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Girls Basketball - page 3

Feeling the freeze in Burlington Central

in Girls Basketball by
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Photo: Senior forward Brittany Kemp contests a Morris shot Jan. 9. Kemp had four points against the Lady Redskins, but came back with a team-high 11 points Monday at Plano. Photo by Marshall Farthing

Rockets’ wide-open style dooms Lady Knights in between Morris win, Plano loss
BURLINGTON, Ill.—Kaneland girls basketball was on the run often on Saturday at Burlington Central.

Usually, it was to rush back to either side of the floor or trying to deal with Burlington Central’s long-range game, led by Samantha Pryor’s 21 points and three three-pointers, and Shelby Holt’s three treys.

The long night ended with a 54-33 loss. Preceding that, the Lady Knights beat rival Morris on Thursday by a final of 57-45 in Maple Park, but dropped a 44-41 result on Monday to the team responsible for their 2013 regional ouster, host Plano.

Kaneland is now 9-10, with a 2-1 mark in Northern Illinois Big XII conference action.

Post presence Kelly Wallner led the KHS charge with 15 points against Burlington Central, but the next-closest Lady Knight output was Caroline Heimerdinger with six.

Two quick buckets for Wallner gave KHS an early 4-3 lead just 47 seconds into the contest, but BC found its footing and hit two threes and used a high shooting volume for a 17-6 lead at the end of one. Kaneland ended up missing its last five shooting opportunities of the quarter and were 2-of-6 from the line and just 6-of-16 from the charity stripe on the day.

BC made it through a 21-6 run into the second quarter before Heimerdinger and Wallner came up with buckets to close within 21-10 with 5:33 to go in the half. With baskets from Amber Winquist-Bailey and Wallner, the Lady Knights were able to close within 21-14 with 3:47 to go. The Lady Knights could get no further, and BC closed the half out on a 10-5 run.

The only field goal for the Lady Knights in the third was an Ally Van Bogaert hoop with 5:54 to go to close within 36-22, and BC lead 43-23 at the third-quarter buzzer. The Lady Rockets outscored Kaneland 11-8 in the fourth quarter to close it out.

“(BC) played good defense, obviously,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We took some shots that were a little rushed. It was a combination of those and being a little inexperienced, I think. Obviously, we played at their temp and that was from start to finish.”

In the win over the rival Lady Redskins, Wallner had 13 points and 11 rebounds, Van Bogaert had 13 points and Caroline Heimerdinger pitched in 10 in the winning cause. The Lady Knights went 17-of-50 from the field and went to the line 40 times, hitting 21 opportunities. KHS was up 16-9 after one and 29-11 after two quarters before solidifying a 37-23 lead after three frames.

In the loss against Plano, Brittany Kemp led the way with 11 points and Heimerdinger added nine herself. Kaneland stayed competitive along Route 34 and led 12-7 after one and 24-21 after the first half. Up 35-34 after three, the Lady Knights fell victim to an 0-for-18 cold streak and allowed Plano to emerge with the three-point edge. KHS was 13-of-51 from the field and 12-for-24 from the foul line.

On Friday, Jan. 17, the Lady Knights head to DeKalb to try and separate from the pack in NIB-12 action.

Jan. 16 sports recap

in Bowling/Boys Basketball/Girls Basketball by

JV Girls Bowling
Jan. 8 @ La Salle-Peru—The Lady Knights were led by Amber Spaetzel’s 126 game and 329 series, but fell to the host Lady Cavaliers 2,114-1,478. Kayla McDuffee bowled a 277 series, while Grace Lindgren had a 246, and Natalie Barnhart had a 186.
Jan. 11 @ IMSA Tourney—The Lady Knights placed sixth out of eight teams at Saturday’s IMSA tournament. Emma Nawrot led KHS with a 349 series, followed by Barnhart’s 328. Barnhart also bowled a Kaneland-best 135 game. Summer Gibbs (322 series), Margaret Nelson (286) and Spaetzel (237) rounded out the JV bowlers.

Soph. Girls Basketball
Jan. 9 vs. Morris—The visiting Lady Redskins defeated KHS 47-37. Meg Cohrs led the Lady Knights with 11 points, while Kylie Modaff had 10. Kiandra Powell had five points, Bailey Crimmins had four and Morgan Weber had three.
Jan. 11 at Burlington Central—Crimmin’s 13 points and Kristen Siebert’s six led KHS as they defeated the host Lady Rockets 33-28. Madi Edwards had four points while Nicole Koczka and Modaff each had three.
Jan. 13 at Plano—KHS led by double-digits at halftime, and handed Plano a 49-28 loss. Koczka’s 14 points led the Lady Knights. Crimmins had seven points, Cohrs, Modaff and Powell each had six points, and Siebert had four points. The sophomore Lady Knights are now 9-8 overall, while 1-2 in NIB-12 play.

Soph. Boys Basketball
Jan. 10 vs. Morris—After a deadlocked first quarter at 13 apiece, the Knights outscored the visiting Redskins 38-23 in the final three quarters to win 51-36. Tanner Robertson’s 16 points led the team. Mark Lilly had 13 points, while Joe Laudont had eight, Jack Marczuk had six and Mitchel Groen had four.
Jan. 11 at Burlington Central—The Knights prevailed in Rocket-land 41-32. Robertson again had a team-high points, with 10. Marczuk had nine points, Lilly and Groen each had seven and Laudont had six.
Jan. 14 at Marmion—the Knights lost for only the second time this season with a 60-40 setback to the Cadets. Robertson led the team with 10 points, while Lilly had nine. Four nights had four points: Marczuk, Groen, Jacob Violett and Kevin Fajardo. Connor Peterson had three points. The Knights sit at 11-2, 3-0 in NIB-12 conference play.

Boys Bowling
Jan. 13 at Streator (NIB-12 Meet)—The Kaneland boys bowling club took on the NIB-12 field in Streator Monday. Steven Becker led the Knights with an 1,119-pin day, while Nate Dyer (1,076) and Joey Mendoza (1,048) also broke the 1,000 pin mark. Tyler Rowe (971), Joe Kusarek (891) and Josh Rodrigues (636) also bowled for the Knights.

Waubonsee’s Wagner feels good about collecting 200

in Girls Basketball/Kaneland/Waubonsee Sports by
WCC_Coach

Waubonsee Community College head women’s basketball coach Dana Wagner celebrated her 200th victory recently. She is a 1992 Kaneland graduate that went on to play at Aurora University. Courtesy/File Photo

Kaneland alum’s milestone victory paves way for memorable year
SUGAR GROVE—To illustrate how Waubonsee Community College women’s basketball coach Dana Wagner approached a milestone 200th coaching victory, which occurred on Dec. 8, it was almost an afterthought.

“(Sports information specialist) Steve Moga told me before the season that I was going to get it, and I forgot about it for awhile,” Wagner said. “It was a road victory and the girls and team moms got together and signed a frame picture they took. It was a nice surprise.”
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The 73-68 win over the St. Ambrose University varsity team is one of many highlights so far for the 9-5 Lady Chiefs, featuring former Kaneland standouts Sarah Grams and Brooke Harner.

“These girls work hard and buy into the system, and it pays off,” Wagner said. “It’s been a good year for the transition game, and the way we run the floor has been great.”

In her 15th year, Wagner will step down at the conclusion of the 2013-14 season, as Waubonsee has enacted a rule that coaching positions will be for non-full-time staff members.

“It’s bittersweet, which is why it’s nice to have this good year. We’ll move onto the next phase, and I’m excited for the future,” Wagner said. “I’m excited to go on a different path.”

Wagner works as Waubonsee’s Assistant Athletic Manager, runs Waubonsee’s intramural programs, handles all of the school’s on-campus athletic events and is facilities coordinator for the hoops squad’s home, Erickson Hall.
With Erickson Hall undergoing renovation to hold a 59,000-square-foot fieldhouse, Wagner’s duties involve that heavy undertaking that benefits Waubonsee athletics in the long run.

“It’s great for recruiting when you walk these kids through the facility. It’s going to be unbelievable, that building will be my ‘real job’ and take up a lot of time after this year,” Wagner said.
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Not only involved in area basketball, since her days as a player at Kaneland, Wagner has worked with many standouts that have seen her evolve as player and coach.

