket packages starting at five games, including five- and 10-game “Pick Your Own” ticket packages, are currently on sale.

As a special thank you to Cougars fans for their support since 1991, fans will receive $5 off each box seat purchased for any 2015 regular season home game, with the exception of Tuesday games. There is a limit of 10 discounted tickets purchased per game. This offer will begin on Feb. 21 and continue through the Feb. 28.

Photo: Neuqua Champs

in Community Sports by

The Kaneland sixth-grade Silverstars won the Neuqua Valley Road to Success basketball tournament Sunday. Team members included Nora Crimmins (top row, from left), Kylie Holubecki, Abby Peeler, Taylor Carlson, JZ Weiss, Mya Saltijeral, Jordan Weber, Delaney Lancaster, Chloe Conley (front row, from left) and Kelsey Modaff. The team is coached by Lori Crimmins, Stacy Carlson and Chad Conley. The team will finish its season in the Grayslake tournament this weekend. Photo submitted by Lori Crimmins through ElburnHerald.com

Knights wrestlers win Regional

in Wrestling by
Sophomore Colin Gussman was one of four Knights to win an individual Regional title.
Photo by Stephanie Vanik
The Knights dominated the Belvidere Regional Saturday, earning the team’s sixth wrestling title in school history. Photo by Stephanie Vanik
The Knights dominated the Belvidere Regional Saturday, earning the team’s sixth wrestling title in school history. Photo by Stephanie Vanik

10 Knights advance to Individual Sectional; team to Dual Sectional
BELVIDERE, ILL.—For the sixth time in school history—and second since joining Class 2A—the Kaneland varsity wrestling team took home the team championship at Saturday’s Belvidere Regional.

Led by four individual championships, Joe Orosco earned his second tournament win as head coach in grand fashion, easily outdistancing the Regional field with 170 points. Northern Illinois Big XII conference-mate Sycamore was second with 132 points, while the historically tough Sandwich team of the Interstate 8 was third with 109.

Sophomore Colin Gussman was one of four Knights to win an individual Regional title. Photo by Stephanie Vanik
Sophomore Colin Gussman was one of four Knights to win an individual Regional title.
Photo by Stephanie Vanik

By winning the Regional crown, the Knights advance to face Geneseo in the team Dual Sectional Quarterfinal. But before that happens, it’s time for the individual Knights to seek personal glory.

At Belvidere, George Strang (145 pounds), Riley Vanik (160), Colin Gussman (170) and Austin Parks (182) all took home the top spot in their respective weight classes.

Strang, a junior, began his day with a pin over Sycamore’s Samm Cottone before earning a 6-4 win over Sandwich’s Anthony Rivas. In the final, Strang got a 7-5 win over Marengo’s Joe Mier to win the championship.

The sophomore Vanik dominated his early matches, with a pin over Boylan’s Fernard Harris in 1:16 and a major decision over Rochelle’s Alex Eckhardt before squaring off against Sycamore’s Michael Ernster in the final. Vanik used a 6-3 decision to secure the title for the Knights.

Another sophomore Gussman earned a first-round bye before defeating Sandwich’s Alex Maisonet 6-4. In the final it was all Gussman, winning 6-2 over Belvidere’s Gage Brewer 6-2.

Parks, a junior, also had a first-round bye before pinning Peter Konstantacos of Boylan in 1:27. In the final, Parks outdistanced Sycamore’s Christopher Malone—ranked fifth in 2A—9-6.

There were two more Knights that made the championship match, but came away with runner-up honors.

Matt Redman, a sophomore wrestling at 126 pounds, earned a first-round bye before dropping a 7-0 decision on Burlington Central’s Nick Maldonado. In the final, Redman lost to Sandwich’s Tommy Dale 3-1 in overtime.

