KHS girls basketball having fun all summer long
Photo: Lexee Guerra, shown here going for a layup in Rosemont, Ill., is one Lady Knight seeing quality minutes during summer league play. Photo by Ben Draper
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Summer has been no time for play if you’re Kaneland High School girls basketball.
Coach Ernie Colombe and crew have been keeping busy with shootouts in Genoa-Kingston, Sterling, Morris, Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., and have one scheduled in Ottawa, Ill., this week.
The Lady Knights are also involved in a summer league housed by DeKalb High School, and last Thursday, participated in an exhibition contest against Plano at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., resulting in a win.
“We’ve played tough competition, and we’ve seen improvement. We’ve got the girls lifting and around 30-plus girls are with us right now. You want to see that kind of commitment,” Colombe said.
Colombe can speak from first-hand coaching experience on the benefits of summer league action. The team won eight of nine in a stretch last year, with the 30-game slate going a long way to an improved record in 2010-11.
“Kelly Evers is making her way back from injury; she’s our lone senior. The junior class is full of real competitiors,” Colombe said.
Stats and game scores generally aren’t kept for summer league action, but the summer-wide progress and trip to Rosemont are part of a larger picture.
“We definitely sold it to the girls as a unique opportunity, and they got to be on the floor when the Sky had their shootaround before their game,” Colombe said. “We hope the (sixth-season WNBA franchise Chicago) Sky keep doing something like this.”
The Lady Knights also dealt with a different environment.
“Like the boys when they would go to the United Center, the girls were faced with having their shooting be different. You normally have a wall by the basket, but at the Allstate Arena, you shoot toward seating.”
Colombe has the girls shooting it out all over the area, and thinks KHS has just scratched the surface.
“Evers and Ashley Prost are making their way back from injuries. We haven’t had a regular lineup since we started. Evers will be a force. Lexee Guerra has an improved shot. Emma Bradford could have a breakout year. Marina Schaefer, Ali Liss, Brooke Harner, Prost, Morgan Newhouse and Sarah Grams all play defense and play both ends, which is what we want,” Colombe said.