“When I got this job, the first person I coached was Dick Rink (former KHS girls basketball head and assistant coach). I asked him to be my assistant coach after that, and I think we tried adding the number of games he and I had been involved with. It was too many,” Wagner said.

A member of Kaneland’s Class of 1992, Wagner was an All-Little Seven Conference selection in basketball. She then went on to star for Aurora University as a three-time NCAA Division III All-American, was selected the Northern Illinois Intercollegiate Conference (NIIC) Player of the Year three times, and was named Aurora’s Female Athlete of the Year three times. Wagner remains the Spartans’ all-time leading scorer with 1,693.

With 200 victories, and more looked for as Waubonsee makes its way through Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference action and beyond, Wagner can not only look over a memorable moment, but a memorable coaching tenure. The accomplished coach will just be in the market of bettering WCC rather than just a girls’ roster.

“You have girls that come in here and want to play and don’t want to spend a lot of money, be closer to home, and get their gen-eds done,” Wagner said. “A lot of area girls basketball teams are getting better and starting younger. The hard work pays off. I’m moving on, and looking at the positive.”

Girls hoops makes way through holidays

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Seventh-place finish in Ottawa, 2-2 finish at Dixon
KANELAND—It took a while to get going on the final day of the Ottawa Christmas Tournament on Dec. 23, but it did end on a winning note for KHS girls basketball.

Placed in the silver (second place) pool after the first day of competition, Kaneland two Mondays ago began with a 45-38 loss to Northern Illinois Big XII crossover foe Geneseo before coming from behind to beat the Rockford East E-Rabs 59-47 to clinch seventh place.

Kaneland finished the tournament 2-2. It then went on to the KSB Dixon Holiday Classic for the first time and lost to Stillman Valley last Thursday 46-39, beat Freeport’s Aquin 45-28 on Friday, and lost to Aurora Christian 37-32 before finishing with a double overtime win over Pekin, 66-63, in a Saturday twinbill.

Kaneland is now 8-8 after a .500 tournament tour and after its first 16 contests, closing out the 2013 portion of the calendar.

Against Geneseo, Ally VanBogaert had a team-high 11 points, but the Lady Knights were plagued by a scant four points in the fourth quarter in the loss. With Kaneland just 16-for-52 from the field, the Lady Knights were down 10-7 before taking a 23-22 lead at the break. In the second half, Kaneland and Geneseo were tied at 34 after the third before the contest turned.

In the win over RE, Van Bogaert had 21 points, a career-high, and eight boards. Post players Kelly Wallner and Brittany Kemp had 11 points each.

Looking to end the afternoon in Ottawa on a winning note, The E-Rabs slammed the Lady Knights with six of seven late shots made in the first quarter to go on a 13-0 run in the last 3:51 of the quarter, leaving KHS in a 15-9 hole.

After missing their first seven shots of the second quarter, the Lady Knights solidified and got a putback from Wallner, a shot and free throw from Caroline Heimerdinger, two foul shots by Kemp and a bucket by Van Bogaert to close within 26-19 after being down 16 points.

Heimerdinger hit two foul shots, followed by a Van Bogaert three and a Katie Brinkman, to tie the game at 27-27 with 1:09 left in the half. Morgan Weber’s bucket with 40.2 to go gave Kaneland a 29-27 lead going into the half.

Tied at 35 in the third, Wallner made a basket sandwiched by two Van Bogaert conversions to go up 41-35 with 1:27 left in the frame. A Van Bogaert three with three ticks left upped the lead to 44-37 before the buzzer.

“We knew it was time to pick it up and time to get going, and not to get too confused in what we were doing,” Wallner said. “Especially with our offense, we practice it a lot and work it, inside and out, and are more patient.”

Rockford East’s shooting luck ran out and Kaneland ran its lead to 15 at 56-41 with 1:04 to go in the game before the end.

“Their team has a couple players that are tough to guard, and we had some girls in foul trouble,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We could have gotten out of sync for a few minutes. Our staff is real happy with how they bounced back. Obviously, as a team we try to win every game, but we’re also growing in the process.”

In Dixon, the seven-point loss to the Cardinals of Stillman Valley was highlighted by nine points each from Brinkman and Camri Conley. The Lady Knights committed 23 turnovers and were just 16-for-55 from the field.

In the win over Aquin, Wallner, Conley and Amber Winquist-Bailey each had nine points to lead the charge. Wallner also had 10 boards. KHS stifled the Bulldogs to the tune of a 21-8 second half that saw Kaneland hold the opponent to just two second-half field goals.

Against the Lady Eagles, Wallner submitted a double double with 11 points and 11 boards in the loss and Conley had five steals.

Aurora Christian led 23-13 after the first two frames. Down 27-18 after three, the Lady Knights cut the deficit to three but could get no closer.

In the extra-time win over Pekin, Kaneland went to court without five players due to illness and injury, but were led by Weber’s 16, Bailey Crimmins’ 13 and Rachel Miller’s 12.

Down 19-16 after one and 36-32 at the half, KHS closed within 45-43 before tying it up going into the first OT at 56 all. Kaneland and Pekin were tied at 62 after the first extra session before KHS pulled away.

Kaneland tips off 2014 with a Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, outing vs. visiting Yorkville.

Dec. 31 sports recap

in Boys Basketball/Girls Basketball by

Sophomore Boys BBall
Dec. 23 at Plano Classic vs. Streator—The Knights opened up play at the Plano Christmas Classic Dec. 23 with a blowout win over NIB-12 crossover foe Streator 62-33. Jake Marczuk led the way with 13 points, while Tanner Robertson and Mark Lilly each had 12. Jacob Violett had eight points, Connor Peterson and Brett Hansen each had five points and Andy Delgado had three points.
Dec. 27 at Plano Classic vs. Morris—KHS defeated Morris 57-53 in the second round of play at the Plano Christmas Classic. Marczuk had 23 points for the Knights, while Lilly had eight points, Kevin Fajardo had seven points, Robertsen had six points, Jason Edwards and Joe Laudonteach had four points and Violett had three points.
Dec. 28 at Plano Classic vs. Princeton—The Knights squeaked their way into the Plano Christmas Classic championship game with a 51-50 win over Princeton. Lilly had 22 points, while Violett had nine and Robertsen and Marczuck each had eight. The Knights were 8-1 heading into Monday’s championship game vs. Genoa-Kingston. Results of that game were not available at press time.

Sophomore Girls BBall
Dec. 26 at Batavia Tourney vs. York—The Lady Knights fell to York 36-23 to open up play at the Batavia tournament. Meg Cohrs led KHS with six points, while Nicole Koczka and Kristen Siebert each had five points. Jenna Harvell had four points and Madi Edwards had three points.
Dec. 26 at Batavia Tourney vs. Geneva—KHS fell to Geneva Thursday afternoon 39-35. Cohrs and Seibert each had 12 points in the loss. Kylie Modaff had four points and Hollie Fedderly had three points. Geneva defeated the Lady Knights by 26 points earlier in the season.
Dec. 27 at Batavia Tourney vs. Bartlett—Friday saw the Lady Knights fall to Bartlett 43-25. Modaff led the team with eight points, while Cohrs and Koczka each had seven. Kiandra Powell had three points.
Dec. 28 at Batavia Tourney vs. Lake Park—KHS got into the win column at the Batavia Tournament, winning 55-42 over Lake Park. Three Lady Knights scored 10 points: Edwards, Koczka and Modaff. Cohrs and Powell each had eight points while Fedderly had four. The KHS sophomore girls team is now 7-7 on the season.

Split decisions

in Girls Basketball by
GBBall1

Photo: Sophomore Camri Conley looks to attack the basket against Pontiac on Friday. Photo by Marshall Farthing

KHS girls lose opener, recover in second game at Ottawa Holiday Tournament

by Mike Slodki

KANELAND—The Lady Knights girls basketball team on Saturday found a little less holiday cheer than it hoped for.

The good news was on that very same evening, the Kaneland crew was able to recoup a little of what was lost.

KHS began Pool D play in the Ottawa Tournament on Friday with a 61-53 loss to Pontiac High School, and then recovered later that night against Northern Illinois Big XII Conference crossover foe Streator in 62-22 fashion.

Kaneland now sits at 5-5 (1-1 NIB-12) with two games remaining in the Ottawa setting.

A year ago, Kaneland found similar fortune in the tourney’s first evening, losing to Geneseo before beating Sandwich on the way to an eighth-place finish.

Other NIB-12 schools also participated on Friday, with Yorkville and Geneseo both beating Kankakee.

Against Pontiac, Kaneland was led by post presence Kelly Wallner, who gathered 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Teammate Amber Winquist-Bailey added 12 in the loss. KHS was 22-for-45 from the field.

The Lady Knights were down 17-8 after one quarter and 33-19 at the halftime break before closing to within 43-31 after three. In the fourth, Kaneland closed the deficit to seven, but could get no closer.

“Pontiac is a real strong team and we struggled with turnovers early and also struggled from the FT line. We fought back and played well in the second half but came up short,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said.

In the win over the West division Lady Bulldogs, Kaneland took advantage of 25 turnovers for the win. Leading 19-0 after the first eight minutes, the Lady Knights played to the halftime buzzer up 35-7. The lead was 50-15 before the final frame.

Leading the charge for Kaneland was Ally Van Bogaert’s 15 points in a game that saw 12 Lady Knights visit the scoring column. KHS was 28-of-60 from the field.

“In the Streator game, we came out focused on playing better defense and taking care of the ball. The girls did a great job, and we were able to get a big lead and get everyone some playing time, which is always good at this time of the year,” Colombe said.

Monday’s final two games, with a morning contest against Geneseo, had results unavailable for press. Kaneland was scheduled to end the tournament in the silver bracket, the second-place pool.

Action will pick up for KHS on Thursday, Dec. 26, in Dixon at the KSB Dixon Holiday Classic that goes through Saturday, Dec. 28. Kaneland’s first scheduled opponent is Stillman Valley, at noon, with a Friday, Dec. 27, contest against either Sterling or Freeport’s Aquin High School.

Girls basketball looks to sleigh field at 2 tourneys

in Girls Basketball by
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Photo: Junior Ally VanBogaert and the Lady Knights basketball team trek to Ottawa and Dixon during the holiday break. Photo by Patti Wilk

Lady Knights hitting double shot of Ottawa and Dixon gatherings
KANELAND—At 4-4, the Lady Knight girls basketball roster will hit the court running come this Saturday, Dec. 21.

KHS will have to hope the 11-day layoff won’t cause any problems once the Ottawa Holiday tournament houses their skills for two days of competition.

Last season marked the first time Kaneland went to the Ottawa tournament after a six-year stay at Oswego East’s setup. The Lady Knights finished eighth out of 12 squads and exited the downtown Ottawa setup with a record of 9-5.

Joliet Catholic beat Ottawa in the championship encounter, with Yorkville earning third overall.

Kaneland begins the event in Pool D along with schools Pontiac and Northern Illinois Big XII crossover foe Streator at Kingman Gym. The Lady Knights begin play against Pontiac on Saturday, Dec. 21, at 4:45 p.m., before taking the court again at 7:30 p.m. against the Lady Bulldogs.

The battle for top team honors continues the following Monday, Dec. 23, with teams assured of a morning and afternoon or evening contest against one of the three pool equivalents.

Pool A consists of Ottawa, Rockford East and Sandwich. Pool B is LaSalle-Peru, Lincoln-Way West and Morris, and Pool C is Kankakee, Geneseo and Yorkville.

After Ottawa, Kaneland heads to another West division stop in the form of soon-departing Dixon High School and its 16-team KSB Dixon Holiday Classic.

KHS tips off against Stillman Valley on Thursday, Dec. 26, at noon, with the next challenge on Friday, Dec. 27, at either 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. vs. either Sterling or Freeport’s Aquin. The final night of play is Saturday, Dec. 28.

Other familiar schools in the setup include Rochelle, which plays Oregon in a first-round encounter, and Aurora Christian, which plays Dunlap.

Stuck at Sycamore

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DSC_0106

Photo: Sophomore Camri Conley attempts a free throw Friday night at Sycamore. Photo by Mary Paulson

Kaneland girls basketball drops conference outing
KANELAND—Lady Knights basketball is always up for a conference battle with rival Sycamore.

On Friday evening, however, the KHS attack was knocked down.

Using a high degree of back door passes and converting in the paint, the Lady Knights fell victim to host Sycamore in a Northern Illinois Big XII opener by the final of 50-37.

Kaneland is now 4-4 (1-1) after its first games in seven days, while also dropping a 50-46 decision to visiting Antioch on Saturday afternoon.

In the conference tipoff, Ally Van Bogaert led the Lady Knights with 10 points, with KHS just 14-of-44 from the field and 8-of-18 from the charity stripe. Sycamore’s Bailey Gilbert managed a game-high 23.

Kaneland never led against the host Lady Spartans, only tying it on its first basket by Brittany Kemp 1:43 into the game. A basket by Amber Winquist-Bailey with 3:11 to go closed within 9-7, but Sycamore used two free throws and a three from Gilbert to close the first quarter scoring at 14-7.

A basket and two foul shots from Sycamore completed a 9-1 run before a Kemp bucket and Winquist-Bailey hoop closed it within 18-12 with 5:12 remaining in the half.

Toward the end of the quarter, a Bailey Crimmins baseline shot closed the margin to 21-16 with 1:57 to play before two more Sycamore buckets ended the first half at 26-16.
In the third quarter, a Van Bogaert basket with 6:29 left, making it 28-20, was as close as the Lady Knights would get, with Sycamore riding its hot hands and closing the frame out with an 11-7 run.

Kaneland converted on four-of-six foul shots in the fourth but could only cut it to 43-33 with 5:28 to go, thanks to a Van Bogaert hoop. Sycamore saw its lead balloon to 15 with 4:45 to go at 48-33.

“(Sycamore’s) a good team and Bailey Gilbert’s a good player,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We tried to key on her, and she made shots. She had 23 tonight, and she didn’t miss much. We’ve been trying to work on our defense.”

In the weekend clash with the Sequoits, the Lady Knights saw a team-high 11 from Van Bogaert, and Kelly Wallner was one point away from a double double with nine points and 10 rebounds. KHS led matters 21-15 after one before Antioch rallied to tie the game at the half, 26 all. The visitors took a 35-34 lead after the third frame before icing the contest in the fourth.

On Tuesday against Rochelle, the Lady Knights defeated the visiting Hubs 44-38. KHS was paced by Wallner’s 10 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Van Bogaert supplied 11 rebounds and seven points, while Caroline Heimerdinger had seven points, three rebounds, three steals and two assists.

Kaneland has a 10-day break before keying up for the Ottawa Holiday Tournament beginning on Friday, Dec. 20.

Dec. 12 sports recap

in Bowling/Boys Basketball/Girls Basketball by

Girls JV Bowling
Dec. 5 vs. Dixon—Freshman Grace Lindgren led the way for the Lady Knights against visiting Dixon with a 321 series at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb. Freshmen Kayla McDuffee and Natalie Barnhart bowled a 265 and 257 respectively, while Amber Spaetzel bowled a 254. Dixon defeated the KHS 2,257-1,637.

Soph. Boys Basketball
Dec. 5 at Sycamore—The Knights defeated host Sycamore 51-43 behind Jake Marczuk’s 13 points. Joe Laudont had 11 points, Mark Lilly had 10, Tanner Robertsen eight, Jacob Violett six and Mitchel Groen three. The Knights improved to 3-1, 1-0 in NIB-12 play.

Soph. Girls Basketball
Dec. 7 vs. Antioch—The Lady Knights dismantled visiting Antioch 43-10. Morgan Weber led all scorers with 10 points, Kiandra Powell had eight, Meg Cohrs had six and Kylie Modaff had four for KHS.
Dec. 10 vs. Rochelle—On Tuesday, KHS dispatched NIB-12 foe Rochelle 63-38. Cohrs led the Lady Knights with 16 points. Bailey Crimmins had 12 points, while Weber had 11 points. Kristen Siebert had eight points and Powell had four points. The team is now 5-2 overall, 1-1 in NIB-12 play.

Lady Knights aim for higher court at IC Catholic

in Girls Basketball by

KANELAND—No first-place plaque would come their way, but the Lady Knights hoops talent would still make a fine showing.

After an initial win over Luther North two weekends ago to top things off, the Lady Knights would win two out of three contests to improve their mark to 3-2 for the season and 3-1 for the tourney.