__jraustinparksSenior Tom Price-Vanik was another Knight who enjoyed a first-round bye before quickly dispatching Burlington Central’s Matt Overstreet via pin in 30 seconds. It was Marengo’s Justin Dauphin, who is on IllinoisMatmen.com’s honorable mention list at 285 pounds, that pinned Price-Vanik in 4:32.

Four more Knights battled for third-place honors—and the final individual qualifying positions in their weight classes—with all four succeeding and punching their tickets to the Sterling Sectional.

Sophomore Austin Kedzie pinned Marengo’s Landen Pfieffer in 3:34, but lost a close 3-2 decision to Sandwich’s Nevin Thielk. It took a pin over Yves Worou of Belvidere to get to the third-place match, where Kedzie pinned Rochelle’s Justin Hernandez in 3:29.

Junior George Strang was one of four Knights to win an individual Regional title. Photo by Stephanie Vanik
Junior George Strang was one of four Knights to win an individual Regional title.
Photo by Stephanie Vanik

Senior Adam Mish pinned Sycamore’s Levi Peters in just 49 seconds, but was pinned by eventual champ Christian Arias of Belvidere, who came into the Regional with a 38-1 record. Mish coasted into the third place match via a bye before earning a 13-2 major decision over Sandwich’s Jacob Newberry.

Junior Zac Parker pinned Belvidere’s Enrique Morales in 4:31 before losing a 1-0 decision to Sandwich’s Kyle Eighner, the eventual champion. Parker came back to dispatch Rochelle’s Eli Keating 6-0, and rolled to a 6-2 win in the third-place match over Burlington Central’s Kyle Blankenburg.

Senior big man Zach Thielk, wrestling at 285, earned a first-round bye before losing to Sycamore’s Devin Knight in an overtime ultimate tiebreaker. Thielk then pinned Will Lawhorn of Rochelle before winning 9-2 over Sandwich’s Jason Howell in the third-place match.

Sophomore Riley Vanik was one of four Knights to win an individual Regional title. Photo by Stephanie Vanik
Sophomore Riley Vanik was one of four Knights to win an individual Regional title.
Photo by Stephanie Vanik

The 10 individuals now travel to Sterling on Saturday for a shot to qualify individually to the State Final, set to take place Feb. 19-21 at State Farm Center in Champaign, Ill.

The Knights will get a rematch at the Sectional with Geneseo—a team that edged the Knights 32-28 back on Jan. 15—on Feb. 24.

“I’m looking forward to the rematch,” Orosco said.


in Girls Basketball by
Laura Gampfer KHS girls bball shootout 2-7-15-1
Junior Bailey Crimmins directs the opening jump ball against Aurora Central Catholic to a teammate. Photo by Laura Gampfer
Junior Bailey Crimmins directs the opening jump ball against Aurora Central Catholic to a teammate.
Photo by Laura Gampfer

Knights beat Yorkville, ACC; lose to Ottawa
KANELAND—Great back-to-back efforts on both sides of the court propelled the Kaneland girls basketball team to consecutive wins over the weekend. The Knights defeated the Yorkville Foxes 48-42 on the road Friday night and the Aurora Central Catholic Chargers 39-32 on Saturday.

But a four-overtime marathon went the way of Ottawa Tuesday, as the Knights lost 75-69.

Kaneland sits at 16-9 overall and 5-7 in the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference.

The Friday tilt against Yorkville was a close back-and-forth contest from the start. Both teams traded shots to begin the first quarter. As Yorkville found itself in early foul trouble (six), Kaneland’s offense stepped up with key shots made by guard Camri Conley (four-of-six from the field with eight points, four assists, two steals and a game-high 10 rebounds), guard Jen Weber (seven points, including two three-pointers), forward Ally Van Bogaert (game-high 16 points), center Bailey Crimmins (five points and five rebounds) and forward Meg Cohrs (four points). The Foxes kept pace thanks in part to forward Erica Cycko’s five (overall) points as the Knights led Yorkville 14-12 at the end of the quarter.

