Category Archives: Boys Basketball

Knight boys handled by Rochelle, Hampshire

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.

Loss to DeKalb drops boys hoops to .500

by Mike Slodki
DeKalb boys basketball is surging lately, and not even Kaneland could stand in their way on Friday night.

Kaneland fell victim to DeKalb’s defense and struggled to find its own offensive groove in the 50-37 loss.

DeKalb has gone on a tear after starting out 0-4 this season. They have now won nine contests in a row to improve to 11-6 (6-1 Western Sun Conference). Kaneland fell to 8-8 with a 2-5 mark in the Western Sun Conference.

For Kaneland, Dave Dudzinski had 13 points and Mike Pritchard added seven. Dudzinski’s post nemesis Jordan Threloff had a game-high 20.

“We took poor shots and didn’t make shots,” KHS coach Dennis Hansen said. “For the most part, we played pretty good defense, but then we got behind and we had to force the issue. DeKalb’s quick, and we needed to contain them.”

Kaneland’s evening began with seven of its first nine shots missing, but did gather four steals to keep DeKalb from extending its 8-4 lead after the first eight minutes.

A three-pointer by Ryan Blake and a baseline jumper by Chaon Denlinger closed to within 10-9 with 6:20 to go.

As the defensive battle continued, Dudzinski hit a jumper with 5:01 to go in the half to close within 15-11. Dudzinski’s three-point play and two foul shots by Pritchard chiseled into the Barbs’ lead at halftime, 19-16.

The third quarter went all Barbs as they outscored KHS 16-9 while setting the tone with their defense. DeKalb scored the first seven points of the quarter before Pritchard’s three with 5:11 left made it 26-19.

Kaneland fell behind 33-21 before Dudzinski’s two free throws with 59 seconds to go closed within 10. DeKalb led after three 35-25.

Ryley Bailey’s three-pointer with 5:26 to go made a game of it again at 35-31, but DeKalb’s 13-3 run, which concluded with a Threloff pair of foul shots with 1:02 left, cinched matters.

“When you struggle putting the ball in the basket and score 37 points, you can’t win,” Hansen said. Kaneland is now 0-8 when scoring under 50 points.

In sophomore action, the Knights dropped a 57-42 result to visiting DeKalb on Thursday.

Taylor Andrews had 11 points, and Omarr Maldonado and Zach Ringhouse had 10 each.

The Knights host Rochelle in a WSC clash on Friday, Jan. 30, at 7 p.m. and visit Hampshire at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31.

Photo: Christian Dillon tries driving past DeKalb force Jordan Threloff during Friday’s home loss to DeKalb. Photo by John DiDonna

Glenbard South successfully defends court vs. KHS boys

With the chance to make some noise against a Western Sun Conference threat, Kaneland was silenced on Friday night in Glen Ellyn.

The Raiders defeated the Knights 54-49 to drop Kaneland down to 8-7 (2-5 WSC).

For KHS, middle presence Dave Dudzinski had 15 points, while Brody Root added 11.

Dudzinski was the only Knight to reach the foul line, going 7-for-8.

GS senior Jordan Harks had a game-high 22 points.

Glenbard South led 11-9 after one quarter, and 29-26 after the first half. The Raiders extended their lead to 46-35 after the third frame, holding firm for the win.

The sophomores fell to 2-12, losing a 50-34 skirmish with the host Raiders. Zach Ringhouse had 22 to lead the Knights.

The Knights’ lone contest this upcoming week is a home matchup against DeKalb High School on Friday, Jan. 23, at 7 p.m.

Photo: Knight Mike Pritchard attempts to maneuver past a Glenbard South defender during Friday’s loss. Photo by Ben Draper

Boys hoops getting big performances

KHS follows loss at Batavia with wins over BC, Rochelle

by Mike Slodki

Knights boys basketball wants this to keep going.

Not the snow, but the conference and nonconference wins alike.

KHS came back on Tuesday night at Rochelle 64-59.

Kaneland also found momentum throughout a 65-51 win vs. Burlington Central on Saturday, after succumbing to Batavia on the road, 54-38.

The Knights saw their record improve to 8-6, with a 2-4 mark in the Western Sun Conference.

Christian Dillon came through at the home of the Hubs with 17 points, followed by Brody Root with 14, which included an 8-for-8 night from the line, and Dave Dudzinski had 13 on the night.

The Knights started off with a 17-13 lead after the first eight minutes, but fell behind 30-25 at halftime. Kaneland closed within 37-33 before the final fourth quarter rally.

Dave Dudzinski had 16 points against the Rockets, while Mike Pritchard had 11 and Ryan Blake had 10.

Matt McCurdy led BC with 13.