On Nov. 26, Kaneland achieved its second straight rout with a 73-27 win over Elmwood Park, before losing to Nazareth Academy of LaGrange Park, Ill., on Nov. 27. The Lady Knights righted the victory ship by outlasting Wilmette, Ill. outpost Regina Dominican on Friday in double overtime.

“The IC Tournament gave us a chance to see where we need to improve,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We feel like we have some work to do defensively and also with our rebounding.”

Against Elmwood Park, KHS saw nice production from Ally Van Bogaert with 14 points and Kelly Wallner with 10 points herself. The outing had all 13 players get in the scoring column. KHS was 32-of-60 from the field, but 5-of-13 from the foul line.

Kaneland blazed out to a 29-18 lead after the first eight minutes of play, and kept EP to one point in the second quarter on the way to a 45-19 halftime edge. Kaneland outscored its foe 27-4 in the third to truly put the contest out of reach.

The Lady Knights would be tripped up by the Roadrunners of NA in a 57-40 outing, despite 17 from Van Bogaert, but the Kaneland charge would return in a tight match with RD to end the tourney and clinch second place, 45-37.

Senior backcourt presence Caroline Heimerdinger had 14 points to lead KHS, which went 15-of-44 from the field. Amber Winquist-Bailey had nine boards on the evening.

After being deadlocked at 17 all for halftime, KHS took a slim 23-20 lead before RD evened it up by the buzzer at 29 all. The score was tied at 36 at the end of the first overtime session before the Lady Knights ran away with the bout and outscored RD 9-1.

“We were happy that we finished off the double OT game with a ‘W.’ Regina is coming off a trip to the sectional finals last year and was a good test for us. It was nice to have this group get the opportunity to close out a game. We have a lot of players who are in key roles for the first time so that experience should pay off down the road,” Colombe said.

Friday, Dec. 6, has the Lady Knights venturing to Sycamore for the beginning of Northern Illinois Big XII Conference play.

Dec. 5 Sports Recap

in Bowling/Boys Basketball/Girls Basketball/Wrestling by

Varsity Bowling
Dec. 3 at Sterling—The Lady Knights gained two conference points in their season opener at Sterling Tuesday. Christie Crews led the way with a 523 series, while Dominique Lee had a 472. The Knights won game 2.
“Christie’s 213 in the first game really charged the team up, and it was fantastic that we could win a game against such a perennially strong team,” said head coach Jim McKnight. “It was great to see the girls bowl so well their first time out.”
Michelle Bohanek bowled a 411 series, Katie Hill a 409, Rena Wojciechowski a 401 and Amber Spaetzel a 295.

KHS bowled at Lisle Wednesday before their home opener tonight at DeKalb’s Mardi Gras Lanes against Dixon at 4 p.m.

Soph. Girls Basketball
Nov. 26 vs. Belvidere North—The Lady Knights upended the visiting Blue Thunder 50-28. Kiandra Powell led KHS with three three-pointers and 13 points off the bench, while Kylie Modaff had 8 points, and Meg Cohrs and Morgan Weber each scored 7.

Nov. 27 vs. Marengo—KHS secured a second-place finish at its own tournament with a 44-28 victory over Marengo. Corhs led the Lady Knights with 10 points, and Kristen Siebert had 8. Powell, Weber and Sophie Sandquist each had 6 points, Modaff had 4 and Hollie Fedderly and Nicole Koczka each had 2 points. The sophomores sit at 3-1 on the season.

Soph. Boys Basketball
Nov. 27 at Belvidere North—The sophomore Knights took on Hononegah at the Belvidere North Tournament, falling to the Indians 56-55. Mark Lilly let the way with 13 points, while Mitchel Groen had 12 and Jake Marczuk had 11. Other Knight scorers included Jacob Violett (6 points), Joe Laudont (4), Kevin Fajardo (3) and Tanner Robertson, Andy Delgado and Sam Wolf each with 2.

Nov. 29 at Belvidere North—The Knights bounced back to defeat the Sandwich Indians 62-44 at the Belvidere North Tournament Friday. Ten Knights made the scoresheet, with Robertson’s 11 leading the balanced effort. Marczuk (10 points), Jason Edwards (9), Laudont and Lilly (8 each), Groen (6), Conor Peterson (5) Fajardo and Wold (2 each), and Matt Vandenborn (1) also scored for the Knights.

The sophomore group improved their record to 2-1 prior to tonight’s game at Sycamore at 7 p.m.

JV Wrestling
Nov. 30 vs. Freeport, Burlington Central and Wheaton Warrenville South—The JV Knights competed in a home quad Saturday. Winners included Kegan Workman at 152 pounds (fall in 1:30 over Sam Morgan of Freeport), Preston Havis at 113 pounds (fall in 4:22 vs. Tony Anderson of WWS and a fall in 1:18 over a BC opponent), Mitch Jones at 138 ponds (5-3 decision over Sam Milnamow of WWS and a fall over BC’s Shaun McMillian in 1:32) and Hayden Patterson at 132 pounds (fall in 1:32 over Biship Kronenbomb of BC).

Knights’ quick turnaround

in Featured/Girls Basketball by
GBB1

Girls hoops runs Luther North out of gym in IC Catholic Prep tourney opener

by Mike Slodki

ELMHURST, ILL.—It was a less-than-uplifting opening night against the visiting Lady Blackhawks of West Aurora on Thursday evening. To recover, KHS girls basketball took flight against its first round opponent out at the IC Catholic Prep Thanksgiving Tournament on Saturday.

Using a rotation of uptempo players in the morning tilt in Elmhurst, Ill., the Lady Knights improved to 1-1 and made life difficult at both ends of the floor, with the buzzer sounding after a 63-9 shellacking of Chicago’s Luther North.

It marks the fourth consecutive season for Kaneland at the IC Catholic tourney, with the Lady Knights having taken the last two first-place plaques.

Other teams in Kaneland’s pool are LaGrange Park’s Nazareth Academy and Elmwood Park High School.

The win, featuring 11 points from frontcourt asset and junior Aly Van Bogaert and 10 each from towers Brittany Kemp and Bailey Crimmins, was a nice change of pace from the 60-43 loss to West Aurora.

“West Aurora is a good team,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “They’ve got some players coming back who are four-year players, and they were a tough test first game. I think we did some things well on Thursday. We wanted to make a point of getting out early today. I thought we saw a little bit more of what we could do.”

KHS was also 11-for-26 from the foul line, while Luther North’s offensive struggles were exemplified by its last basket of the contest coming with 6:20 left in the third quarter.

Opening up the whole floor, Kaneland was able to utilize quick passes and use second-chance points to its advantage, while not allowing follow-up chances for the hard-luck Luther North crew.

Kaneland opened up a 17-2 lead after one, and used baskets from Van Bogaert, including a late three-pointer, along with a putback by Kelly Wallner, for a 34-7 edge at halftime.

The third quarter was even more productive for the Lady Knights attack, as consecutive buckets from Van Bogaert, Wallner, Marina Schaefer and Crimmins, sandwiched around Caroline Heimerdinger foul shots, put the Lady Knights up 46-9 with 2:48 left in the third. Crimmins and junior Taylor Eaves had two buckets each in the fourth frame to pad the lead.

Van Bogaert said she feels like she’s gaining steam in her first extended varsity time.

“I think I’ve gotten a lot better than the last season,” she said. “I’m hoping I can do a lot better this season and score 10 points a game. From our first game, losing, that definitely made us go out harder. We realize we need to work a lot harder.”

Against West Aurora, Amber Winquist-Bailey led the Lady Knights with 11 points, while Wallner had nine.

Continuing on with the early stages of the 2013-14 season, Kaneland continued on with the IC Catholic gathering on Tuesday against Elmwood Park, and Wednesday against Nazareth, with results unavailable for press. On Friday, Nov. 29, Kaneland will face either IC Catholic, Westmont, Regina Dominican or Evergreen Park in the crossover.

Recovery mission

in Girls Basketball by
163

Photo: Junior Taylor Eaves looks to shoot with sophomore Vanessa Gould playing defense during Friday’s practice. Photos by Patti Wilk

Kaneland girls feel they can replace successful leaders
KANELAND—Last February’s season-ending regional loss to Plano hurt in more ways than one for Kaneland girls basketball.

After falling behind in the Burlington Central semifinal, Kaneland almost administered the comeback to end all comebacks before a last-ditch three-point try missed. To come back so far only to fall short smarted, along with the fact it marked the end for six seniors responsible for so much success and a regional title the year prior.