The second quarter saw Yorkville’s offensive firepower emerge. The Foxes outscored Kaneland 15-11 behind guard Audrey Macciomei’s 10 (overall) points, including two-of-two from three-point range. Yorkville went on a 7-2 run in the first three minutes as the Foxes increased their defensive pressure against the Knights. Kanelan nevertheless managed to withstand Yorkville’s fire. Conley kept the offense running as she, Van Bogaert and Cohrs combined for all of the Knights points as they trailed by only two (27-25) at halftime.

Junior Camri Conley had nine points and 11 rebounds against the Chargers Saturday. Photo by Laura Gampfer
Junior Camri Conley had nine points and 11 rebounds against the Chargers Saturday.
Photo by Laura Gampfer

The third quarter was a low-scoring affair as Kaneland and Yorkville scored only nine and eight points, respectively, before Yorkville was able to start the quarter on a 6-2 run in the first 3:45. Guard Aynia McGowan (five points) and forward Mackenzie Lee (Yorkville game-high 11 points) both hit three-point shots to begin the run. Conley kept the offense running once again as she, Van Bogaert (hitting one of her three three-pointers on the night) and Crimmins were able to keep the Knights to within one as the Foxes led 35-34 heading into the fourth quarter.

Senior Ally VanBogaert had three points against ACC Saturday, but put in 18 against Ottawa Tuesday. Photo by Laura Gampfer
Senior Ally VanBogaert had three points against ACC Saturday, but put in 18 against Ottawa Tuesday.
Photo by Laura Gampfer

Despite a 5-0 run in the first minute of the fourth frame, Yorkville would manage to score only two points in the final seven minutes as Kaneland’s combination of offensive relentlessness and defensive prowess shut the Foxes down the rest of the way. The Knights made five-of-six free throws (guard Morgan Weber was six-of-eight from the line on her own on the night) as Conley’s command of the offense never waned. Van Bogaert herself showed command of the defense as she and her teammates clamped down on Yorkville to help seal the win for Kaneland.

On Saturday, Conley continued her offensive leadership against the Chargers, scoring nine points and hauling in 11 rebounds. Forward Meg Cohrs had eight points and three rebounds as well. The Knights made nine-of-10 free throws in the fourth quarter for their second win in as many days.

Junior Meg Cohrs had eight points against ACC Saturday night. Photo by Laura Gampfer
Junior Meg Cohrs had eight points against ACC Saturday night.
Photo by Laura Gampfer

Tuesday’s thriller saw Ottawa lead 30-25 at halftime. A 14-8 third quarter by the Knights got KHS the lead, but a 10-9 fourth by Ottawa sent the game to overtime. The teams matched each other 5-5 in both the first and second overtimes, and 4-4 in the third overtime to send the game to a fourth overtime. The Pirates prevailed with a 13-7 final overtime. Van Bogaert’s 18 points led the team and Crimmins had 14 (eight rebounds). Conley had 10 points, seven rebounds, nine assists and a steal, and Morgan Weber had 10 points, eight rebounds, two assists and four steals.

The Knights play Sterling at home on Thursday before entering next Monday’s Sycamore Regional as the fourth seed, against fifth-seeded St. Edward at 6 p.m. The winner will play top-seeded Burlington Central Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 6 p.m.

Boys basketball gets Spartans to surrender

in Boys Basketball by
___Laura Gampfer KHS boys bball v. Sycamore 2-5-15-6
Junior Jacob Gomes put in a team-high 17 points against Sycamore Feb. 5.  Photo by Laura Gampfer
Junior Jacob Gomes put in a team-high 17 points against Sycamore Feb. 5.
Photo by Laura Gampfer

Knights beat Pirates Tuesday
KANELAND—The Kaneland boys basketball team scored a whopping 24 points in the fourth quarter to erase a 20-point third-quarter deficit and defeat the Sycamore Spartans 64-61 at home Feb. 5.

Tuesday saw the Knights win again at home, this time against the Ottawa Pirates, 53-51.

