Back on track
Photo: Brittany Kemp moves the ball around an IMSA defender during Kaneland’s 52-19 romp on Saturday. Photo by Patti Wilk
Girls secure NIB12 win in Yorkville, smash IMSA
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—At the very least, Kaneland girls basketball won’t be headed into the season’s homestretch on the way down.
After a 7-0 beginning to the season, KHS had been mired in a stretch that saw them go 5-10.
This weekend brought a much-needed refuge from that slide, as the Lady Knights took it to Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora on Saturday by a final of 52-19, and also involved a bit of revenge on Yorkville in a 42-35 Friday win.
Kaneland also travelled to Marengo on Tuesday night, where the Lady Knights dominated in a 50-34 win.
The Lady Knights are 15-10 and 5-4 in Northern Illinois Big XII action, with just one regular season game left.
Against the Lady Titans, the Kaneland crew was down 6-2 early in the first quarter before tying the score at 6-6 by the end of the frame and going on a 35-2 run to cinch it. The run included a 19-0 third frame in favor of Kaneland.
KHS went 19-of-54 from the field and 11 players found the scoring column, with Aly O’Herron and Sarah Grams putting up eight points each.
Facing Yorkville, which earned a Jan. 4 victory in Maple Park, the Lady Knights began matching shot for shot against the Lady Foxes and were tied at eight after the first quarter.
In the second, Ashley Prost’s long two-pointer with 4:43 to go in the half made it 15-12. Vanessa Gould’s conversion off an Emma Bradford feed with 3:09 left made it 17-14, and Brooke Harner’s steal and basket with 1:39 closed out the second quarter scoring at 19-14.
KHS maintained the lead and got two key baskets from Bradford to up the lead to six with 50.1 ticks left, and Kaneland saw itself up 28-22 after three.
The Lady Knights helped themselves with three-pointers from Grams and O’Herron in the fourth, and went 8-of-10 from the foul line to put it out of reach. KHS saw as big as an eight-point lead in the close affair.
“We played together today,” Bradford said. “One of the girls said ‘we played as a fist today and not a hand.’ We were on the same page today and it really worked out.”
KHS coach Ernie Colombe saw the win as welcome, especially after stifling personnel like Mackenzie Bollinger to 10 points.
“The team rose to the challenge. We talked about rebounding, and we rebounded well. We still had a few too many turnovers, but we got better in that area and stepped up,” Colombe said.
Tuesday saw another solid effort from the Lady Knights, as they turned a two-point first-quarter advantage into a 19-point lead after three. Kaneland’s defense held Marengo to just four points in the second period, and they added to the lead with a 10-point third-period advantage.
Bradford led the way with 14 points and seven rebounds. Post also reached double figures, with 10 points to go with eight rebounds. O’Herron added seven and Harner put up six. Grams scored five and contributed a season-high seven assists. Kelly Wallner chipped in four points, and Ally VanBogaert and Marina Schaeffer each put in two.
Kaneland goes to Rochelle on Thursday, Feb. 7, before playing Sandwich on Tuesday, Feb. 12, as part of the Class 3A Burlington Central Regional.