However, with the calendar turning to 2013-14, eighth-year coach Ernie Colombe has confidence the returning players can gel with the varsity newcomers to make things happen along the lines of the last two regular seasons.

“A great group of kids, we miss them on and off the court,” Colombe said. “We feel pretty strong about this group. They had a really good summer, and we had some players step up. I think the big positive to having all those seniors leave, they had an impact on the kids who stayed.”

With eight returning to the varsity ranks, Colombe was still working on a rotation that optimizes success.

“We’re still figuring that out. We’ve got some players that have stepped up. We certainly have some players we think will be in that rotation. We’re trying to figure out a few spots,” Colombe said.

Key returning components for the Lady Knights, who finished 15-11 in 2012-13, include personnel like senior center Kelly Wallner, sophomore forward Vanessa Gould, senior forward Marina Schaefer, along with forwards Brittany Kemp and Ally Van Bogaert, who saw a handful of minutes. Returning members of the backcourt include senior Caroline Heimerdinger, Amber Winquist-Bailey and Katie Brinkman.

“Caroline really stepped up and had a great summer and is playing real well right now. She had a lot of minutes last year and finished off real strong. Amber might be the most improved player we’ve had. She’s shooting threes and beating people off the dribble. She’s really stepped up for us and Vanessa has extended her range a bit, and she does a lot of things real well. Marina has always had a role with us and her role will be a bit bigger this year,” Colombe said.

In personnel like Wallner, Van Bogaert and Bailey Crimmins, Colombe has a pleasant problem of entering the season with bona fide height for the first time in ages.

“It’s nice to come into a season with a roster that has players with a ‘six’ (6 feet tall). We’ve got some size, and a couple of kids at 5-9, 5-10. One of our strengths hopefully will be rebounding, and we’ll able to do things we want to do on offense,” Colombe said.

Total newcomers to the KHS girls hoops varsity ranks include Crimmins in the frontcourt, along with sophomore guard Camri Conley, junior forward Taylor Eaves, junior guard Emily Grams and junior guard Rachel Miller.

A challenge for Kaneland will be how to supplant the sometimes-prolific scoring left behind by fearless shooters like Allyson O’Herron.

“I think honestly, we’re going to be scoring in different ways than we did last year. I think this group runs a little bit better. Collectively, we should be scoring more points in our fast break. Part of that is rebounding better,” Colombe said.

In terms of the Northern Illinois Big XII, Colombe eyes the landscape as a possible uphill challenge.

“Looking at what we’ve lost, we’re the only school in the conference not to return an all-conference player. Everyone has one. We think we’ve got players who have stepped up and can put us in the mix,” Colombe said.

Kaneland’s season begins on Thursday, Nov. 21, with a matchup vs. West Aurora. The Lady Knights then head to the IC Catholic Thanksgiving Tournament that begins on Saturday, Nov. 23, against Luther North. NIB-12 action commences on Friday, Dec. 6, at Sycamore.

Lady Knight hoops solidifies core with summer play

in Girls Basketball by
VanessaGould_1

Photo: Vanessa Gould handles the rock with care against Morris. File Photo
SUGAR GROVE—Cracking open a textbook can wait until the summer ends, but breaking through a defensive scheme on the court can’t, if you’re a KHS girls basketball player.

In order to solidify a fluid roster and improve on a campaign that saw a heartbreaking regional loss to Plano four months ago, the summer circuit has taken on more importance than ever.

Kaneland’s group, commanded by head coach Ernie Colombe and assistant coach Tom Dillavan in the summer months, has gone 17-7 with roughly a third of the schedule left.

A night before Tuesday’s action at the Glenbard South Summer League setting, Colombe took stock of the team’s talent and where the crew has been.

“We ran our own league last year, and we wanted to play some bigger schools,” Colombe said. “Glenbard’s got a good league with 19 teams, and most of the schools are 4A schools. Geneva and Downers Grove schools are there, Willowbrook and Glenbard West, so there’s a lot of good schools. We look forward to seeing some new faces.”

Additional action has brought KHS to shootouts in Oregon, Neuqua Valley, Morris and York high schools.

Kaneland lost six seniors, including four starters after February, but summer brings a chance for potentially new starters and new additions, entirely.

“Obviously, we want to win as many games as we can and make a culture where you’re expected to win. I think it’s important from that aspect, but at the same time there’s time’s we’re missing players. For us and our staff, it’s all about getting better,” Colombe said.

Returning to man the lineup are assets like post player Kelly Wallner, Caroline Heimerdinger at the point, Vanessa Gould as a mid-range find and Amber Winquist-Bailey, who finds tasks everywhere on the court.

“Katie Brinkman has also had some big games this summer and has shown she’s capable of scoring,” Colombe said.

Winquist-Bailey, who could see increased minutes at shooting guard, is taking the summer league experience in and realizes the importance.

“We’re finding out what people are good at and finding their position, and playing together as a team, because we haven’t played with these girls yet. So being able to play as a team like this is good,” Winquist-Bailey said.

Dividends will pay off, but it’s too early to tell just how big.

“When we lost the seniors, they had some big roles, so it’s been a big summer in terms of figuring out who might fill those roles,” Colombe said.

The Lady Knights continue the summer action on Thursday, June 27, as part of the Glenbard South league.

From court to sidelines

in Girls Basketball/Kaneland by
Long 1

High school, collegiate star athlete takes head coaching job
DOWNERS GROVE—Several weeks ago, Lyndsie Long originally set out to apply for an open position in the Downers Grove South High School physical education (PE) department.

Not only did the former Kaneland High School star and Elmhurst College Division III All-American interview for, and land, that opening, she fulfilled another career goal shortly thereafter: becoming a varsity head coach.

Long, the all-time leading scorer in Elmhurst College women’s basketball and No. 2 all-time at Kaneland, was recently named head coach of the Mustangs. The Sugar Grove resident succeeds longtime coach Ellen O’Brien, who stepped down to take over as the school’s assistant athletic director.

“I’m so thankful for everything that’s fallen into place for me,” said Long, who was getting to know the DGS girls program and its players—from incoming freshmen to varsity—at a camp held on campus last week. “This was like my dream come true.”

Randy Konstans, the Downers South athletic director, contacted Long a week after she joined the PE staff, and asked her if she was interested in interviewing for the head coaching position. Long responded enthusiastically.

“Of course,” she said.

Long interviewed with Konstans and O’Brien, who, in addition to being the girls coach at DGS, was inducted into the Downers South athletic Hall of Fame in 2012 as a three-sport athlete (basketball, volleyball and softball).

Long badly wanted the job, but prepared herself if she didn’t get it.

“What I kept telling myself was to just be patient, and if it didn’t work out, there’s a plan for me in the making,” she said. “Just getting the PE job was my main concern, and this on top, I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

Konstans said Long being only three years removed from Elmhurst College was not a factor in his decision-making. He said Long got glowing reviews from coworkers at York High School in Elmhurst, where she was a special education assistant and coached the York girls sophomores last season to a 25-2 record.

“I think for me, more than anything else, when you sit and talk to a person, you do get a feel,” Konstans said. “That hour-long chat has to be coupled with the recommendations from those co-workers she’s had in the past. I must have talked to a half-dozen people at York who just say nothing but great things about her and her work ethic, her knowledge of the game, her ability to work with people.”

Prior to coaching at York, Long spent a year as an assistant at St. Joseph College in Rensselaer, Ind., and also coached for a year at Concordia University.

“You’re never ready,” Konstans said. “That’s the one thing I’ve learned over the years: Where you think you’re not ready, or you’re (not) experienced enough and ‘I’m ready for my own program.’ You’re just never ready to be a head coach, so you’ve just got to take that plunge. It’s desire more than anything else, and I think she has great desire and great enthusiasm and has a great basketball resume.”

Long 2Impressive resume
As a junior at Kaneland during the 2004-05 season, Long helped the Knights advance to a Class AA sectional championship game against Naperville Central. That took place three years before the IHSA went to a four-class system for basketball and one year after Naperville Central all-American and U.S. Olympian Candace Parker—the 2008 WNBA Rookie of the Year and league MVP—had graduated.

Even minus Parker, Naperville Central had a formidable team, and the Redhawks ended up defeating the Knights 61-48, despite Kaneland mounting a double-digit lead at one point.