The Knights went with a slightly different lineup to start matters with Steve Colombe, Joe Spitzzeri, Chaon Denlinger, Brody Root and Dudzinski, and it yielded benefits.

“We had a lot of guys step up tonight,” KHS coach Dennis Hansen said. “We made some shots early and made the easy baskets.”

Burlington Central enjoyed an early 12-8 lead before Curtis Lubic nailed a shot with 51.7 seconds to go, cutting the lead to two.

The final sequence of the first frame had Lubic snare a steal and pull up for a successful three-pointer at the buzzer to go up 13-12 after one.

During a second quarter run, Dudzinski had a steal and six points which helped the Knights go up 26-19 with 4:40 to play in the half.

A shot by Christian DIllon and three consecutive buckets by Ryan Blake keyed a 9-0 run and a 35-19 lead with 2:47 to go before the Knights went into the locker room up 37-21.

The Knights increased their lead to 45-23 in the third quarter on a Denlinger lay-in with 2:06 remaining. Kaneland led 45-27 at the end of the third. The fourth quarter had Kaneland hitting seven out of eight shots down the stretch to cinch the win.

“We matched up well with Burlington Central,” Christian Dillon (6 points) said. “That second quarter was great and we really spread it out. Everyone got into the game.”

Against the formidable Bulldogs, Dudzinski had 19 points to lead Kaneland in a losing effort.

Batavia had an 11-8 lead after one and 24-22 after two. Kaneland fell victim to a third quarter that went 15-6 in Batavia’s favor before a 15-10 fourth quarter destroyed the Knights’ chances.

Lower class action had the sophomore boys lost a triple overtime game to Burlington Central on Saturday,79-73,falling to 2-10. Taylor Andrews led the Knights with 18 points, while Andrew O’Herron had 13.

On Friday night, Kaneland lost 50-23 to Batavia.

Rochelle handled the sophomores on Tuesday night, 38-31

Kaneland hopes to extend its winning ways on the varsity slate with a trip to Glenbard South on Friday, Jan. 16.

No Bull–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 Year’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 D’Amico’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. D’Amico answered back with a trey of his own to go up 13-7 with 7.9 seconds left.

D’Amico hit three more long-range bombs to hurt the Knights, but Kaneland wouldn’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.

“We made a few shots, got a few steals,” KHS coach Dennis Hansen said concerning the mini-run. “We made a run, but we missed a couple easy shots.”

Geneva then went on a 10-5 run to go up 51-35 with 4:13 to cinch it.

Geneva’s biggest lead was 21 which occurred with half a minute remaining.

It’s a unique experience for any player to play at the home of the Bulls, and Kaneland seemed to be no exception.

“Yeah, they had their eyes wide open sometimes after taking a look at the court, but we didn’t play as well as we could have or should have,” Hansen said. “But the kids were excited about the opportunity to come here.”

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.

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.

Knights boys fall to Bogan in 12-team E. C. Nichols debut

Dudzinski scores 22 in opening contest of Marengo tournament

by Mike Slodki

            For awhile, the Kaneland boys basketball team played like it hadn’t seen the court in 17 days.

            Monday’s opener at the E.C. Nichols Tournament at Marengo High School had Kaneland struggling to do what it needed for any kind of edge against Chicago’s Bogan High School.

            By the time the Knights did find their footing, it was too late and KHS suffered a 55-44 loss to drop to 2-4 (0-2 Western Sun Conference).

            Last year’s opening game at the E.C. Nichols gathering saw Kaneland stomp Harvard 63-36 behind Nick Wagner’s 23 points on its way to a 2-2 fourth-place finish.

            For the Knights, Dave Dudzinski had a game-high 22 points, followed by Christian Dillon with seven. Kaneland also had a rare game without a three-pointer.

            “It took us a little while to get going and find our shots,” KHS coach Dennis Hansen said. “Bottom line is we needed to shoot the ball better.”

            Bogan’s ball-movement and up-tempo offense had Kaneland reeling as the Knights also struggled to penetrate the Bengal defense. Down 12-6, KHS found a Dudzinski foul shot and a putback to close to within 12-9 with 30.6 second left in the first quarter before Bogan’s Myles Horton hit a buzzer-beater to go up 14-9 after one.

            Kaneland’s only field goal in the second quarter was a Steve Colombe jumper with 1:56 to go in the half to close within 23-17 before Bogan scored the final two baskets to go up 27-17 at halftime.

            Kaneland found itself down by 16 points at 37-21 with 2:24 to go, but Dudzinski’s shot and a buzzer-beater by Ryley Bailey closed to within 37-25 and gave the Knights some life.

