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Featured - page 4

Bowling campaign ends in Schaumburg

in Bowling/Featured by

Photo: Angela Charhut

Lady Knights collect another dual win in final head-to-head
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—While the pins stopped falling after Saturday’s IHSA Sectional hosted by Schaumburg High School, Kaneland’s senior-laden lineup was able to see hard work pay off on Jan. 30 in the final dual opportunity of the year.

At Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb, the Lady Knights took it to visiting Lisle by a final of 2,604-2,425.

Ellissa Eckert bowled a team-high series of 509, followed by Morgan Wojciechowski’s 444.

Eckert’s 178 was good for team-high game, followed by a 176 by Wojciechowski.

Kaneland’s 2012-13 dual mark ended at 3-6.

At Schaumburg, Lake Park’s 5,481 pin count was tops, along with fellow advancing team Schaumburg’s 5,478.

Kaneland finished in 13th out of 17 squads with a mark of 4,126, 90 behind Streamwood.

Kaneland says goodbye to seniors Angela Charhut, Ellissa Eckert, Anne Salerno, Amanda Strayve and Morgan Wojciechowski.

Candy company honors Walker, SG Food Pantry for area service

in Featured/Sugar Grove by

Photo: On Thursday Pam and Ernie Bolen, owners of Mamie’sToffe in Plano and their son, Josh (far left), gave the Sugar Grove Food Pantry and Julie Walker (in green) their “Random Acts of Candy” award for all they do for the community. Melisa Taylor (right) is the executive
director of the Food Pantry. Courtesy Photo

by Mary Parrilli
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Food Pantry volunteers on Jan. 24 were honored for their service by Mamie’s Toffee of Plano.

Ernie and Pam Bolen, the owners of Mamie’s Toffee, gave out two handmade awards—one, a box of Mamie’s candies, went to Julie Walker of Sugar Grove; the other, a tray of various food items, went to the entire Sugar Grove Food Pantry.

The Bolens created an awards system, “Random Acts of Candy,” with the intention of honoring community members who go above and beyond. Community members nominate awardees via Facebook.

Marguerite Ledone, a Pampered Chef Consultant and friend of the Bolens, nominated Walker, who volunteers at the Sugar Grove Food Pantry, and goes above and beyond for her community in other ways, as well.

“(Julie) is an amazing woman, to me,” Ledone said. “(She) runs the Sugar Grove Community House, she fosters dogs, she transports dogs from Joliet to Batavia, and to top it all off, she is a mother of two and a wife.”

The Bolen’s decided to honor Walker and the rest of the food pantry team, and went to the food pantry location to present their gifts.

Walker was sick with the flu, and it took some convincing on Ledone’s part to get her into the shelter that night. Walker ultimately showed up for a few minutes.

“It was a quick ceremony. A few words were said, thanks given, pictures taken and food enjoyed,” Ledone said.

It was quite literally a short and sweet evening at the Sugar Grove Food Pantry.

“Ernie and Pam recognize that their community helps tremendously with the success of their business, and they wanted to give something back. That’s why they started Random Acts of Candy,” Ledone said.

They’re rollin’

in Boys Basketball/Featured by

Photo: Kaneland’s Matt Limbrunner scores two of his 22 points on the way
to beating Sterling on Saturday. Photos by John DiDonna

No need for last-second magic against Sterling
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—No mad celebrations on the floor were needed this time.

While slightly different than the dramatic win over rival Sycamore last week, the Knights came away happy with a big win over visiting Sterling, 60-33, on Saturday evening.

KHS improved to 12-6 (5-1 Northern Illinois Big XII) with the crossover victory, and has now won six in a row. The Knights have not lost since Dec. 29, 2012, at the Plano Classic.

“The team is truly playing as a team in all aspects of the word,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said. “They have grown to trust each other on the defensive end of the court and understand how to work well together offensively. This team is a hard-working group with a bunch of selfless individuals.”

Inside man Matt Limbrunner paced the victors with a game-high 22, while Tyler Carlson added 10.

“As for Matt, we expected a big year from him. He had a nice and productive summer. We were hoping that he would take the next step in his game and become a player that other teams would constantly have to worry about. We still think that he can do even more, but at this point he is playing very well,” Johnson said.

Before the Knights’ tip-off, Johnson and Co. recognized Rich and Nancy Miller with the fourth annual “Friend of the Program” award. The Millers, uncle and aunt to Knight player Dan Miller, are both Kaneland High School graduates. Rich and Nancy’s heavy and passionate involvement took to the stratosphere once the boys’ and girls’ teams made it to the 1982 State tournament.

Starting in 1986, Rich coached his son Denny’s team in the town league. This was the first year the league was put together, with the head coaches leading the charge.

From 1989-1992, Rich and Nancy became members of the Kaneland High School Boosters.

In 1991 and 1992 they proudly watched their son, Denny, as he competed on the varsity basketball team. On senior night, all the parents wore matching T-shirts onto the court.

During the 1996 season, Rich began keeping the scorebook for Kaneland High School basketball games, and continued to do so through 2004. Throughout those years, Rich also helped referee the Little Dribblers’ games in Maple Park and Elburn.

Kaneland travels to Yorkville on Friday, Feb. 1.

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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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Parson celebrates 40 years with SG Fire Dept.

in Featured/Sugar Grove by

Photo: Sugar Grove Assistant Fire Chief Wayne Parson (left) shakes hands with Chief Marty Kunkel after he is presented with an award for 40 years of service. Photo by Kimberly Anderson

by Chris Paulus
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Fire Department on Jan. 6 held a surprise party for Assistant Fire Chief Wayne Parson in honor of his 40th year working for the Fire Protection District.

The party took place at the Sugar Grove Municipal Building and was open to his family and friends, as well as the public.

Sugar Grove Fire Chief Marty Kunkel, who was present at the ceremony, said about 75 people attended the event. Wayne was headed to the Fire Department for training when he encountered the surprise party.

“We had some cake and ice cream for him, and a little award ceremony. We invited his friends and family. He was extremely surprised. His wife knew about it too,” Kunkel said.

Kunkel also spoke about his professional and personal relationship with Parson. The two have known each other since Kunkel was Aurora’s fire marshal.

“I’ve been here for about eight years. When I came in, Wayne was assistant chief. He was instrumental in my development in learning about the history of the Fire District,” Kunkel said.

Wayne is also involved with the Sugar Grove Fire Prevention Bureau.

“We perform building inspections in the area and we help public schools and (Waubonsee Community College) with their fire prevention presentations and demonstrations,” Parson said. “We’re involved anytime the schools do anything regarding fire safety or prevention, really.”

The bureau also helps out with Fire Prevention Week with the other communities, including Elburn and Kaneville. The next big event for the bureau is the Health and Wellness Fair in the Waubonsee’s Academic and Professional Center.

“We work with some of the hospitals from the area. We go over smoke detectors and other general protocol to make your house safer,” Parson said.

Drew it up

in Boys Basketball/Featured by

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Knights grab 5th on NIB-12 mat

in Featured/Wrestling by

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Lost weekend

in Featured/Girls Basketball by

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

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

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

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

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

Bailey Gilbert of Sycamore had a game-high 14.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Lighting the night sky

in Featured/Regional by

Photo: Residents of the Foxmoor Subdivision in Montgomery held a sky lantern memorial on Dec. 22 for the 26 Sandy Hook Elementary victims. The laterns filled the night sky.
Courtesy Photo

Montgomery neighborhood lights lanterns for Newtown victims
by Mary Parrilli
MONTGOMERY—Just a few days prior to Christmas, a neighborhood in Montgomery held a memorial for the 26 victims who lost their lives in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting that occurred on Dec. 14.

Foxmoor subdivision residents yearning for action and unity decided to get together on the evening of Dec. 22 at the neighborhood pond. Laura Blickem Hensley, a stay-at-home mom and resident of the subdivision, organized the event.

Hensley used the subdivision’s Facebook page to harmonize a lantern-lighting tribute for those lost in the tragedy. It was something she wanted to do herself, and once she found the lanterns, she thought she would extend an invite to others in her community.

“I thought, the more the merrier,” Hensley said.

Susan Buerke, a Foxmoor resident who participated in the event, said that 20-to-25 people came out to take part. The group lit a total of 26 lanterns, one for each victim.

Buerke is an accountant and a mother of three. She said that people of all ages showed up that night. Children, adults and even some of the elder neighbors came to light sky lanterns—paper lanterns that, when lit, fill with hot air and rise up into the sky.

“It was a very moving and emotional sight to see. They looked like stars against the night sky,” Buerke said.

Lack of lighters prevented the lanterns from being lit at the same time. As a result, the lanterns ascended at different times, which actually provided depth to the starry sight.

“We saw a beautiful trail of lanterns. They were peaceful and quite graceful as they ascended,” Hensley said. “I felt an emotional attachment to each one of them.”

Susan’s daughter Morgan, a Kaneland High School junior, said her parents had been keeping her updated with the events and information regarding the Sandy Hook tragedy. When Morgan heard that one of her neighbors was organizing a lighting tribute, she felt compelled to take part.

“I really just felt like I needed to do something about it. I wanted to feel like I had some power, or like I could show the world that this tragedy had a powerful impact,” Morgan said.

Hensley said that she wanted the lanterns to symbolize prayer, light and hope to Connecticut. She wants the families to know that they’re not alone.

Hensley has two children: a 9-month old and a son in kindergarten. She said that the tragedy really struck a chord with her and made her realize that tragedies like Sandy Hook can happen anywhere.

As the lanterns rose up into the night sky, the Buerkes thought of each and every one of the innocent lives that were taken away on that day, Dec. 14.

“I felt like I was letting go of souls,” Morgan said.

Morgan said she felt sadness, but also felt a small, inexplicable sense of comfort, knowing that she had taken action into her own hands.

Susan said that, after the lanterns had gone, she felt a sense of unity with her neighbors and with all of those suffering from the tragedy. She said that it felt good to share her sorrow with others.

“It was an instance of honesty and true emotion for us. A chance to reach out to our community and console one another in our emotional states,” Susan said

“You know, Connecticut is so far away, but you still want to do something. Maybe the families in Connecticut won’t know that I did this, but I believe in the power of prayer,” Hensley said.

On a local level, it was a chance for action, and for members of the community to come together and express sorrow with one another. Members of the Foxmoor subdivision experienced togetherness and a sense of welcoming from one another.

On a national level, each Foxmoor attendee that Saturday night was able to take part in a symbol of hope and healing for the families who lost loved ones in Connecticut.

“I just hope that those affected will find peace. I cannot imagine what those parents are going through, or how they’ll learn to live without their children,” Hensley said. “All I can say is, I hope they take it one day at a time.”

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Girls hoops run over Redskin rival

in Featured/Girls Basketball by

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

Second-half explosion neutralizes previous
loss to Ottawa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Knights at hub of victory

in Boys Basketball/Featured by

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wrestlers take down Morris, host Flott

in Featured/Wrestling by

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back to even

in Featured/Girls Basketball by

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photos by John DiDonna:
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Grapplers open 2013 with dual win

in Featured/Wrestling by

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Knights take care of Yorkville, BC

in Boys Basketball/Featured by

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kaneland hosts rival Rochelle on Thursday, Jan. 10.

Photos by John DiDonna:
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Photos: Scout’s honor

in Elburn/Featured by

A Court of Honor ceremony was held for Eagle Scout Michael John Aderman on Saturday at St. Gall Catholic Church in Elburn. The ceremony was presented by Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Aderman. Mike received his Eagle Scout certificate with friends, family and community members congratulating him. Mike is a member of BSA Troop 7 in Elburn. New Eagle Scouts present a total of three Mentor Pins to three individuals that helped mentor them through the ranks of Scouting. Mike gave the first pin to his dad, Bruce Aderman, the second pin to former Elburn Troop 7 Scoutmaster Bob Michek and the third pin to his Grandpa Aderman. Photos by Patti Wilk

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Photos: Friday night Bingo in Elburn

in Elburn/Featured by

The Elburn Lions host Bingo every Friday night at the clubhouse, 500 Filmore Ave. Proceeds go toward Elburn Lions Charities for the sight and hearing impaired. There was a large turnout on Friday for the ugly sweater contest and white elephant exchange, including Shelley Lemons of North Aurora (right), Judy Emmons of Elburn, and Georgiana V. from Batavia. Paul and Mary Diehl (below) of Elburn were happy to be playing Bingo Friday night. They have been participating since its inception at the Lion’s Club. Photos by Kimberly Anderson
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Book by book

in Elburn/Featured/Kaneland by

Photo: The Elburn Lions Club recently implemented a Reading Action Campaign program to promote
literacy in the Kaneland community. Here, Dr. Sarah Mumm, director of Educational Services K-5 in the Kaneland District, shows off a handful of books intended for distribution to children in the community. Photo by Elizabeth Rago

Elburn Lions Club rallies to bridge gaps in literacy
by Elizabeth Rago
ELBURN—Immersed in communities since 1917, the Lions Club International Foundation is the world’s largest community service organization with an emphasis on supporting the blind and visually impaired. Most recently, the Foundation challenged members to join in on the fight against illiteracy in their communities.

Through the help of local service organizations, school districts and area libraries, the Elburn chapter of the Lions Club is diving headfirst into implementing a Reading Action Campaign program for the Kaneland community.