“That was probably the best experience, playing in that type of atmosphere with so many people there,” Long said. “Those (years at Kaneland) were the funnest four years for me. I think I was playing with some of my best friends that I’m still really close to. We knew how to play with each other, and we knew our strengths and weaknesses. It was just fun. Back then, we were going up against some huge schools in the regionals. I think we held our own and we proved to people that we’re from a small school, but we can hang with the best.”

Long went from being a four-year starter at Kaneland to being a four-year starter at Elmhurst College. She was a four-time first-team all-College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin selection, and was named to two Division III All-American squads her senior year.

Long, who led the CCIW in scoring as a senior (26.1-point average), holds numerous scoring records at Elmhurst, including finishing as its all-time leading scorer (1,866 points) and all-time leader in three-pointers (170). She also holds records for most points in a game (45), most three-pointers in a game (eight), most three-pointers in a season (74), the best free-throw percentage for a season (89.3), the best three-point field goal percentage for a career (38.8) and the top career free throw percentage mark (84.2).

Switching gears
At Downers South, Long plans to take her new squad in a different direction offensively for the 2013-14 season.

“The offense is totally different from what they’ve been used to,” she said. “Just the coaching style is different in respect to I’m totally new. There will be a lot of screening, learning to read the defense and getting open that way and not always having a set that the other team can scout.”

But defense will be emphasized even more.

“I’m really defense oriented,” Long said. “Defense is going to win games, so if we’re all communicating and we’re helping each other out, that’s going to put us in a good position to get some stops.”

Long concluded her first week at camp with 40 girls in the gym last week. She likes what she sees in the way of talent at every level.

“This week has been great,” she said. “We have varsity players that have been in the program three or four years now so I’m just making it known to them that I’m here to mentor them and to be a good basketball program and just coaching them the best I can.

“The girls have responded well to the changes, and I’ve only heard positive feedback, so it’s a step in the right direction. There are a few freshmen that have stood out a lot to all the coaches. They’re already playing with the sophomores right now. It’s really, really good to see. The sophomore level has some good talent; we just need to learn to play together more and learn to get stronger.”

Long said she’ll keep building on what O’Brien has established once she gets situated in her new role.

“Instead of 40 girls being in the gym, I want 90 girls,” she said. “I think just getting a good year under our belts and people seeing that and hopefully we can get some more contributors.

“Ellen’s been here 20 years, so it’s a totally different change for everybody, just trying to get all of the coaching staff on board and believing in what we’re trying to do.

“We want to get all of the girls happy and excited to be in the program every day. And that’s how you end up winning games. You want to be there, you’re having fun, you’re playing together and you’re enjoying it.”

Hometown Hall of Famer

in Girls Basketball/Girls Cross Country/Girls Track/Kaneland by
Screen shot 2013-06-07 at 10.00.17 AM

The Kaneland School District last week inducted Kerry Rink, pictured here from her days as a Kaneland High School cross country runner, into its Hall of Fame in the Personal Athletic Achievement category. Rink was a three-sport athlete at Kaneland, standing out in cross country, track and basketball. Courtesy Photo

Former KHS athlete inducted into District Hall of Fame
by Mike Sandrolini
ELBURN—Kerry Rink received a phone call out of the blue a couple of months ago from Dr. Jeff Schuler, superintendent of Kaneland Community School District 302.

Needless to say, she was pleasantly surprised to hear from him.

Schuler gave Rink, one of the most successful athletes in Kaneland High School history, the word that she had been selected for induction into the Kaneland School District Hall of Fame.

“That was kind of nice,” said Rink, who starred in track and field, basketball and cross country during her four years at Kaneland from 1984-88. “I was just honored that I was going to be inducted.”

Rink was officially inducted last week during Kaneland’s Senior Athletes’ Night. Members of her family, including her mother, Gerry, and her father, Richard—her varsity high school basketball coach—attended the ceremony.

“I think it’s a great honor,” said Richard, who coached the Knights during the 1980s, first as an assistant and then as head coach. “They finally got her in there, and she deserves to be in there. It’s good that they did it (induct Kerry) in front of the seniors to see what can be done by their athletes.”

Legendary career
Although she excelled in each of the three aforementioned sports, what Kerry accomplished on the track is legendary around the area. She was the Class A 800m state champion three consecutive years, and capped her stellar career by setting the state 800m record in a preliminary heat at a meet in 1988.

She then broke that record during the finals en route to the championship.

Her state record in the 800 stood for 19 years.

In addition, Kerry ran on the Knights’ 4x400m and 4x800m relay teams, the latter of which also set a state record and won a Class A title. The Knights captured the overall Class A team crown in both 1987 and 1988.

In cross country, she was a three-time all-state runner and placed third overall at the 1987 state meet, which at that time was not divided into classes.

Kerry’s track and field prowess landed her a scholarship to the University of Kentucky, where she achieved All-American status her freshman year.

She unfortunately ended up tearing the medial meniscus ligament in her right knee during her sophomore year while running for the UK cross country team. Kerry ran track the following spring, but the injury didn’t allow her to compete in either cross country or track her junior and senior years.

However, Kerry did graduate from UK with honors, and then went on to earn her master’s degree in occupational therapy from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

“I’m proud of the way she handled things on the court and off,” said Richard, who is an assistant boys basketball coach at Hinckley-Big Rock and was a sixth-grade teacher at Kaneland Middle School until his retirement in 1999. “I’m proud of the way she handled herself and came back and got her master’s degree after all the adversity.”

Homecoming
Kerry had been living and working in Los Angeles for the past seven years, but recently moved back to the area to be closer to her family. She now works in occupational therapy in DeKalb.

Rarely did a day go by in the Rink family when either Kerry or one of her five siblings—four brothers and a sister—wasn’t taking part in a practice, game or meet.

Kerry’s oldest brother, Patrick, wrestled and played football at Kaneland.

Her sister, Amy, was the starting point guard on Kaneland’s 1982 Class A state champion basketball team. Kerry’s two older brothers, Mike and Danny, each played football and basketball and ran track, as did her younger brother, Greg.

Gerry and Richard Rink had three of their children going to high school at the same time.

“I wish the microwave (oven) had been invented a few years earlier,” Richard said with a laugh. “There was someone in sports all the time. My wife and I used to parcel out watching games. She’d go to one event and I’d go to another. It was somewhat chaotic sometimes, but it worked out.”

Richard, of course, didn’t have to attend Kerry’s basketball games because he was her coach. Coaching one’s daughter or son isn’t unusual, yet Richard was always wary that he didn’t treat Kerry differently from the rest of her teammates.

“It was fun coaching her,” he said, “but it was kind of hard when you coach your own kid. You maybe have to be harder on your kid than you would on the other kids; otherwise it looks like favoritism. But I thought she was a very good player, and she did quite well for herself.”

That she did. Kerry was an all-state player in 1988 and tied a school record for most points scored in a quarter (17). She shares that record with Beth Creamean, a former two-sport star (basketball and softball) at DePaul University.

“It was hard sometimes because I didn’t know whether to call him Dad or coach,” Kerry said, “But I’m honored to have him as a coach. It was a good experience overall. We had a good team.

“He was a great coach and still is. I learned quite a lot from him. He helped me with my shooting and defense, and think I was the basketball player I was because of him.”

Influences
Kerry lists her parents and siblings as being among her biggest influences, both on and off the field and court.

“I went to school, went to practice, studied and went to bed (during high school),” said Kerry, a straight A student at Kaneland. “I was very serious and very driven. They were always good about telling me, ‘It’s OK if you get a B (in a class).’ They tried to help take the pressure off me a little bit, but I put a lot of pressure on myself from within (to succeed).

“My parents had a big influence on me, and my siblings did, too. I come from a very sports-minded family. My sister was an influence, as well, because she was a really good point guard.”

Kerry also mentions Lea Ann Machais, her sister’s teammate on the 1982 championship team; Pat Sheetz, the head track and field coach during her varsity career at Kaneland; Doug Ecker and Tom Todd, who also coached her in track and cross country; and Mr. Davis, her favorite high school teacher, as inspirations.

“My teammates inspired me, too,” she said. “There were a lot of different personalities and talents (on those teams).”

