by Mike Slodki
Boys basketball hit a week’s worth of struggles, but the silver lining is that there remains time to emerge from it on a high note.
On Friday night, Rochelle defeated the host Knights in a 69-59 affair that featured a combined 65 foul shots for both squads.
KHS followed that up with a Saturday afternoon loss at the new Hampshire High School gym, 51-44.
The Knights are now 8-10 with a 2-7 record in Western Sun Conference play.
Dave Dudzinski had 31 points vs. the Hubs, including going 19-for-22 from the foul line.
Andy Wilkinson had a stellar night for Rochelle, going 15-for-16 from the line and ending up with 38 points.
Rochelle led 14-11 after one and Kaneland came back to tie the score at 27 all at halftime. Rochelle led 47-41 after three before cinching it in the fourth.
In lower class action, Rochelle defeated the sophomores 51-43.
Against the Whip-purs, Dudzinski had 15 points, while Christian Dillon had 10.
The Knights saw themselves get out to a hot start highlighted by four straight successful shots to go up 9-8, and a Chris Ott three-pointer with 4:31 to play in the quarter to go up 12-8.
Hampshire recovered and took advantage of 10 straight missed shots by KHS. The Whip-purs had an 11-0 run go their way and led 19-12 at the end of the frame.
Chaon Denlinger hit two foul shots with 5:22 to go and Dudzinski hit two more with 3:09, but by the time the center hit the Knights’ first field goal of the quarter with 2:07 remaining, KHS was down 21-18.
Hampshire led 24-20 at the half.
Both teams traded baskets in the third quarter, and while Dudzinski cut the Hampshire lead to 31-30, Hampshire scored the last eight points to go up 39-30 after three.
Hampshire hit seven of eight foul shots to pad their lead, and Denlinger cut the lead to 49-44 with 29.4 left, but it was too late.
“We were trying to get inside all game, and they were really clamping down,” KHS coach Dennis Hansen said. “They forced us to shoot, and we weren’t shooting very well. There were a lot of missed shots and we got behind.”
Kaneland takes its attack to Yorkville on Friday, Feb. 6, and hosts Sycamore on Saturday, Feb. 7.