Photo: Nicki Ott, shown here in action in November, was key in helping the Lady Knights nab their best-ever finish at the Oswego East Holiday Tournament. File Photo
by Mike Slodki
OSWEGO—It wasn’t the ideal end, but Kaneland girls hoops earned its best finish ever at the Oswego East Holiday Classic.
While a third-round contest against the Andrew Thunderbolts wasn’t pretty on Dec. 29, the Lady Knights (8-9, 1-2 NIB-12) were assured at least a fourth-place nod in the Winter Classic Tournament at Oswego East High School. KHS fell to Downers Grove South on Thursday, 36-22.
Andrew played West Chicago on Thursday night for the championship and won the tournament final, 66-53.
In the 50-30 loss to Andrew, Kaneland was outscored 14-1 in the first frame and fell behind 28-11 at halftime before trailing 47-20 after the third quarter.
KHS was 11-for-41 from the field and 7-for-12 from the foul line. Freshman Marina Schaefer led the charge with six points and six boards. Emily Heimerdinger had four steals.
Against DGS, the Lady Knights got a three-pointer and another bucket from Andie Strang, a basket from Kelly Evers (eight points) and a shot from Tesa Alderman to go up 9-0 with 2:26 remaining in the first quarter. DGS scored the last four points of the first quarter, followed by the Lady Knights missing their next 14 shot attempts extending into the third frame. Kaneland’s 14:26 scoreless drought, coupled with DHS completing a 20-0 run, sent KHS reeling.
The scoring famine finally ended with a three-point play from Nicki Ott halfway through the third to make it 20-12.
In the fourth, Ott’s bucket with 3:56 to go cut the difficult lead to 24-20, but KHS could get no closer.
Also noteworthy was Downers Grove South‘s having 26 attempts at the foul line, compared with two for KHS.
“That didn’t really help,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “It was a nice start for us, and it looked like we were ready to play. Then they went to man (defense), they did a good job and were physical.”
The Lady Knights’ all-time mark at the Oswego East tourney is now 8-8.
KHS now hosts Yorkville on Friday, Jan. 7.
Lady KNIGHT LIFE
• The Kaneland High School sophomore girls are 14-1.
• KHS recently captured the Riverside-Brookfield Holiday Tourney,
winning the final on Dec. 30, against Rich Central, 37-23. Paced by
Brooke Harner’s 10 points, and seven each from Ashley Prost and
Alli Liss, Kaneland enjoyed its fourth and final win of the holidays.