Heartbreak central

in Featured/Girls Basketball by

Photo: Emma Bradford (32) gets ready to launch a shot in the third quarter against Plano on Feb. 13. The varsity girls reached the second round of regionals but came up just short, losing 52-51. Photo by John DiDonna

Fast, furious comeback falls 1 point short to Plano in Regional
by Mike Slodki
BURLINGTON—It was almost a comeback for the ages.

Instead, it’s a feeling of sadness that will last the offseason.

On Feb. 13, at the Class 3A Burlington Central Regional, the Lady Knights’ 20-point comeback attempt was almost complete, but Aly O’Herron’s three-point try off an inbounds pass with 1.5 seconds remaining clanked off the side of the rim, leaving KHS on the short end of a 52-51 loss to the Plano Lady Reapers (22-7).

Burlington Central upended Plano in the regional final on Friday by a final of 38-34.

Kaneland’s journey fell short at 16-11, a year after advancing to the Sycamore Sectional final against Belvidere North.

Ashley Prost paced all scorers with 22 points off 11-of-15 shooting. Kaneland was 21-of-51 from the line.

Albana Hoti of Plano led the Lady Reapers with 12 points.

KHS had the ball with 9.5 seconds left, but an Emma Bradford layup attempt was blocked out of bounds with 1.5, setting up the final play.

“We had two options: an inside look and an outside look,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “(O’Herron) was our outside look; we got a shot and that’s all you can ask for.”

Plano ambushed Kaneland in the first quarter thanks to five treys, including three from Hoti, and went on a 13-0 run to lead 22-6 after one, and kept the lead to 30-14 at halftime.

Kaneland was down 42-27 after three quarters, but turned on the juice for a 24-10 run spanning the entire fourth frame.

“It was no one adjustment we made, we just starting getting a bit more composure,” Colombe said.

KHS scored the first eight points of the quarter to cut the lead to seven, then Brooke Harner, Grams and Prost hit baskets.

Down 48-42, Caroline Heimerdinger hit a rainbow three, followed by another basket 48 seconds later to make it 50-47. Prost’s shot with 1:45 to go cut it to 50-49, and marked the end of five consecutive shots made.

Heimerdinger and O’Herron had chances for a go-ahead shot but couldn’t connect.

Prost’s shot with 35.6 to go made the final one-point margin after two Lady Reaper free throws with 48.6 left.

Kaneland says goodbye to Grams, Prost, Ashley Castellanos, Harner, O’Herron and Bradford due to graduation.

“They’re leaders,” Colombe said. “They’re six kids who play with heart, and they’re leaders who will do well whatever they do in life.”

The scoreboard says it all as Kaneland varsity girls dropped a hearbreaker to Plano in the second round of regional action at Burlington on Wednesday, February 13. Photo by John DiDonna
The scoreboard says it all as Kaneland varsity girls dropped a hearbreaker to Plano in the second round of regional action at Burlington on Wednesday, February 13.
Photo by John DiDonna
Brooke Harner goes up for a shot to bring Kaneland closer in the fourth quarter against Plano in the second round of regional action at Burlington on Wednesday, February 13. Photo by John DiDonna
Brooke Harner goes up for a shot to bring Kaneland closer in the fourth quarter against Plano in the second round of regional action at Burlington on Wednesday, February 13.
Photo by John DiDonna
Caroline Heimerdinger drives down the court in the first quarter during Kaneland's regional game against Plano. Photo by John DiDonna
Caroline Heimerdinger drives down the court in the first quarter during Kaneland’s regional game against Plano.
Photo by John DiDonna
Sarah Grams looks to pass in the second quarter of Kaneland's close regional game against Plano at Burlington on Wednesday, February 13. Photo by John DiDonna
Sarah Grams looks to pass in the second quarter of Kaneland’s close regional game against Plano at Burlington on Wednesday, February 13.
Photo by John DiDonna
Emma Bradford (32) gets ready to launch a shot in the third quarter against Plano on Feb. 13. The  varsity girls reached the  second round of regionals but came up just short,  losing  52-51. Photo by  John DiDonna
Emma Bradford (32) gets ready to launch a shot in the third quarter against Plano on Feb. 13. The
varsity girls reached the
second round of regionals but came up just short,
losing
52-51.
Photo by
John DiDonna
Brooke Harner looses track of the ball in the second quarter of the Lady Knight's hard fought regional game against Plano at Burlington on Wednesday, February 13. Photo by John DiDonna
Brooke Harner looses track of the ball in the second quarter of the Lady Knight’s hard fought regional game against Plano at Burlington on Wednesday, February 13.
Photo by John DiDonna

KHS stifles Sandwich in first-round action

in Featured/Girls Basketball by

Photo: Emma Bradford keeps the ball away from Sandwich defenders during Kaneland’s 50-14 Regional win at Burlington on Tuesday. Photo by John DiDonna

O’Herron outscores Indians by lonesome in 50-14 result
by Mike Slodki
BURLINGTON—You wouldn’t know the Kaneland Lady Knights had a week-long layoff by Tuesday night’s regional performance.

It turns out Sandwich High School didn’t know what hit it after Tuesday night.

After a regular season finale at Rochelle was cancelled last Thursday, Kaneland went to work in a No. 3 vs. No. 6 Class 3A Burlington Central Regional first-round game and allowed a season-low in points for a 50-14 win.

Kaneland improved to 16-10 and has won four in a row after a three-game skid. Sandwich ended 2012-13 play at 4-23.

Aly O’Herron outscored the Lady Indians by herself with 20 points on six three-pointers.

“Anytime I can get into the zone, I’ll get some open looks,” O’Herron said. “When I feel it, I feel it. Any shooter will say that.”

The defensive output marks the lowest point total allowed since a 52-19 win over Illinois Math and Science Academy back on Feb. 2.

O’Herron’s trifecta, Kelly Wallner’s basket, Sarah Grams’ trey and Caroline Heimerdinger’s (eight points) three made it 11-2 with 3:01 to go to in the first quarter, closing the frame’s scoring.

Kaneland outscored Sandwich 11-2 in the second quarter, as well, with an O’Herron bomb and two Emma Bradford foul shots setting the eventual halftime score at 22-4 with 1:36 remaining.

With Sandwich struggling to finish possessions thanks to three KHS steals, the Lady Knights converted those gifts into a pair of free throws and a three-pointer by Heimerdinger and a shot by Ashley Prost to make it 36-8 with 1:21 left in the third quarter to close the frame’s scoring.

O’Herron’s two threes and an offensive putback by Heimerdinger with 4:10 to go made it 44-10, allowing the second-string rotation to get floor time.

“The defense was solid, and it has been pretty solid,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “Our conference is strong in girls hoops and people forget that sometimes. We’ve played pretty solid defensively all year.”

Kaneland was scheduled to face two-seed Plano on Wednesday in the regional semifinal, with results unavailable before press time.

The winner of Plano/Kaneland was set to face No. 1 Burlington Central or No. 5 Hampshire on Friday, Feb. 15, in Burlington.

Brooke Harner (22) leads the defensive wall with help from Ally VanBogaert (34) in the third quarter against Sandwich on Tuesday, February 12 at Burlington. Photo by John DiDonna
Brooke Harner (22) leads the defensive wall with help from Ally VanBogaert (34) in the third quarter against Sandwich on Tuesday, February 12 at Burlington.
Photo by John DiDonna
Emma Bradford keeps the ball away from Sandwich defenders during Kaneland's 50-14 Regional win at Burlington on Tuesday.     Photo by John DiDonna
Emma Bradford keeps the ball away from Sandwich defenders during Kaneland’s 50-14 Regional win at Burlington on Tuesday. Photo by John DiDonna
Kaneland's Sarah Grams knocks the ball loose in the second quarter at the Burlington regional on Tuesday, February 12. Kaneland led the whole game, winning 50-14. Photo by John DiDonna
Kaneland’s Sarah Grams knocks the ball loose in the second quarter at the Burlington regional on Tuesday, February 12. Kaneland led the whole game, winning 50-14.
Photo by John DiDonna
Ashley Prost goes up for two points in the third quarter of Kaneland's Regional victory over Sandwich on Tuesday, February 12. Photo by John DiDonna
Ashley Prost goes up for two points in the third quarter of Kaneland’s Regional victory over Sandwich on Tuesday, February 12.
Photo by John DiDonna
Brooke Harner (left) and Ashley Prost grapple for the ball against Sandwich during their regional game at Burlington on Tuesday, February 12. Kaneland won the contest easily with a 50-14 romp. Photo by John DiDonna
Brooke Harner (left) and Ashley Prost grapple for the ball against Sandwich during their regional game at Burlington on Tuesday, February 12. Kaneland won the contest easily with a 50-14 romp.
Photo by John DiDonna
Caroline Heimerdinger goes up for a shot in thefirst quarter of Kaneland's 50-14 regional win against Sandwich on Tuesday, February 12. Photo by John DiDonna
Caroline Heimerdinger goes up for a shot in thefirst quarter of Kaneland’s 50-14 regional win against Sandwich on Tuesday, February 12.
Photo by John DiDonna

Back on track

in Featured/Girls Basketball by

Photo: Brittany Kemp moves the ball around an IMSA defender during Kaneland’s 52-19 romp on Saturday. Photo by Patti Wilk

Girls secure NIB12 win in Yorkville, smash IMSA
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—At the very least, Kaneland girls basketball won’t be headed into the season’s homestretch on the way down.

