Photo: Brooke Harner (22) passes out of a crowd to teammate Vanessa Gould (14) in the first quarter against Morris on Tuesday evening. Photo by Patti Wilk
Second-half explosion neutralizes previous
loss to Ottawa
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Tuesday evening in Maple Park was exhibit “A” on how fortunes can change on a dime.
Kaneland and Morris met for the first time since their meeting in the Ottawa Holiday Tournament in late December, and were embroiled in a hotly contested Northern Illinois Big XII outing that saw the visitors up 26-25 at halftime.
Five steals and three three-point plays began the third quarter and shifted the contest into Kaneland’s favor as it outscored the Redskins 27-6 in the third, on the way to a 65-32 shellacking.
The win did its part to take the sting off of a 50-30 loss to host Ottawa on Saturday afternoon.
The Lady Knights are now 12-7 and 4-3 in the Northern Illinois Big XII.
Vanessa Gould hit a basket on a putback, and Emma Bradford hit a foul shot to give Kaneland a 12-9 lead over Morris with 1:08 to go in the first until Morris launched a three-pointer with 42.1 left to tie the score at 12. The first quarter ended with the same score.
Morris withstood baskets by Brooke Harner (career-high 15 points) and a three-point play by Sarah Grams to tie it at 23 with 2:33 left in the half.
Bradford hit a basket to give KHS a 25-23 lead before a Morris trifecta with 1:44 to go in the half sent Kaneland down one.
The third quarter began with KHS on a 12-0 run thanks to a three by Aly O’Herron (22 points), a three-point play by Grams, a three-point play by O’Herron and a three-point play by Harner to give KHS a 37-26 lead with 5:45 to go in the frame. A second flurry with two Harner foul shots, a Bradford basket, a Caroline Heimerdinger shot and two more Harner free throws extended the lead to 45-28 with 3:35 to go.
“In the second half, we realized we were a better team than this, and we need to play better,” O’Herron said.
To add an exclamation point on the third-quarter, O’Herron caught an inbound pass with one tick left and nailed another trifecta to give KHS a 52-32 lead after three.
“I was supposed to screen and run across and I saw nobody around me, so I was like, ‘Caroline, here,’ and my eyes lit up,” O’Herron said.
Kaneland forced Morris into a scoreless fourth quarter and an 0-for-9 stretch from the field as the Lady Knights put up 13 more points of their own.
“I think the girls were disappointed in the first half and came out better on defense in the second half,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “They stepped up in the second half. Any time you hold a team to six points in a half at this level, it’s excellent.”
Ashley Prost led the Lady Knights with 10 points against the Ottawa counterparts, but KHS struggled with a 12-for-39 effort from the field, and 6-of-23 from the charity stripe.
KHS was down 17-9 after one and 28-14 at the half. Ottawa was up 36-21 after three before the final frame.
On Friday, Jan. 18, Kaneland faces host Sycamore at 7 p.m.