            Bogan secured the lead by smart ball-control and hitting 9-of-10 foul shots to hold of the Knights. Kaneland managed to cut it to 39-29 on Dudzinski’s free throws with 6:52 to go, but six missed three-point attempts hindered the Kaneland comeback effort.

            Despite the loss, Kaneland’s Dudzinski had one of his stronger games of the young season.

            “He was calling for the ball more and getting inside to the basket and getting to the line and that’s what we like to see,” Hansen said.

            It was also nice for the team to get back on the court after weather cancellations and the loss of two classmates and friends.

            “It still weighs on our minds and it was nice to get back to what we need to do and that’s fight hard and try every night,” Hansen said.

            The boys were set to face Francis Parker High School from Chicago on Tuesday evening, and play two games on Saturday, Dec. 27. The first game would be against either North Boone, Alden-Hebron or Westminster Christian of Elgin, with the final being against either Hubbard, Sycamore or Marengo.

            Other teams competing in the tourney are Harvard, Winnebago and Hampshire.

            Following that is the much-anticipated game against Geneva at the United Center in Chicago with an 8:45 a.m. tip-off on New Year’s Eve.

DeKalb causes giant headache for KHS boys

by Mike Slodki

            On Friday, the phrase “watch out for that tree” might have been an understatement.

            Whatever the catch phrase, the Kaneland boys basketball roster might have felt they had to weave through a jungle to score any points.

            DeKalb handed Kaneland a stifling 59-37 loss at the home of the Barbs, dropping the Knights to 2-3 (0-2 Western Sun Conference). DeKalb earned its first win of the season at 1-5.

            DeKalb’s Jordan “Tree” Threloff was one half of the marquee matchup in the WSC battle with fellow center Dave Dudzinski, but it was the Barb who ended up winning the points battle 26-6.

“(Threloff) is a good player and he’s well coached, we might need to work harder to get Dudzinski the ball,” KHS coach Dennis Hansen said.

            Ryley Bailey had nine points to lead the Knights, while Dudzinski, Brody Root and Chaon Denlinger had six points each. Bailey’s points came on three three-pointers.

            The Knights went 5-for-6 from the foul line.

            DeKalb stormed out to a 10-2 advantage in the first quarter forcing Hansen to call time out with 1:38 left in the first quarter. Two baskets by Denlinger closed within 10-6 before DeKalb scored once more with 1.2 seconds to go for a 12-6 lead after one.

            Two Dudzinski foul shots closed within 20-13 in the second quarter with 1:44 left but the offense stalled once again and DeKalb scored two more baskets to go up 24-13 at halftime.

            Kaneland’s luck started to improve on a Bailey three and a Denlinger basket which closed to within 31-26 with 2:17 left in the third. However, Kaneland went as cold as oncoming tempuratures and missed seven straight shots. DeKalb took a 41-26 lead after three and hit a three to complete a 13-0 run ending in the fourth.

            “13 points in the first half is not going to get it done. You have to make open shots which we didn’t do all night,” Hansen said.

            The boys have a short break before traveling to Rochelle on Wednesday, Dec. 17.

            Additionally, word became official that the Kaneland boys will meet up with the Geneva Vikings in play at the United Center in Chicago on Wednesday, Dec. 31.

            Tip-off is set for 8:45 a.m. Fans are able to buy tickets for $23 and also watch the Bulls take on the Orlando Magic at 1 p.m. Tickets need to be purchased by Wednesday, Dec. 17. The Western Sun Conference clash will be the first of 12 high school games this season taking place before Bulls contests. The game takes the place of the Tuesday, January 6, 2009 game at Geneva.

Knight boys hoops split first four

by Mike Slodki

            No turkey coma apparent for the Kaneland basketball team, judging by an above-average third place showing at the annual Strombom Tournament at Sycamore High School.

            The Thanksgiving tradition saw Kaneland defeat Machesney Park’s Harlem High School on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 84-69, but drop a 60-49 decision to tourney champ Dundee-Crown on Friday, before trouncing host Sycamore on Saturday evening 84-67.

            The Knights began Western Sun Conference action on Tuesday night, but fell to visiting Glenbard South 56-47.

            The Knight boys have a 2-2 (0-1 WSC) mark as they start out the latest campaign.

            Against the rival Spartans, Dave Dudzinski shored up the middle with  a team-high 20 points, while sharp-shooting Ryan Blake had 17 points. Christian Dillon had 16 and Ryley Bailey had 10 of his own.

            The effort was helped by Kaneland’s 12-for-13 performance at the line.

            Kaneland led the Spartans after the end of eight minutes 19-13, and maintain a 41-34 lead at halftime. The Knights had their most successful quarter offensively and led 67-56 after three.

