by Mike Slodki
The game itself had a tough time getting started for Kaneland.
Even before the visiting Rochelle Hubs stormed out to an initial halftime lead, the game was originally shelved from a Dec. 8 starting point due to cold temperatures.
The Knights finally got their footing against their Western Sun Conference foe and came away with a 69-55 win on Dec. 16.
The win raises Kanelandâ€™s record to 5-2 with a 3-1 record in WSC play.
Center Dave Dudzinski had a career-high 29 points on the night, eclipsing his previous career-high of 27, also achieved against the Hubs.
Chaon Denlinger also supplied 16 in the win.
The Knights also went 13-for-24 from the foul line.
Rochelle went up early after the first eight minutes by a 16-15 score, and led Kaneland 32-26 at the break.
Kaneland roared back with a 21-11 third quarter to go up 47-43 at the end of the third before outscoring the Hubs by 10 in the fourth to pull away.
Lower-class action this past week featured the Knights losing a 51-46 meeting with Yorkville on Friday, despite Bryan VanBogaert scoring 12. Rochelle got the best of the sophomores on Dec. 16 by a 50-47 clip. Trever Heinle had 12 in the effort.
Next up for the Knights is the 47th annual Plano Christmas Classic that has Kaneland the No. 1 seed in the gathering. Coach Brian Johnsonâ€™s crew is set to face the Putnam County Panthers on Saturday, Dec. 26, at 10:30 a.m. and will face either Sandwich or Hinckley-Big Rock on Monday, Dec. 28, at either 9 a.m. or 3:30 p.m.
Photo: Knights guard Ryley Bailey makes a mad dash for the ball on Dec. 16 in a 69-55 win over the rival Hubs. Photo by Ben Draper
47th Annual Plano Christmas Classic
Dec. 26-30, 2009
FIRST ROUND MATCHUPS
Saturday, Dec. 26
â€¢ 9 a.m. (8) Sandwich vs. Hinckley-Big Rock
â€¢ 10:30 a.m. (1) Kaneland vs. Putnam County
â€¢ 12:30 p.m. (4) Genoa-Kingston vs. Hall
â€¢ 2 p.m. (5) Yorkville vs. Coal City
â€¢ 3:30 p.m. (2) Newark vs. Somonauk
â€¢ 5:30 p.m. (7) Forreston vs. Morris
â€¢ 7 p.m. (6) Seneca vs. Plano
â€¢ 8:30 p.m. (3) Rockford Christian vs. Mendota
Kaneland could face either Sandwich or Hinckley-Big Rock
on Monday, Dec. 28 at 3:30 p.m. in the championship bracket,
or 9 a.m. in the consolation bracket.
Championship Game is Wednesday, Dec. 30 at 8 p.m.
In 2008: Kaneland finished 3-1 in the 59th E.C. Nichols Tourney
in Marengo. The Knights beat Hampshire 51-43 in the fifth-place game.
Winnebago beat Chicagoâ€™s Bogan high School by a final of 67-49
to win the Marengo gathering.