“Our goal is to get books into the hands of kids who do not have the resources to obtain them,” said Joe Kryszak, Elburn Lion’s Club representative.

But how does one obtain and start distributing books to local children? Who should receive the books? What kind of literature should be purchased for a particular age and gender?

To provide answers to these questions, a planning committee was built of volunteers, community agencies, educators and school administrators.

“We needed experts, so we naturally reached out to leaders and organizations who daily interact with children in the Kaneland community,” Kryszak said.

Without reluctance, Maple Park’s Family Fund in Maple Park, Conley Outreach Community Services in Elburn and Between Friends Food Pantry in Sugar Grove agreed to serve as the first three sources for needy recipients. Each community outreach program gathered an anonymous list of local children grouped by gender and age.

After the list of recipients was gathered, the Elburn Lions went straight to the masters of pairing literature and children: local library directors.

“We are always happy to help with any literacy projects,” said Lynn Alms, director of Elburn’s Town and Country Public Library. “A library is a natural partner for any type of effort involving reading and literacy. The distribution planned by the Lions involving several area groups will help books reach a wide audience in the area.”

Young adult books like “Theodore Boone” by John Grisham and “The Case of the Mistaken Identity” by Mac Barnett were among the books distributed to help bridge the gap in literacy.

“We hope this will help children develop a life-long love of reading,” Kryszak and Alms both said of the Lions’ Reading Action program.

For more information about supporting the Reading Action Campaign Program, visit elburnlions.com, call (630) 365-6315 or email info@elburnlions.com.

Top-tier finish in Plano for boys hoops

in Boys Basketball/Featured by

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KHS earns split at usual Flavin stop

in Featured/Wrestling by

Photo: Kaneland sophomore Adam Mish puts an arm lock on his Burlington rival during the DeKalb Invitational on Saturday. Photo by Patti Wilk

DeKalb gathering lifts KHS; sees dual mark at 10-11
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—A usual late-December stop offered a glimpse as to what caliber the Knight wrestling squad is at right now.

Friday and Saturday marked the familiar Don Flavin Invite, hosted by DeKalb High School.

The event was ultimately won by Hononegah High School over Naperville North, and the Knights went 2-2 in the weekend. Hononegah improved on its second-place finish of a year ago.

Kaneland finished eighth in 2011 and sixth in 2010.

After a 41-30 win over Burlington Central, a 54-24 win over Stagg, a 44-32 loss to 2011 champ Neuqua Valley and a 40-26 loss to Glenbard West—plus a loss to Pewaukee of Wisconsin—the Knights sit at 10-11 in head-to-head competition.

In the win over the rival Rockets along Dresser Road, the Knights saw a 7-0 decision from 106-pounder Adam Mish and a 2-0 decision for 120-pounder Connor Williams. Teammate Dane Goodenough managed a pin in the 126-pound outing in two minutes, 31 seconds.

Kaneland 138-pounder Sonny Horn won a 2:32 pinfall, and 145-pound teammate Dan Goress took a technical fall by 20-4 count.

BC found wins in the 152-through-182 classes, but the twin towers of Nick Sharp and Zach Theis took pins home to secure a win.

Sharp won in 1:27 for 220-pound glory, and Theis managed a 1:53 pin in the heavyweight category.

In the win over the Stagg group, Mish’s 8-5 win paved the way for pins from Williams, Goodenough, 132-pound Esai Ponce, Horn and 152-pound Austin Parks. Goress also nabbed a 24-9 technical fall, as well.

Sharp won his match in 3:53, while Theis scored a 12-2 major decision.

In the 12-point team loss to the Naperville, Ill.-based outfit, Mish (:43) and Williams (2:32) took pins, while Stephen Gust won a 7-6 squeaker.

Horn won a pinfall in 1:36, while Goress won a third technical fall of the competition in 18-3 fashion.

In the 14-point loss to the Hilltoppers, decision wins came by Gust (2-0), Williams (6-3), Ponce (9-8), Horn (6-5) and Sharp (6-1).

Goress earned a fourth technical fall win by 21-6 count, while Sharp took the lone team pinfall by 3:14 time.

KHS head coach Monty Jahns said Goress has served as a spark plug for the team.

“He got the ball rolling and was fun to watch,” KHS coach Monty Jahns said. “As a senior, he sets the tone for us.”

GW’s winning trail through 152-195 country was the difference.

Kaneland gets back into the Northern Illinois Big XII swing of things on Thursday, Jan. 3, against the visiting Rochelle Hubs.

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