by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—If you are going to play some extra basketball, you might as well get a win out of the deal.
Such was the case on Friday night in Maple Park.
Kaneland allowed Sycamore to climb back into the game in the fourth quarter, and was felled by a Kate Berlinski three-pointer with 20.3 ticks left in the first overtime. But Kelly Evers was fed a pass by Andie Strang down low for a lay-in off the glass to tie the score with under a second left and force a second OT.
Kaneland then fought its way to the line and hit 12-of-16 foul shots in the second extra frame to key a 47-39 win.
“It all just happened so fast,” Evers said. “We were trying to work the ball, and my teammates helped out so much; it was an amazing pass by Andie.”
With the win over the rival Lady Spartans, the rival Lady Knights improved to 11-13 with a 2-6 record in the Northern Illinois Big XII.
Evers’ astounding night ended with 19 points and seven rebounds. Nicki Ott had nine points.
Overall, Kaneland was 12-for-44 from the field, and 22-for-33 from the foul line.
Meanwhile, Lake Kwaza of Sycamore put up a game-high 20 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter.
“She wasn’t going to let that team go down,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “She’s a great competitor, and our girls stepped up and recognized that and she wasn’t going to beat us 1-on-5. We responded pretty well defensively.”
In a low-scoring first half, the Lady Knights trailed 11-7 going into the break. An aggressive approach and baskets by Emma Bradford and Evers more than doubled the scoring output to that point and gave KHS a 16-14 lead with 5:50 to go in the third.
A foul shot by Ott was soon followed by an Evers bucket with 1:57 to go in the frame to give KHS a six-point edge before the Lady Spartans closed to within 21-17 by the end of the quarter.
Sycamore tied the score at 23-all with 2:31 to go on a Kwaza putback, but McKinzie Mangers’ layup gave KHS a 25-23 edge with 59.8 ticks left before Berlinski’s two foul shots tied the score with 45.7 left to force the first overtime. Mangers’ three-try by the end was off the mark.
Down 30-28, Ott hit three of four free throws to take a 31-30 lead with 36.6 to play before Sycamore hit the trifecta to set up the final sequence in OT number one.
Trailing early in the second extra quarter, Evers hit a shot to tie the game and Strang sunk two free throws to take the lead for good at 39-37 with 1:44 to go. Emily Heimerdinger, Evers and Strang supplied the rest of the foul shots to cruise to the victory.
In the sophomore tilt, Kaneland improved to 21-1 with a 44-21 win over the Lady Spartans.
Freshmen action during the week had Kaneland beat DeKalb on Thursday, 34-23, to improve to 16-0.
The varsity troops tangle with visiting Geneseo on Saturday, Jan. 29, at 12:30 p.m.