Category Archives: Sports

214

Knights renew UC rivalry with Geneva

Photo: Senior Cole Carlson tries to recover a rebound in the first quarter of Kaneland’s 54-51 loss to Geneva at the United Center Saturday. Photo by Patti Wilk

Late 3-pointer dooms Knights; KHS closes Plano tourney as 9th-place team
CHICAGO—It’s been the home site of three Bulls championship-winning seasons, and two previous meetings between former conference rivals Kaneland and Geneva.

On Saturday, the United Center housed the first meeting of the Knight and Viking boys hoops teams in nearly four years and saw momentum ebbs and flows until a late three-pointer from Nate Navigato with 3.7 seconds left from Geneva cinched a 54-51 loss for Kaneland. Geneva has won all three meetings at the United Center, including December 2008 and February 2010.

Kaneland (7-4) also ended its Plano Christmas Classic tour on Dec. 30, with a 47-42 win over Northern Illinois Big XII crossover foe Dixon.

Against Geneva, Tyler Carlson had a game-high 21 points, while John Pruett had 16.

Carlson found himself with minimal adjustment to the NBA setting on Saturday.

“Just with the backdrop on the hoop,” Carlson said. “It’s kind of hard to judge how to shoot it and see how far away you are. You see bleachers instead of walls back there but we had a pretty good adjustment.”

Down 37-33 going into the fourth quarter, and down by as much as 10 with two minutes left in the third, Kaneland went to work after ending the third frame on a long-distance heave by Carlson.

A basket by Drew David and two baskets with a pair of foul shots from Pruett had Kaneland in a 42-39 lead with 4:53 to go.

Pruett hit two foul shots to extend the lead to 44-41 with 3:59 to go, and Ryan David’s two free throws broke a tie with 2:55 to go to make it 46-44. Geneva and Carlson traded a foul shot to make it 47-45 with 2:27 remaining. The Vikings would score five in a row to take a 50-47 lead with 1:16 remaining, and Pruett’s free throw with 56.8 to go would close it to 50-48.

After Geneva hit the back end of two foul attempts for a 51-48 lead with 44.6 to go, a play drawn up for Carlson had the senior connecting on a three-point try with 17.1 remaining.

With Geneva connecting on the late trifecta, the Vikings fouled David with 2.3 seconds left. With David missing two straight, Connor Fedderly grabbed the errant attempt and missed a three try from the corner that ended the tight contest.

Kaneland had led 13-12 after the first quarter and was down 20-19 at the half.

“We had some big moments, and it was nice to see the guys compete against a team and a coach I think very highly of,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said. “We competed and wanted to get the win, and it just didn’t happen.”

Johnson stressed to the team beforehand to treat Saturday’s contest like a home game.

“Yesterday, we were able to get into Aurora University and practice on a bigger floor, and I thought our wind was good and were able to press a little bit, and everybody played hard,” Johnson said.

Geneva didn’t miss a shot in the fourth quarter and was 8-for-11 from the charity stripe.

In the Plano Christmas Classic finale for Kaneland, Carlson had a game-high 19 points, while Pruett had 17 of his own. The Knights were up 12-6 after one and 20-17 at the half before nursing a 34-25 lead at the end of three.

The Knights host the visiting Morris Redskins, the 2013 Plano Christmas Classic runner-up, on Friday, Jan. 10.

WCC_Coach

Waubonsee’s Wagner feels good about collecting 200

Waubonsee Community College head women’s basketball coach Dana Wagner celebrated her 200th victory recently. She is a 1992 Kaneland graduate that went on to play at Aurora University. Courtesy/File Photo

Kaneland alum’s milestone victory paves way for memorable year
SUGAR GROVE—To illustrate how Waubonsee Community College women’s basketball coach Dana Wagner approached a milestone 200th coaching victory, which occurred on Dec. 8, it was almost an afterthought.

“(Sports information specialist) Steve Moga told me before the season that I was going to get it, and I forgot about it for awhile,” Wagner said. “It was a road victory and the girls and team moms got together and signed a frame picture they took. It was a nice surprise.”
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The 73-68 win over the St. Ambrose University varsity team is one of many highlights so far for the 9-5 Lady Chiefs, featuring former Kaneland standouts Sarah Grams and Brooke Harner.

“These girls work hard and buy into the system, and it pays off,” Wagner said. “It’s been a good year for the transition game, and the way we run the floor has been great.”

