Photo: Kaneland’s Tyler Carlson passes as a Burlington player goes down during Kaneland’s home contest on Saturday. The Knights defeated the Rockets 38-30. Photo by John DiDonna
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—The silver-and-black-clad Knights are making good on committing to excellence in 2013.
After splitting the last competition of 2012 in the 50th running of the Plano Christmas Classic, Kaneland got off to a nice start with the new year.
Kaneland handily solved a visiting Yorkville squad on Friday evening by a final of 51-30 and stifled a lineup from Burlington Central in Maple Park on Saturday by a final of 38-30.
KHS sits at 8-6 (3-1 Northern Illinois Big XII) on the year, having won seven of its last nine.
In NIB-12 action against the Foxes, the Knights were paced by John Pruett’s 14 points, Matt Limbrunner’s 10 and Tyler Carlson’s 10.
After taking a 12-8 lead after the first eight minutes of play, YHS hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to 12-11 23 seconds into the second quarter.
Limbrunner then hit two baskets, including one on a crisp pass down low from guard Drew David, to take a 16-11 lead with 6:10 to go.
Baskets by Dan Miller and Cole Carlson and two foul shots from Tyler Carlson gave KHS a 22-18 edge with two minutes to play in the half, the Foxes’ basket with 1:19 left closed the first-half scoring out at 22-20.
The third quarter saw the scales tip even more in the Knights’ favor as a mid-quarter flurry of baskets from Tyler Carlson, Limbrunner and a three-pointer from Pruett made it 31-22 with 2:28 to go. Yorkville missed six straight shots in the quarter at one point, while Limbrunner converted on two baskets and David hit a shot, giving KHS a 37-28 lead with 1:02 to go that closed out the scoring.
Yorkville hit just one of four shots in the fourth quarter, while Pruett hit the first three baskets of the quarter for KHS to give the hosts a 14-point lead.
“We know they ran their 2-2-1 press, and we were pretty much game planning that all week,” Pruett said. “Yorkville is good at getting pressure and turnovers, and we were just getting the ball down the floor.”
The lead grew to 21 on a three by freshman Dylan Vava with 1:26 to go, while Yorkville scored just two points in the frame.
“(Yorkville) did a good job early on at causing us to make some mistakes and not necessarily take care of the basketball, but it was nice to get a little bit of breathing space in the fourth quarter,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said.
Limbrunner led the Knights with 16 in the comeback win over visiting BC, but the visitors enjoyed an 8-6 lead after one quarter. Kaneland powered through for a 19-16 lead at halftime before BC emerged with a 25-24 lead after three. KHS went on a 14-5 run encompassing the fourth quarter for the win.
Kaneland hosts rival Rochelle on Thursday, Jan. 10.
Photos by John DiDonna: