Buzzer-beater batters Kaneland girls in Winter Classic Finale
Photo: Emma Bradford (32) finds herself in a sea of Mustangs during competition last week at the Oswego East Wolves Winter Classic. Kaneland lost three of four contests in the gathering. File Photo
by Mike Slodki
OSWEGO, Ill.—This year, more so than most, the Lady Knights play up to tough competition and rarely get blown out.
That doesn’t provide much solace after a tournament-ending loss like the one on Friday.
A last-second bank shot by Plainfield East in the third-place consolation game ended the Kaneland troops’ winning hopes in a 47-45 result.
Kaneland also lost a 37-34 matchup with East Aurora on Thursday, and came away with a 47-33 win over Plainfield North in Oswego East Wolves Winter Classic action. The Lady Knights finished up 1-3 in the 2011 grouping, and finished the year with a 9-5 record (2-1 Northern Illinois Big XII) before leaping into 2012.
West Chicago edged South Elgin by one point in the final.
Allyson O’Herron had a game-high 17 points vs. the Bengals, and the Lady Knights were 17-of-41 from the field.
After leading 24-19 at halftime, a scoring drought felled Kaneland. Plainfield East went on a 15-0 run by being aggressive in the paint. Down 10, Brooke Harner converted a three-point play to close to 34-27, and thus started a 13-0 run on Kaneland’s end, extending into the fourth quarter.
Things looked to be going the way of KHS when O’Herron hit a basket to go up 43-38 at the halfway mark of the quarter.
Two ensuing baskets by the Bengals made it 43-42 with 2:32 remaining. Kaneland’s final bucket came on a putback by Ashley Prost with 1:22 remaining. Faith Suggs converted a three-pointer with 60 seconds remaining to tie the game. With 12.6 seconds to go, Kaneland was whistled for a traveling violation, giving the ball back to Plainfield East. After inbounding the ball, Faith Suggs banked a shot off the glass just before the clock hit zero for the 47-45 final margin.
KHS coach Ernie Colombe feels he got a better look at his team, despite the downer ending.
“I think we’ve gotten better,” Colombe said. “We talked about not getting too caught up in going 1-3 in this tournament. It wasn’t our goal, obviously. We just talked about closing out games. We set something up, we just never really got into it.”
Against East Aurora, a two-for-13 day from the perimeter spelled bad things ahead for the Lady Knights, despite holding the Tomcats to 37 points. Harner and Prost led the way with eight points apiece. KHS was down 16-8 at the half and 28-20 after three before a mini-rally.
Against Plainfield North, Prost had a game-high 17 points, and the Lady Knights stormed out to a 28-12 halftime lead that held until the end.
Kaneland freshmen won the Plainfield East tournament by virtue of a 41-25 win over Plainfield South on Dec. 28.
KHS heads into 2012 competition with a trip to Yorkville on Friday, Jan. 6.
Lady Knights basketball is now 9-11 all-time at the holiday tournament at Oswego East High School.