In her 15th year, Wagner will step down at the conclusion of the 2013-14 season, as Waubonsee has enacted a rule that coaching positions will be for non-full-time staff members.

“It’s bittersweet, which is why it’s nice to have this good year. We’ll move onto the next phase, and I’m excited for the future,” Wagner said. “I’m excited to go on a different path.”

Wagner works as Waubonsee’s Assistant Athletic Manager, runs Waubonsee’s intramural programs, handles all of the school’s on-campus athletic events and is facilities coordinator for the hoops squad’s home, Erickson Hall.
With Erickson Hall undergoing renovation to hold a 59,000-square-foot fieldhouse, Wagner’s duties involve that heavy undertaking that benefits Waubonsee athletics in the long run.

“It’s great for recruiting when you walk these kids through the facility. It’s going to be unbelievable, that building will be my ‘real job’ and take up a lot of time after this year,” Wagner said.
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Not only involved in area basketball, since her days as a player at Kaneland, Wagner has worked with many standouts that have seen her evolve as player and coach.

“When I got this job, the first person I coached was Dick Rink (former KHS girls basketball head and assistant coach). I asked him to be my assistant coach after that, and I think we tried adding the number of games he and I had been involved with. It was too many,” Wagner said.

A member of Kaneland’s Class of 1992, Wagner was an All-Little Seven Conference selection in basketball. She then went on to star for Aurora University as a three-time NCAA Division III All-American, was selected the Northern Illinois Intercollegiate Conference (NIIC) Player of the Year three times, and was named Aurora’s Female Athlete of the Year three times. Wagner remains the Spartans’ all-time leading scorer with 1,693.

With 200 victories, and more looked for as Waubonsee makes its way through Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference action and beyond, Wagner can not only look over a memorable moment, but a memorable coaching tenure. The accomplished coach will just be in the market of bettering WCC rather than just a girls’ roster.

“You have girls that come in here and want to play and don’t want to spend a lot of money, be closer to home, and get their gen-eds done,” Wagner said. “A lot of area girls basketball teams are getting better and starting younger. The hard work pays off. I’m moving on, and looking at the positive.”

Soph. basketball Plano champs

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The Kaneland sophomore boys basketball team enjoyed its winter break, going 4-0 enroute to the Plano Christmas Classic JV Tournament championship. The Knights had wins against Streator (62-33), Morris (57-53), Princeton (51-50) and finally Genoa-Kingston, 50-37, in the championship game Dec. 30. Photo by Marshall Farthing

Slimming them down

KHS grapplers take close win from Plano, fall to Mundelein
KANELAND—Kaneland wrestling has had holes in its lineup in recent years, with some close wins going the other way that could have been in the pocket of the Knights.

This year, the six minutes of aggression is paying off more and more, showing itself in duals like Saturday’s encounter with Class A State qualifier Plano off of Route 34 that ended in a 30-29 win.

On Friday morning, Kaneland traveled to Richmond-Burton for a meet featuring multiple schools and fell to Lake County outfit Mundelein 48-16, but beat Woodstock 36-22 and Richmond-Burton 39-16.

Kaneland was 14-7 after the win over the Reapers and loss to Mundelein. The Knights were 10-11 after the same amount of meets a year ago.

In the win over Plano, it was Nick Mish taking a pin in the 106-pound match in 3:51 and Adam Mish sticking a pinfall at 113-pounds with just 27 ticks left in regulation. Matthew Redman managed a pinfall at 2:42 to claim 126-pound bragging rights, while Hayden Patterson won a 6-5 matchup at 132 pounds.

The final two victories of the dual went to George Strang at 152 pounds, thanks to a 5-3 squeaker, and transfer Tom Price at 170 pounds, winning in 3:24.

In the gathering that flipped the calendar to 2014, 160-pounder Austin Parks earned a 1:17 pin, while Price took a pin in 1:20. Redman also won a major decision by 8-0 count.

In the win over Woodstock, Parks took a 13-6 decision at 160. After several forfeits, Jacob Shearer of KHS took a major decision in 11-0 fashion in the 120-pound match. Redman solved his Silver Streak opponent with a 15-0 tech fall, and Dane Goodenough solved his 138-pound challenge by 1:09 pinfall.

Facing off against the host Richmond-Burton unit, Strang won a 7-0 decision, and Price won a pinfall in 3:09. A flurry of forfeits paved the way for Shearer’s 1:43 pin in the 120-pound match.