The wins give the Knights an overall record of 11-10 and 5-3 in the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference.

The Spartans got the upper hand early on in the first quarter. Sycamore put aggressive defense on Kaneland as the Knights struggled to find their shots. Sycamore went on a 7-2 run in the first 3-and-a-half minutes of the game as the Spartans dished crisp passes and found the open man driving to the basket. Three treys from guard Matt Coovert and guard/forward Timothy Zahm helped Sycamore to a 19-8 lead at the end of the quarter. The Knights’ eight points were scored by center Jacob Gomes (Kaneland game-high 17 points), forward Ryan David (five-of-five from the line with 16 points and three treys) and forward Mitchel Groen (three points).

Sycamore continued their offensive and defensive aggressiveness in the second quarter. Their uptempo play was further ignited by Maxx Miller’s nine points. Efforts by guard Jack Mizgalski (10 points with two three-pointers), as well as Ty Sulaver, Zahm and Brian Huber, gave the Spartans a commanding 13-point lead at halftime 35-22.

Junior Dylan Vaca puts up a layup against Sycamore Feb. 5.  Photo by Laura Gampfer
Junior Dylan Vaca puts up a layup against Sycamore Feb. 5.
Photo by Laura Gampfer

Even with the halftime deficit, the Knights showed signs of hustle in the form of guard Tanner Robertsen (two points). Robertsen was able to set up his teammates for scoring opportunities as Gomes scored six second-quarter points. David, Groen and guards Dylan Vaca (four points) and Jacob Marczuck (four points) also contributed eight of the team’s 14 points.

Sycamore kept command offensively to start the second half. The Spartans used good communication on the floor to go on an 8-1 run in the first 2:20 of the third quarter. Sulaver’s six, Migalski’s five (including a three-pointer) and forward/center James Mitchell’s two points helped build Sycamore’s lead to 20. However, the Knights began to chip away at the Spartan’s lead. Three-pointers by David and guard Mark Lilly (11 points) sparked the start of Kaneland’s comeback. Marczuk, Robertsen, Gomes and guard Connor Fedderly (seven points) helped cut the Spartans lead to nine (49-40) by the end of the quarter, outscoring them 18-14.

Senior Connor Fedderly had seven points against Sycamore Feb. 5. Photo by Laura Gampfer
Senior Connor Fedderly had seven points against Sycamore Feb. 5.
Photo by Laura Gampfer

Kaneland’s offense and defense finally erupted in the fourth. Fedderly, relatively quiet the first half, took his intensity to another level in the second, particularly in the fourth quarter. He hit three-of-five free throws and two points from the field as he made plays on both sides of the court with relentless aggression. David hit three-of-three free throws to pull Kaneland within six with 3:45 to go. Gomes split two at the line, and Fedderly added another as the Knights battled back to within two points with 2:05 left to play. Lilly continued his own intense play, as two of his six fourth-quarter points tied the game for Kaneland with 1:40 left.

Junior Mark Lilly had 11 points Feb. 5 against Sycamore. Photo by Laura Gampfer
Junior Mark Lilly had 11 points Feb. 5 against Sycamore.
Photo by Laura Gampfer

Sycamore, however, would not go quietly. Sulaver scored six points, Mizgalski and Treml two apiece, and Zahm hit one of two from the line as they helped the Spartans to a three-point lead in the final minute. Vaca would make two-of-three from the line to cut Sycamore’s lead to one with 47 seconds to play. 20 seconds later, Lilly finally gave the Knights the lead on a two-point field goal. David hit two-of-two free throws in the final seconds to ice the win. Kaneland’s 19 offensive rebounds were also a huge factor in the victory.

Kaneland head coach Brian Johnson offered his thoughts on his team’s comeback win after the game.

