No Bullâ€“Kaneland boys clash with Geneva at UC
Special setting fails to provide help in 58-39 loss vs. Vikings
by Mike Slodki
Add Dennis Hansen to the list of coaches that have patrolled the United Center sideline along with Phil Jackson and Vinny Del Negro.
Add Dave Dudzinski, Ryley Bailey, Ryan Blake and company to the list of players who have launched shots on the home floor of the Bulls.
Such was the case on New Yearâ€™s Eve on Madison St. as Kaneland and Geneva tipped off at 8:50 a.m. after introductions by p.a. announcer Tommy Edwards.
Unfortunately, the Knights fell short in the contest on an National Basketball Association floor, 58-39.
Kaneland got back on the winning track on Friday with a 61-48 win over visiting Yorkville, to raise its record to 6-5 and 1-3 in the Western Sun Conference.
Geneva was helped by Jeremy Dâ€™Amicoâ€™s 32 points, while Dudzinski had a team-high 15 points and 12 rebounds. Bailey had nine points.
Kaneland was behind 10-4 in the first quarter before a three pointer by Joe Spitzzeri with 20.5 ticks left to make it 10-7. Dâ€™Amico answered back with a trey of his own to go up 13-7 with 7.9 seconds left.
Dâ€™Amico hit three more long-range bombs to hurt the Knights, but Kaneland wouldnâ€™t back away, as Dudzinski found more of a presence inside. He hit two baskets and a pair of foul shots to send Kaneland into the locker room down 31-19 at halftime.
Down 33-19 in the initial stage of the third frame, Kaneland charged back thanks to a basket and two free throws by Bailey, an offensive putback and a foul shot by Dudzinski and a shot by Brody Root. The flurry closed to within 34-30 with 2:21 to go, but Geneva used a trifecta and a steal to close the third on a 7-0 run and lead 41-30 after three.
â€œWe made a few shots, got a few steals,â€ KHS coach Dennis Hansen said concerning the mini-run. â€œWe made a run, but we missed a couple easy shots.â€
Geneva then went on a 10-5 run to go up 51-35 with 4:13 to cinch it.
Genevaâ€™s biggest lead was 21 which occurred with half a minute remaining.
Itâ€™s a unique experience for any player to play at the home of the Bulls, and Kaneland seemed to be no exception.
â€œYeah, they had their eyes wide open sometimes after taking a look at the court, but we didnâ€™t play as well as we could have or should have,â€ Hansen said. â€œBut the kids were excited about the opportunity to come here.â€
In sophomore action against Geneva on Tuesday, the Knights lost 72-32, despite 16 points by Taylor Andrews.
Against the Foxes on Saturday, KHS went out to a 15-5 lead and a 31-17 lead at halftime. Yorkville closed the deficit to 41-33 after three, but KHS held firm.
Dudzinski led the Knight attack with 14 points, while Bailey had 12 thanks to three treys. Mike Pritchard added 11.
In sophomore action, Yorkville took the prize, 50-41.