Kaneland had Northern Illinois Big XII competition scheduled for tonight at Rochelle.

Girls hoops makes way through holidays

Seventh-place finish in Ottawa, 2-2 finish at Dixon
KANELAND—It took a while to get going on the final day of the Ottawa Christmas Tournament on Dec. 23, but it did end on a winning note for KHS girls basketball.

Placed in the silver (second place) pool after the first day of competition, Kaneland two Mondays ago began with a 45-38 loss to Northern Illinois Big XII crossover foe Geneseo before coming from behind to beat the Rockford East E-Rabs 59-47 to clinch seventh place.

Kaneland finished the tournament 2-2. It then went on to the KSB Dixon Holiday Classic for the first time and lost to Stillman Valley last Thursday 46-39, beat Freeport’s Aquin 45-28 on Friday, and lost to Aurora Christian 37-32 before finishing with a double overtime win over Pekin, 66-63, in a Saturday twinbill.

Kaneland is now 8-8 after a .500 tournament tour and after its first 16 contests, closing out the 2013 portion of the calendar.

Against Geneseo, Ally VanBogaert had a team-high 11 points, but the Lady Knights were plagued by a scant four points in the fourth quarter in the loss. With Kaneland just 16-for-52 from the field, the Lady Knights were down 10-7 before taking a 23-22 lead at the break. In the second half, Kaneland and Geneseo were tied at 34 after the third before the contest turned.

In the win over RE, Van Bogaert had 21 points, a career-high, and eight boards. Post players Kelly Wallner and Brittany Kemp had 11 points each.

Looking to end the afternoon in Ottawa on a winning note, The E-Rabs slammed the Lady Knights with six of seven late shots made in the first quarter to go on a 13-0 run in the last 3:51 of the quarter, leaving KHS in a 15-9 hole.

After missing their first seven shots of the second quarter, the Lady Knights solidified and got a putback from Wallner, a shot and free throw from Caroline Heimerdinger, two foul shots by Kemp and a bucket by Van Bogaert to close within 26-19 after being down 16 points.

Heimerdinger hit two foul shots, followed by a Van Bogaert three and a Katie Brinkman, to tie the game at 27-27 with 1:09 left in the half. Morgan Weber’s bucket with 40.2 to go gave Kaneland a 29-27 lead going into the half.

Tied at 35 in the third, Wallner made a basket sandwiched by two Van Bogaert conversions to go up 41-35 with 1:27 left in the frame. A Van Bogaert three with three ticks left upped the lead to 44-37 before the buzzer.

“We knew it was time to pick it up and time to get going, and not to get too confused in what we were doing,” Wallner said. “Especially with our offense, we practice it a lot and work it, inside and out, and are more patient.”

Rockford East’s shooting luck ran out and Kaneland ran its lead to 15 at 56-41 with 1:04 to go in the game before the end.

“Their team has a couple players that are tough to guard, and we had some girls in foul trouble,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We could have gotten out of sync for a few minutes. Our staff is real happy with how they bounced back. Obviously, as a team we try to win every game, but we’re also growing in the process.”

In Dixon, the seven-point loss to the Cardinals of Stillman Valley was highlighted by nine points each from Brinkman and Camri Conley. The Lady Knights committed 23 turnovers and were just 16-for-55 from the field.

In the win over Aquin, Wallner, Conley and Amber Winquist-Bailey each had nine points to lead the charge. Wallner also had 10 boards. KHS stifled the Bulldogs to the tune of a 21-8 second half that saw Kaneland hold the opponent to just two second-half field goals.

Against the Lady Eagles, Wallner submitted a double double with 11 points and 11 boards in the loss and Conley had five steals.

Aurora Christian led 23-13 after the first two frames. Down 27-18 after three, the Lady Knights cut the deficit to three but could get no closer.

In the extra-time win over Pekin, Kaneland went to court without five players due to illness and injury, but were led by Weber’s 16, Bailey Crimmins’ 13 and Rachel Miller’s 12.

Down 19-16 after one and 36-32 at the half, KHS closed within 45-43 before tying it up going into the first OT at 56 all. Kaneland and Pekin were tied at 62 after the first extra session before KHS pulled away.

Kaneland tips off 2014 with a Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, outing vs. visiting Yorkville.

