Back on track
Photo: Cole Carlson (44) and Matt Limbrunner (42) fight for possession in the third quarter against St. Charles North on Feb. 12. Photo by Patti Wilk
Boys’ loss at Morris brings skid to 5 before win at Dixon
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—A trip to Dixon, Ill., was just what the doctor ordered.
After a five-game losing streak that would make anyone ill, the Knight boys hoops squad traveled to their Northern Illinois Big XII crossover rival and beat the host Dukes by a final of 76-62 on Saturday.
It helped remedy some of the ill feelings of a 50-46 loss in Morris on Friday that saw KHS outscored 32-19 in the second half.
KHS is now 14-11 (6-3 NIB-12).
Against Dixon, the Knights were paced by Cole Carlson’s 17 and Matt Limbrunner’s 15.
The Knights were up 23-10 after one and 37-22 at the halftime buzzer before expanding the lead to 57-36 after three. The Dukes went on a 26-19 run in the fourth, but all for naught.
Against the rival Redskins, baskets by Dan Miller and Limbrunner made it 12-3 in favor of KHS with 2:14 remaining. Morris’ last bucket made it 12-5 before the end of the frame.
Kaneland converted all four shots from the field and went 5-for-7 from the line, going into halftime with a 27-18 lead.
KHS would only go two-for-nine from the foul line the rest of the way, however.
“(Free throws) have been a topic for about a month now,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said.
Morris would make a charge and take a 36-34 lead with 2:20 to go in the quarter before John Pruett’s bucket tied the score.
Limbrunner’s basket with 1:34 to play sent the end of the frame into a 38-38 tie.
A Redskin three gave the hosts the lead for good at 41-38 with 6:23 to go, as the Knights were forced to play catch-up.
A three by Drew David with seven ticks left closed the lead to 48-46, but two free throws gave the game its final four-point margin.
“We were just poor on both ends of the floor and especially from the free throw line at the end. You’re playing at Morris. I was happy with what we did in the first half. The second quarter worried me a bit,” Johnson said.
The end of the regular season hits on Friday, Feb. 22, in Rochelle.
On Monday, Feb. 25, the Knights, the No. 3 seed in the IMSA Regional in Aurora, faces off against the host Titans at 7:30 p.m., with the winner facing St. Francis of Wheaton (No. 2) on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 7:30 p.m.