After a 7-0 beginning to the season, KHS had been mired in a stretch that saw them go 5-10.

This weekend brought a much-needed refuge from that slide, as the Lady Knights took it to Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora on Saturday by a final of 52-19, and also involved a bit of revenge on Yorkville in a 42-35 Friday win.

Kaneland also travelled to Marengo on Tuesday night, where the Lady Knights dominated in a 50-34 win.

The Lady Knights are 15-10 and 5-4 in Northern Illinois Big XII action, with just one regular season game left.

Against the Lady Titans, the Kaneland crew was down 6-2 early in the first quarter before tying the score at 6-6 by the end of the frame and going on a 35-2 run to cinch it. The run included a 19-0 third frame in favor of Kaneland.

KHS went 19-of-54 from the field and 11 players found the scoring column, with Aly O’Herron and Sarah Grams putting up eight points each.

Facing Yorkville, which earned a Jan. 4 victory in Maple Park, the Lady Knights began matching shot for shot against the Lady Foxes and were tied at eight after the first quarter.

In the second, Ashley Prost’s long two-pointer with 4:43 to go in the half made it 15-12. Vanessa Gould’s conversion off an Emma Bradford feed with 3:09 left made it 17-14, and Brooke Harner’s steal and basket with 1:39 closed out the second quarter scoring at 19-14.

KHS maintained the lead and got two key baskets from Bradford to up the lead to six with 50.1 ticks left, and Kaneland saw itself up 28-22 after three.

The Lady Knights helped themselves with three-pointers from Grams and O’Herron in the fourth, and went 8-of-10 from the foul line to put it out of reach. KHS saw as big as an eight-point lead in the close affair.

“We played together today,” Bradford said. “One of the girls said ‘we played as a fist today and not a hand.’ We were on the same page today and it really worked out.”

KHS coach Ernie Colombe saw the win as welcome, especially after stifling personnel like Mackenzie Bollinger to 10 points.

“The team rose to the challenge. We talked about rebounding, and we rebounded well. We still had a few too many turnovers, but we got better in that area and stepped up,” Colombe said.

Tuesday saw another solid effort from the Lady Knights, as they turned a two-point first-quarter advantage into a 19-point lead after three. Kaneland’s defense held Marengo to just four points in the second period, and they added to the lead with a 10-point third-period advantage.

Bradford led the way with 14 points and seven rebounds. Post also reached double figures, with 10 points to go with eight rebounds. O’Herron added seven and Harner put up six. Grams scored five and contributed a season-high seven assists. Kelly Wallner chipped in four points, and Ally VanBogaert and Marina Schaeffer each put in two.

Kaneland goes to Rochelle on Thursday, Feb. 7, before playing Sandwich on Tuesday, Feb. 12, as part of the Class 3A Burlington Central Regional.

Brittany Kemp moves the ball around an IMSA defender during Kaneland's 52-19 romp on Saturday, February 2. Photo by Patti Wilk
Brittany Kemp moves the ball around an IMSA defender during Kaneland’s 52-19 romp on Saturday, February 2.
Photo by Patti Wilk
Ashley Castellanos (12) , Brittany Kemp (35) and Katherine Brinkman (10) run a tight defense against IMSA on Saturday, February 2. The Lady Knights dominated, winning 52-19. Photo by Patti Wilk
Ashley Castellanos (12) , Brittany Kemp (35) and Katherine Brinkman (10) run a tight defense against IMSA on Saturday, February 2. The Lady Knights dominated, winning 52-19.
Photo by Patti Wilk
An IMSA defender hits the deck while Jessica Jablonski (43) takes off and Ashley Castellanos (12) grabs the ball in the fouth quarter of Kaneland's 52-19 win Saturday, February 2. Photo by Patti Wilk
An IMSA defender hits the deck while Jessica Jablonski (43) takes off and Ashley Castellanos (12) grabs the ball in the fouth quarter of Kaneland’s 52-19 win Saturday, February 2.
Photo by Patti Wilk
Ashley Prost drives to the hoop on the way to a score in the third quarter of Kaneland's 52-19 win at IMSA on Saturday, February 2. Photo by Patti Wilk
Ashley Prost drives to the hoop on the way to a score in the third quarter of Kaneland’s 52-19 win at IMSA on Saturday, February 2.
Photo by Patti Wilk
Kelly Wallner shrugs off an IMSA defender and goes to the hoop in the fourth quarter at IMSA on Saturday. Photo by Patti Wilk
Kelly Wallner shrugs off an IMSA defender and goes to the hoop in the fourth quarter at IMSA on Saturday.
Photo by Patti Wilk
The scoreboard says it all late in the game as Katherine Brinkman (10) drives to the basket in the fourth quarter of Kaneland's 52-19 win at IMSA. Photo by Patti Wilk
The scoreboard says it all late in the game as Katherine Brinkman (10) drives to the basket in the fourth quarter of Kaneland’s 52-19 win at IMSA.
Photo by Patti Wilk

Crossed over

in Featured/Girls Basketball by

Photo: Vanessa Gould tries to get by a Sterling defender on Saturday evening. The Lady Knights came back, but lost the home contest, 52-40. Photo by John DiDonna

Lady Knights drop tussle to Sterling
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It wouldn’t be a nice way to end the season, but for KHS girls basketball, the beginning of the end won’t even start for another two weeks.

Facing conference mate Sterling on Saturday afternoon, the visiting Lady Warriors took it to the Lady Knights by a final of 52-40.

Kaneland fell to 12-10 in its only competition of the week, and remains 4-4 in Northern Illinois Big XII East division play.

Kaneland has lost three skirmishes in a row, and is now 4-6 in its last 10 outings.

On an afternoon that saw KHS shoot 14-for-47 from the field, perimeter threat Aly O’Herron tallied a game-high 18 points, while teammate and post presence Ashley Prost put up 10. O’Herron also put up four-three pointers and three steals on a six-for-12 day from the field.

Sterling got the jump early with a 12-3 lead after the first eight minutes. The Lady Warriors maintained a lead going into halftime with a 24-12 advantage.

Kaneland countered somewhat and closed the deficit to 34-24 after three before Sterling outscored the hosts 18-16 in the final frame.

In additional news, Kaneland was informed of postseason details last week.

The Lady Knights, sectional finalists of a year ago, are part of the Class 3A Burlington Central Regional as a third seed.

Kaneland is set to play No. 6 Sandwich on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 8 p.m. That contest follows the matchup between (4) Sycamore and (5) Hampshire at 6 p.m.

“We have been scouting and game planning for each upcoming opponent and also for each potential regional opponent since the sites were announced awhile ago,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We are trying to keep the team focused on the upcoming game and taking things one game at a time. As a staff, we are preparing for the regionals by scouting and putting some films together, etc. We are also working on a few changes that we feel may help us gain an edge at the end of the season.”

The Kaneland-Sandwich victor plays No. 2 Plano of the Interstate Eight Conference on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 8 p.m. The Spartans-Whip-purs winner will match up with top-seed Burlington Central that same evening at 6 p.m.

The regional title game is Friday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m., with the winner headed to the Genoa-Kingston Sectional and joining winners from Stillman Valley, Sterling and Woodstock.

KHS travels to Yorkville on Friday, Feb. 1. The Lady Foxes bested Kaneland back on Jan. 4 in a 39-26 encounter in Maple Park.

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