115

Christmas Classic begins with minor holiday hangup

Photo: Senior Tyler Carlson had averaged 16.5 points per game at the 2014 Plano Christmas
Classic. The Knights lost their first game last week, but won three straight to place ninth in the tournament. Photo by Patti Wilk

Knights get back on track against Genoa-Kingston, Mendota
PLANO—For one to survive and advance in the historic setting of Plano Christmas Classic, in its 51st year, a team has to get off on the right foot.

In the tournament opener on Dec. 26, the No. 4 seed Knights boys basketball team (7-3) suffered a 57-50 loss to the No. 13 seed Newark Norsemen of the Little Ten Conference.

The Knights then battled No. 5 seed Genoa-Kingston, which had lost to No. 12 Aurora Christian in yet another minor upset, on Friday afternoon, ending in a 52-40 comeback win.

After Friday’s result, the Knights battled Mendota on Saturday and eked their way to a 65-64 win.

Kaneland then defeated Dixon to claim ninth place on Monday. In 2012, Kaneland finished in fourth place overall, and won it all in 2009, its first year back to the tournament after holiday stops in DeKalb and Marengo.

Against the perennial small-school powerhouse Newark on Thursday morning, the Knights were led by guard Tyler Carlson with 15 points and forward John Pruett with 14. Backcourt general Drew David had 11 points to supplant the effort.

For Newark, the brother combination of Jack Clausel (19 points) and Will Clausel (16 points) made life difficult for the Knights on the heels of holiday celebration.

Kaneland was 23-for-65 from the field during the loss, including a mediocre 9-for-33 in the second half.

The Knights led 16-10 after the first eight minutes of play, and fell victim to an offensive barrage from the Little Ten stalwart, trailing 31-29 at the halftime horn. Newark powered through even more in the third frame and took a 43-35 lead before Kaneland closed the margin slightly in the loss.

On Friday in action against the Cogs, Carlson had 15 points, while David and Pruett each supplied 12. KHS was 20-for-53 from the field and 17-for-24 from the foul line. G-K was led by Tommy Lucca’s 13.

Two three-pointers by David and a keen bucket down low from Pruett helped give Kaneland an early 12-6 lead in the first quarter, but a free throw and three-pointer closed it on G-K’s end to 12-10 by the end of the frame.

Connor Fedderly hit a three to break a tie and make it 15-12 with 5:25 left in the half, breaking a five-minute scoring drought. G-K then converted on five consecutive shot opportunities and led 22-20 with 1:01 remaining. The Cogs then hit the back end of a pair of free throws to go up 23-20 at halftime.

The third-quarter tide turned fairly quickly when Pruett’s bucket, David’s try and Ryan David’s basket gave Kaneland a 27-23 lead just 1:10 into the frame.

Carlson put in a putback for a 31-25 lead with 2:05 to go before G-K made its only field goal of the quarter, a trifecta, to close within 31-28 with 1:28 to go before Pruett’s free throw pair with 38.4 to go stretched the lead before the buzzer at 33-28.

The fast-break tempo that Kaneland used to its benefit soon gave way to ball control, peppered by a three-pointer and putback by Carlson and a basket by Cole Carlson to make it 40-28 with 6:07 to go. KHS made 10-of-12 foul shots down the stretch to get the lead to much as 13 at 48-35 with 1:07 to go.

David and crew noticed the difference in on-court performance.

“We made good plays, it gave us one-on-one momentum,” David said. “We come into each game, you don’t really have time to change things too much. But when you get on the floor, you definitely have to adjust.”

After the loss to Newark, the G-K game was a little more like it.

“We need to be more fundamentally sound because of the way we played yesterday, we turned the ball over a lot. I thought the kids did a good jonb handling pressure in the second half and handling the ball in the fourth quarter. They extended the lead and held it toward the end,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said.

Against the Mendota Trojans, the Knights found themselves down 27-12 after one, and 45-35 at the half buzzer before turning on the comeback afterburners and closing to within 53-46 after three and outscoring the Trojans 19-11 in the fourth.

The Knights were paced by Ryan David’s 16, Drew David’s 15 and Tyler Carlson’s 12.

The Trojans were led by James Carroll with 28 points, 24 hours after setting a tournament record with 42 points in over Forreston.