            Previously, the Chargers of Dundee-Crown were primed and ready for the Knights even in a tight affair.

            D-C took an 18-15 lead after one and 35-28 lead at halftime. However, Kaneland used a 17-10 third quarter to tie the game at 44, but the Chargers’ 15-4 run encompassing the fourth quarter.

Dudzinski and Bailey had 12 points each to lead the team.

            The season opener saw Brody Root surprise the Huskies with 26 points, a game-high. Christian Dillon had 16 and Dudzinski added 12.

            “Brody had a very good offseason and it came to light tonight,” KHS coach Dennis Hansen said. “He made some pull-up jumpers and slashed to the basket.”

            Leading the Huskies 12-11, Harlem hit one free throw with 53.2 seconds left but Dudzinski’s successful shot with just under three ticks left gave the Knights a 14-12 lead after one.

            With Harlem clinging close to Kaneland 22-21, Kaneland extended its lead after a Blake three, a basket by Root and two foul shots by Root to go up 31-23.

            Dudzinski later connected on a tip-in to go up 38-31 with just under nine seconds to go before Harlem hit a three at the buzzer.

            The Knights caught on fire in the third quarter, thanks to a Root basket, a Dillon basket and a three by Steve Colombe in the baseline for a 52-36 lead with 2:24 remaining.

            Dudzinski’s two free throws with just over four ticks left gave Kaneland a 58-42 lead before a three-point play at the buzzer by Harlem.

            Kaneland’s 15-for-17 shooting performance from the foul line secured things, and two Bailey foul shots with 2:52 to go gave Kaneland its biggest lead at 75-51.

            Vs. The Raiders, Dudzinski had a game-high 20 points and Blake had 11 points on the strength of three treys.

            Glenbard South’s Jordan Harks has 18 points.

            The Raiders inched out to a 10-9 lead after one but KHS creeped ahead 25-22 at halftime. The score was deadlocked at 38-38 after three before the Raiders blazed an 18-9 trail to end the game in the fourth.

            This Friday, Dec. 5, the Knights travel to DeKalb for Western Sun Conference play.

KHS boys basketball ready to deal with season’s challenges

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Knights return 10 in effort to bounce back from 10-17 season

by Mike Slodki

            Beginning at the Strombom Tournament at Sycamore High School on Tuesday, Nov. 25, the first sight for opponents of Kaneland boys basketball will be the junior in the middle, Dave Dudzinski.

            But opponents will need to be on the lookout for the tenacity and shooting touch that led to victories against schools like Yorkville in overtime, a 29-point comeback at Geneva and a last-second regional win vs. Sandwich.

            With 10 returnees supplanting the loss of personnel like Nick Wagner and Kevin Green, Kaneland could be prime for significant improvement from last year’s 10-17 record (6-8 Western Sun Conference).

            Dudzinski averaged 12 points and seven rebounds a game as a center threat, and spent part of the summer in Orlando, Fla. as part of an AAU Nationals exhibition.

            “His sophomore year was good, and we expect even bigger things this year. We’re hoping we get a big year out of him,” third-year coach Dennis Hansen said on Tuesday.

            Seniors on the squad include Chris Ott at guard and guard Joe Spitzerri making his comeback from X-linked lymphoproliferative disease, an immune disorder. Other seniors include guard Curtis Lubic, guard Ryan Blake, forward Mike Pritchard, guard Brody Root and forward Christian Dillon.

            Juniors are guard Ryley Bailey, guard Donovan Williams, forward Steve Colombe, forward Sean Paulick, new addition junior Pat Fleming and Dudzinski.

            The lone sophomore on the squad is Chaon Denlinger.

            With rosters set a little over a week ago, Kaneland boys basketball is working on its game in the trenches.

            “So far, it’s been a lot of conditioning and defensive stuff. They’re familiar with what we do,” said Hansen, who has John Pavlak as assistant coach. “Biggest thing with this group is being consistent, which was a problem last year.”

            The players can put what they’ve learned and rehashed starting against Harlem High School of Machesney Park at the Thanksgiving tradition, the Strombom Tournament. Hansen looks for the experience to be useful.

            “I think so, it’s loaded with talented teams every year. It’ll have good solid ballclubs, and it’ll serve as a measuring stick,” Hansen said.

            Any early-season test to prove Kaneland’s mettle could send the Knights on their way to Western Sun success.

            “It seems to be wide open; Glenbard South and Batavia seem to have the advantage right now. Rochelle is a solid club. It’s wide open, and we hope to be there at the top,” Hansen said.

            The first slated conference battle is on Tuesday, Dec. 2, vs. Glenbard South, with the final regular season contest vs. Geneva on Friday, Feb. 20, 2009.