“I think (the comeback) really started with our pressure on defense. I thought Mark (Lilly) really ignited it by guarding the ball and making them (Sycamore) work, and we were in just kind of a ‘scramble mode.’ Connor (Fedderly) had some huge steals. (Jacob) Gomes was a beast in the paint; Ryan (David) was able to get free to make a couple shots, and Mark took some big shots down the stretch. We got lucky tonight. Sycamore came to play and had a lot of energy,” Johnson said.

Johnson also commented on Fedderly’s hustle on both sides of the court in the fourth quarter and being one of the keys to victory.

“Without a doubt. Connor’s a senior; been with us four years, practice-wise. He knows what it takes to win games. Seniors pull you through sometimes, and if you can get seniors to lead like he does, you’ll be OK. I just thought he didn’t quit at all,” Johnson said.

#55 Jacob Gomes and #20 Junior Dylan Vaca Photo by Laura Gampfer
#55 Jacob Gomes and #20 Junior Dylan Vaca
Photo by Laura Gampfer
Juniors Jacob Gomes and Ryan David smother a Sycamore player with defense Feb. 5. Photo by Laura Gampfer
Juniors Jacob Gomes and Ryan David smother a Sycamore player with defense Feb. 5.
Photo by Laura Gampfer

Lilly said halftime adjustments by Johnson helped the team turn around their effort.

“We played hard, and we just played our game. (We) played how we’re supposed to play. At halftime, coach (Johnson) gave us a little pep talk, and we didn’t want to lose on our home court again. We lost to Yorkville, so we didn’t want to lose again. We just played hard,” Lilly said. “(Getting the deficit down to nine in the third quarter) was huge. It was a huge confidence builder for us.”

In a back-and-forth affair against Ottawa Tuesday, the Knights got out to a 17-12 lead before getting outscored 18-6 in the second quarter to find themselves down 30-23 at halftime. A 20-11 third quarter put the Knights ahead for good, as the teams deadlocked at 10-10 during the fourth quarter. David led the Knights with19 points and Fedderly had 10. Vaca (nine points) and Gomes (five points) helped the Knight’s cause.

The boys varsity squad travels to Dekalb on Friday, then returning home to host Larkin in the Kaneland Shootout on Saturday.

Final uptick

in Bowling by
Head coach Jim McKnight (from left), senior Sectional qualifier Dominique Lee and assistant coach Beth Trafton prepared for Saturday’s Sectional at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb Tuesday. 			                Photo by Tiffany Kufer
Head coach Jim McKnight (from left), senior Sectional qualifier Dominique Lee and assistant coach Beth Trafton prepared for Saturday’s Sectional at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb Tuesday. 			                Photo by Tiffany Kufer
Head coach Jim McKnight (from left), senior Sectional qualifier Dominique Lee and assistant coach Beth Trafton prepared for Saturday’s Sectional at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb Tuesday. Photo by Tiffany Kufer

Knights close out regular season with win, Lee All-Conference and Sectional qualifier
KANELAND—After a rough stretch plagued the Knights bowling team in 2015, the girls closed out the regular season on a positive note, defeating visiting Sterling 2,419-2,321 on Feb. 4.

The Knights’ busy week continued after the win over the Warriors, as the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference tournament Feb. 5 saw the Knights place seventh out of nine teams, and the Regional tournament Saturday, where they again placed seventh, but this time out of 12 teams.

KHS ended the 2014-15 season with a dual record of 5-9, but were 4-2 as recently as Jan. 6.

On the Feb. 4 make-up game, rescheduled due to snow, the Knights got going early against Sterling but needed a strong third game to put SHS away. The first game saw the Knights jump out to a 895-746 lead, with Dominique Lee leading the charge with a 211 and Melissa Endrenal with a 156. Sterling took the second game 809-725 to close the pin gap on the Knights. Grace Lindgren’s 152 and Lee’s 139 led the Knights. The third game saw Kaneland roll a 799 to Sterling’s 766 to clinch the win. Lee’s 160, Katie Hill’s 148 and Endrenal’s 144 were tops for the Knights in the third game. Lee ended with a 510 series, while Lindgren and Endrenal both finished with a 392, Hill a 385, Anu Kadampelil a 376 and Allison Kadampelil a 364.