Monday had Kaneland scheduled to face Dixon in the tournament finale for the Knights with ninth place on the line. The Knights never trailed after a 12-5 opening quarter. Tyler Carlson’s 19 points and Pruett’s 17 points let KHS. Ryan david had 8 points over NIB-12 west team.

On Saturday, Jan. 4, the Knights begin the second half of their schedule with a trip to the United Center in Chicago for the first time since February 2010, against Geneva at 2 p.m.

Editor note: This story has been updated from the originally published version with information from Monday’s game vs. Dixon at the Plano Christmas Classic.

Matted down

Kaneland’s lone holiday excursion to Palatine meet yields 21st place
KANELAND—Wrestling talent abounds in the northwest suburbs.

Kaneland High School wrestling found that out at the 59th Annual Berman Holiday Wrestling Classic hosted by Mid Suburban League standout Palatine on Friday and Saturday.

With a team score of 54.5, the Knights grabbed 21st out of 32 squads. Glenbard East (177), Oak Forest (165.5) and Lyons Township (162.5) claimed the top three overall spots.

Kaneland dealt with a load of tough challenges, but managed to get a fifth-, sixth- and seventh-place wrestler through to the end.

Heavyweight senior Justin Diddell captured a fifth-place nod after his Palatine showing. The senior beat Joliet West’s Houston Thomas by 6-3 decision. He then beat St. Patrick’s Rocco Curio in 5:07 before losing to Hinsdale Central’s Brian Allen in 5:21. In the lower half of the bracket, Diddell beat Hinsdale South’s Tommy Konkol in 1:51 and Warren’s Sawyer McCaffery by 8-6 count before losing to Glenbard East’s D’Andre Johnson in 3:24 to close out the weekend.

KHS junior Tom Price captured the lone sixth-place honor for Kaneland, beginning his weekend in the 170 group by 9-0 major decision win over East Moline U-High’s Preston Swanson. Price then lost to Zion-Benton’s Nick Whitehead in 3:01. Price then earned a 5-minute technical fall win over Delware-Hayes member Derrick Sumner, a 3:45 pin over Geneva’s Austin Chaon and a 2:48 pin over Bartlett’s Alex Montibrand before losing to Whitehead once again in 23 seconds.

In the 138-pound group, KHS senior Dane Goodenough earned seventh and started his journey by pinning East Moline U-High’s Jack Copeland in :52, but lost to Geneva’s Jordan Soto in 1-0 fashion. In the lower bracket, Goodenough beat Mundelein’s Yobanni Antunez by 7-2 margin, Lemont’s Jake Kirkman in 4:19 and Glenbard East’s Zach Wehde in a 5-3 overtime bout before losing to Lyons athlete Matt Maldonado in a 14-2 major decision.

Kaneland kicks off 2014 with a trip to a meet at Richmond-Burton High School on Friday, Jan. 3.

Dec. 31 sports recap

Sophomore Boys BBall
Dec. 23 at Plano Classic vs. Streator—The Knights opened up play at the Plano Christmas Classic Dec. 23 with a blowout win over NIB-12 crossover foe Streator 62-33. Jake Marczuk led the way with 13 points, while Tanner Robertson and Mark Lilly each had 12. Jacob Violett had eight points, Connor Peterson and Brett Hansen each had five points and Andy Delgado had three points.
Dec. 27 at Plano Classic vs. Morris—KHS defeated Morris 57-53 in the second round of play at the Plano Christmas Classic. Marczuk had 23 points for the Knights, while Lilly had eight points, Kevin Fajardo had seven points, Robertsen had six points, Jason Edwards and Joe Laudonteach had four points and Violett had three points.
Dec. 28 at Plano Classic vs. Princeton—The Knights squeaked their way into the Plano Christmas Classic championship game with a 51-50 win over Princeton. Lilly had 22 points, while Violett had nine and Robertsen and Marczuck each had eight. The Knights were 8-1 heading into Monday’s championship game vs. Genoa-Kingston. Results of that game were not available at press time.

