Knight boys finish strong at Marengo tourney

            For a holiday stop, Kaneland boys basketball would probably recommend Marengo this time of year.

            After beginning the 59th Annual E.C. Nichols Tournament with a loss to Bogan last week, Kaneland rebounded with three consecutive wins to clinch fifth place. On Tuesday, Dec. 23, the Knights handled F.W. Parker High School of Chicago 74-53, defeated North Boone High School of Poplar Grove 55-43 on Saturday morning, and then handled Hampshire 51-43 on Saturday night.

            KHS now sits at 5-4 (0-2 Western Sun Conference) and ends 2008 on a winning note.

            Against Parker, Dave Dudzinski and Ryley Bailey contributed with 18 points apiece, and Ryan Blake had nine points.

Bailey had the long-range touch with four three-pointers.

            The Knights led the Chicago group 22-17 after one, and poured it on in the second quarter to go up 42-25 at the half. The Knights maintained the lead at 56-38 after three before the final frame.

            KHS began with a 21-9 first quarter vs. the North Boone Vikings and held on for a 31-21 lead at the half. Slowing the temp for a 40-26 lead after the third, Kaneland held on for the 12-point win.

            Dudzinski had a game-high 17 and Brody Root added 13.

            Against the Whip-purs, Kaneland stormed out to a 20-7 lead after the first eight minutes, and lead 28-19 at the half. Hampshire closed within 38-33 going into the final quarter before Kaneland held on.

            The Knights were once again led by Dudzinski with a team-high 17 with Bailey adding 11 with the help of three treys.

            Winnebago won the tournament for a fifth consecutive year thanks to a 67-49 win over Bogan. Sycamore took third place.

            After the Knights were set to battle Geneva at the United Center in Chicago on Wednesday, they prepare to tip-off 2009 with a home clash against Yorkville on Saturday, Jan. 3.