Lady Knights (2-1) show grit in IMSA tourney
Photo: Knight Tesa Alderman converts on a steal and layup during Friday’s 46-37 triumph over host Aurora Christian during Hoop Happenings. Photo by Ben Draper
Thanksgiving Tournament Lady Knights at Immaculate Conception in Elmhurst on Friday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m.
by Mike Slodki
AURORA—Slow starts might not be ideal if you’re with Lady Knights basketball, they’ll live with it if it leaves room for mid-game rallies and competent fourth quarters.
Down 16-5 in the second quarter to host Aurora Christian on Friday night, the Lady Knights rallied to take the lead in the second quarter and cut down on mistakes in the second half to swipe a 46-37 result on Friday. At night three of the IMSA Hoop Happenings the next afternoon, Kaneland beat Earlville 62-34 to take the consolation championship.
The Lady Knights, under fifth-year coach Ernie Colombe, are 2-1 in the early outset of the season.
In the night two win over the Lady Eagles, Emily Heimerdinger had a game-high 17 points, followed by Tesa Alderman with six.
The Knights were 13-for-47 from the field and 19-for-29 from the free throw line.
Alderman, on the floor for stretches in which KHS was behind, rallying, and holding the lead, feels the formula for Friday’s win could be the way to go.
“Certain people got on fire and we worked as a team,” Alderman said. “Some of the drills we do in practice really help us in how to handle crunch time.”
After trailing 9-5 to AC at the end of the first frame, things got worse for Kaneland, as the Lady Eagles took their 16-5 lead with 3:17 to go in the half.
Heimerdinger hit two foul shots and a lay-up a minute later. Nicki Ott followed with a basket, and Heimerdinger hit two free throws to close within 16-13 with 1:23 remaining. After Alderman hit a free throw to close within two, Kelly Evers sunk both her foul shots to tie, and Alderman stole the ball and finished with a layup with 18.7 seconds to go to take a two-point lead. KHS eventually went into the break leading 18-17.
Up 26-24 in the third quarter, Lexie Guerra hit a layup, followed soon after by an Andie Strang shot to go up 30-25 with 1:48 to go in the frame. Heimerdinger hit a three-pointer with 1:04 left to go up 33-25, before AC scored the final five points of the quarter.
After an Emma Bradford putback with 7:08 to go in the game gave KHS a 35-30 lead, the Lady Eagles put two baskets and two foul shots together to go up 36-35 with 5:09 remaining.
Bradford then hit a shot to go ahead for good with 4:51 left, and Alderman hit a baseline jumper to go up 39-36 with 3:46 to play.
Heimerdinger, Strang and Alderman hit seven out of eight foul shot attempts to end the game up nine.
“The whole game you have to hit free throws, especially in the fourth quarter, and we took care of the ball. We didn’t turn it over too many times. There’s some stuff we want to clean up but we did a good job handling the ball,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said.
Facing Earlville in the consolation title game, Evers led the Lady Knights with 14 points while Cory Harrison had 12 points. Ott and Heimerdinger added eight points apiece.
Kaneland was 25-for-61 from the field and 12-for-23 from the charity stripe.
Kaneland stormed out to a 21-8 lead after one and was up 39-12 at the break before going up 52-23 after three.
Meanwhile, the sophomore crew has leapt out to a 2-0 start with a 36-35 Monday win over Geneva, led by Ashley Prost’s 11 points, and a 42-18 handling of Marengo. Prost led the balanced scoring column with nine points.
The Lady Knights try and improve on their early success with a matchup against Thanksgiving Tournament host Immaculate Conception in Elmhurst on Friday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m.