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Photo: Freshman Morgan Weber had four points in Kaneland’s 51-41 win over the visiting Lady Foxes of Yorkville Monday. Photo by Ben Draper
Girls hoops stabilizes in season homestretch
KANELAND—Kaneland girls basketball made sure its recent five-game losing streak was a thing of the past this week.
It remains to be seen what’s in the immediate future with the postseason looming.
After falling to a season-low 9-13 at the beginning of the month, Kaneland rattled off a three-game win streak. On Monday, the Lady Knights capped off the successful stretch by laying waste to visiting Yorkville, 51-41. In a Saturday crossover contest with host LaSalle-Peru, KHS beat the Cavaliers, 57-24, and saw a trip to Grundy County last Thursday turn productive in a 74-67 win.
Kaneland sits at 12-13 on the year, with a 4-4 record in Northern Illinois Big XII play.
“We played well in all three games,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We have been working hard in practice and trying to get better each day.”
Kaneland was able to get revenge on the Lady Foxes after a 19-point loss back on Jan. 31. After falling behind 16-9 after one quarter, and 26-23 at halftime, the Lady Knights took advantage of poor opposing shooting and went on a 22-1 run that spanned two quarters, thanks to key baskets and defense. Up 38-30, Kaneland saw the lead grow to 17 before the final margin.
“We stuck with what we wanted to do even after we got down 26-15. We got on a big run and really controlled the tempo of the game. In our first meeting with Yorkville they really controlled the tempo and game from start to finish,” Colombe said.
Leading the way were Kelly Wallner with 18 points and Amber Winquist-Bailey with 11 points and four steals. KHS was 19-of-44 from the field and 11-of-23 from the free throw line.
Against the West division Cavs, Kaneland’s defense and 18 steals made life miserable in LaSalle County for L-P fans.
“We needed to get better in our rotations and also better at stopping dribble penetration,” Colombe said.
Up 15-4 after one, the Lady Knights led 36-11 at the conclusion of the first half. The lead stretched to 49-14 after three before the final frame. Winquist-Bailey had a team-high 13 points, followed by Bailey Crimmins’ 11 and Ally Van Bogaert’s 10. KHS ended 27-of-58 from the field.
Facing the Lady Redskins, the Lady Knights led 21-9 after the first eight minutes and 36-27 at halftime. Seeing the lead shrink to 52-48 at the end of the third, the Lady Knights were helped by 14 foul shots to secure the win.
Guard Caroline Heimerdinger lifted the victory effort with 16 points. Wallner had 15 and Camri Conley put in 11 of her own.
Going 22-of-45 from the field, KHS went to the charity stripe an astounding 47 times, hitting 27 shots.
This week features home matches up against challenging teams DeKalb, on Thursday, Feb. 13, and Sycamore on Friday. Feb. 14, in a quest to eclipse .500.
The IHSA postseason plan was released last week, with Kaneland set for Class 3A Plano Regional action beginning as the No. 3 seed against No. 2 Plano on Wednesday. Feb. 19, at 8 p.m. The winner is scheduled against No. 1 Sycamore, No. 4 Rochelle or No. 5 Sandwich in the regional championship on Friday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m.