At the conference tournament, the Knights opened strong, but couldn’t match the first game’s totals. Lee still had a strong day, earning All-Conference honors as a senior.

“We started the day with a nice team game of 919, which included Dominique’s high game of 247. That game turned out to be the highest game the team and Dominique had the entire day,” head coach Jim McKnight said. “Dominique finished the morning round with a 607 series, which is the highest on the team so far this year. She was also named to the NIB-12 All-Conference team for the season, based on her performances during the season and at the Conference tournament.”

Morris took the team crown, with Sycamore, Rochelle, LaSalle-Peru and Yorkville rounding out the top five teams.

At the Regional, Lee was the only individual qualifier to advance to the Guilford Sectional this Saturday, behind a 1,077 two-round total. Lee rolled games of 200, 183 and 145 (528 series) in the morning session, and clinched her Sectional berth with an afternoon that consisted of 173, 167 and 209 games (549 series). The Knights’ other high series at the Regional were Hill’s 817 and Endrenal’s 771.

“Dominique will be part of a very talented field at the Guilford Sectional in Rockford. Based on past experience, it will likely take an average of over 200 per game to qualify individually for the State Finals the following weekend,” McKnight said. “Dominique is capable of doing that, but it will require consistently high scores, staying out of split trouble, and avoiding a disastrous game or two.”

McKnight expressed how proud he was of Lee as she continues her path through the State series.

“Regardless of what happens, she has proven herself time after time this season. Her great performance at the Regional tournament is a testament to her talent and determination,” he said. “We are very proud to have her represent Kaneland High School, and we wish her all the best.”

Lee heads to Don Carter Lanes in Rockford, Ill., on Saturday, with the first round of the Sectional beginning at 1 p.m.

Feb. 12 sports recap

in Boys Basketball/Girls Basketball by

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

Girls Soph Basketball
Feb. 3 @ DeKalb—The Knights beat DeKalb 33-27 to win their seventh-straight game. Kristen Siebert led KHS with 14 points and eight rebounds. Carly Elliott had 10 points and six rebounds, and Jamie Martens had seven rebounds. The Knights are 15-7, 8-2 in NIB-12 play.

Girls Freshman Basketball
Feb. 3 @ DeKalb—Kaneland beat the Barbs 41-31. Faith Cowsert led the team with 13 points, and Shayna Hurston had 12. Taylor Parrott had eight points and Katrina Van Horn 4.
Feb. 6 @ Yorkville—Yorkville beat the Knights 31-22. Van Horn had nine points, Abigail Taylor had six and Hurston had five.
Feb. 9 @ NIB-12 Tournament—The Knights lost to Sterling at Sycamore High School 43-34. Hurston and Cierra Kuipers each supplied 10 points, while Taylor had seven, Van Horn had four and Ivory Diaz had three points. The Knights are 14-11 on the season.

Boys Soph Basketball
Feb. 5 vs. Sycamore—The Knights easily outdistanced the visiting Spartans 31-20 behind a 10-2 run in the fourth quarter. Brock Harner had 11 points and Jack Marshall and Jake Hed each had six.
Feb. 10 vs. Ottawa—Ottawa beat the Knights 47-44 Tuesday despite Garrett Hukle’s 17 points. Hed had seven points. The sophomore Knights are 10-8, 6-3 in NIB-12 play.

Cougars to host auditions for Ozzie T. Cougar Feb. 21

in Kane County Cougars by

GENEVA—The Kane County Cougars will host open auditions for the role of Ozzie T. Cougar on Saturday, Feb. 21. Interested applicants are requested to bring a resume and must arrive at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark promptly at 1 p.m. for check-in. Auditions are scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.

Ozzie T. Cougar has been recognized throughout the Chicagoland area as the face of the Cougars’ franchise since the organization’s inaugural season in 1991. The Cougars have welcomed more than 10 million fans in franchise history, with Ozzie serving as the team’s goodwill ambassador who interacts with fans throughout home games, community appearances and special events. Individuals who are professional and have a passion for entertaining fans are encouraged to apply. Candidates must be athletic, physically fit and able to fit comfortably into the mascot costume for multiple hours at a time. Experience as a high school, college or professional sports mascot is preferred but not required. Skills such as dance, improvisation, acting, tumbling, mime and other relevant experience are also helpful. The ideal candidate would be available for all home games at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark (70 regular season games from April to September), potential postseason games, team events and community appearances throughout Chicagoland.

For a complete job description, interested individuals are encouraged to visit the employment opportunities page on the Cougars’ website at kccougars.com. Those with questions may contact Cougars Promotions Director Justin Cohen at (630) 232-8811 or jcohen@kanecountycougars.com.

Campton United SC launches new recreation soccer league

in Community Sports by

ST. CHARLES—Campton United Soccer Club (CUSC) announced the launch of its new “Grass Roots Soccer League,” an instructional soccer program for beginning/recreational soccer players ages 5-7.

The Grassroots Soccer League’s mission is to develop each player’s soccer skill set while nurturing their understanding and love for the game of soccer.

Players can build friendships, be creative and learn teamwork in a relaxing and cooperative environment.

The league is typically comprised of neighborhood children attending the same school. Teams will practice once a week with a professional CUSC staff coach and parent coaches. Teams will also have one game per week. The league will consist of a Coed U6 division and a U7 Boys and a U7 Girls division.

The inaugural season will begin April 11 and last through June 6.

For more information or to register, visit www.camptonunited.com. Questions may be directed to JJ Raune at jj@camptonunited.com or (630) 377-9292.

Kaneland pom clinic Feb. 27

in Kaneland/Poms by

KANELAND—The Kaneland Pom Squad will host its annual elementary school clinic Friday, Feb. 27, starting at 4 p.m.

The clinic will run from 4 to 7 p.m. The evening will conclude with a performance at approximately 7:15 p.m. during halftime of the boys varsity basketball game vs. Sterling.

The cost is $35 and includes dinner and a T-shirt.

Registration forms will be available in Virtual Backpack. For more information, email coach Christine Carter at 10086@kaneland.org.

Kaneland Day and Knight of Basketball Feb. 14

in Boys Basketball by
• 12 p.m. Larkin vs. Kaneland
• 1:30 p.m. Hillcrest vs. St. Charles North
• 3 p.m. Champaign Centennial vs. North Chicago

• 4:30 p.m. Champaign Centennial vs. North Chicago
• 6 p.m. Hillcrest vs. St. Charles North
• 7:30 p.m. Larkin vs. Kaneland

KANELAND—The second-annual Day and Knight of Basketball, featuring six premier varsity and sophomore boys basketball programs—Kaneland, St. Charles North, Hillcrest, Larkin, North Chicago and Champaign Centennial—will take place from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14.

In addition to the schedule below, the day will feature:
• Exhibition game by the eighth grade Kaneland Cager programs during halftime of the 6 p.m. game.
• Kaneland pep band during the 7:30 p.m. game
• Team cheers and spirit for all teams by the KHS Cheer and Pom squads
• Food and drink by Kaneland Sports Boosters
• Customizable event clothing
• 50/50 Progressive Raffle held throughout the entire day
• Prize Raffle held throughout the entire day
• Kaneland’s very own chuck-a-duck.

Further, the players will honor those who are battling cancer, including families, friends and survivors. Each Kaneland varsity player will wear a shooting shirt during warm-ups with a name written on the front of their shirt. The name is of a person who they will be playing for during the remainder of the year.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Brian Johnson at brian.johnson@kaneland.org for details.

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