Sophomore Girls BBall
Dec. 26 at Batavia Tourney vs. York—The Lady Knights fell to York 36-23 to open up play at the Batavia tournament. Meg Cohrs led KHS with six points, while Nicole Koczka and Kristen Siebert each had five points. Jenna Harvell had four points and Madi Edwards had three points.
Dec. 26 at Batavia Tourney vs. Geneva—KHS fell to Geneva Thursday afternoon 39-35. Cohrs and Seibert each had 12 points in the loss. Kylie Modaff had four points and Hollie Fedderly had three points. Geneva defeated the Lady Knights by 26 points earlier in the season.
Dec. 27 at Batavia Tourney vs. Bartlett—Friday saw the Lady Knights fall to Bartlett 43-25. Modaff led the team with eight points, while Cohrs and Koczka each had seven. Kiandra Powell had three points.
Dec. 28 at Batavia Tourney vs. Lake Park—KHS got into the win column at the Batavia Tournament, winning 55-42 over Lake Park. Three Lady Knights scored 10 points: Edwards, Koczka and Modaff. Cohrs and Powell each had eight points while Fedderly had four. The KHS sophomore girls team is now 7-7 on the season.

GBBall1

Split decisions

Photo: Sophomore Camri Conley looks to attack the basket against Pontiac on Friday. Photo by Marshall Farthing

KHS girls lose opener, recover in second game at Ottawa Holiday Tournament

by Mike Slodki

KANELAND—The Lady Knights girls basketball team on Saturday found a little less holiday cheer than it hoped for.

The good news was on that very same evening, the Kaneland crew was able to recoup a little of what was lost.

KHS began Pool D play in the Ottawa Tournament on Friday with a 61-53 loss to Pontiac High School, and then recovered later that night against Northern Illinois Big XII Conference crossover foe Streator in 62-22 fashion.

Kaneland now sits at 5-5 (1-1 NIB-12) with two games remaining in the Ottawa setting.

A year ago, Kaneland found similar fortune in the tourney’s first evening, losing to Geneseo before beating Sandwich on the way to an eighth-place finish.

Other NIB-12 schools also participated on Friday, with Yorkville and Geneseo both beating Kankakee.

Against Pontiac, Kaneland was led by post presence Kelly Wallner, who gathered 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Teammate Amber Winquist-Bailey added 12 in the loss. KHS was 22-for-45 from the field.

The Lady Knights were down 17-8 after one quarter and 33-19 at the halftime break before closing to within 43-31 after three. In the fourth, Kaneland closed the deficit to seven, but could get no closer.

“Pontiac is a real strong team and we struggled with turnovers early and also struggled from the FT line. We fought back and played well in the second half but came up short,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said.

In the win over the West division Lady Bulldogs, Kaneland took advantage of 25 turnovers for the win. Leading 19-0 after the first eight minutes, the Lady Knights played to the halftime buzzer up 35-7. The lead was 50-15 before the final frame.

Leading the charge for Kaneland was Ally Van Bogaert’s 15 points in a game that saw 12 Lady Knights visit the scoring column. KHS was 28-of-60 from the field.

“In the Streator game, we came out focused on playing better defense and taking care of the ball. The girls did a great job, and we were able to get a big lead and get everyone some playing time, which is always good at this time of the year,” Colombe said.

Monday’s final two games, with a morning contest against Geneseo, had results unavailable for press. Kaneland was scheduled to end the tournament in the silver bracket, the second-place pool.

Action will pick up for KHS on Thursday, Dec. 26, in Dixon at the KSB Dixon Holiday Classic that goes through Saturday, Dec. 28. Kaneland’s first scheduled opponent is Stillman Valley, at noon, with a Friday, Dec. 27, contest against either Sterling or Freeport’s Aquin High School.

Follow the Knights at the Plano Christmas Classic

PLANO—The Kaneland boys basketball team will take on the field at the 51st Annual Plano Christmas Classic this week.

The varsity Knights enter the tournament as the No. 4 seed, and while the tournament started Monday, the Knights’ seed earned them a bye. Their first contest will be Thursday at 10:30 a.m. vs. the winner of No. 13 Newark and Hinckley-Big Rock. The sophomores played Streator Monday, and will face either Mendota or Morris, depending on Monday’s outcome.

To follow the Knights as they take on the talented field, visit RockCreekBall.com and follow the link to the 2013 Christmas Classic. There you’ll find updated stats and brackets for the varsity and sophomore levels.

Knights see success in quadrangular

Knights sophomore George Strang tries to gain leverage on Yorkville’s Gunnar Hjorth during Friday night’s meet.					 Photo by Ben Draper
Knights sophomore George Strang tries to gain leverage on Yorkville’s Gunnar Hjorth during Friday night’s meet. Photo by Ben Draper
Kaneland sophomore Zach Parker works against Yorkville’s Mike Kurtz during the meet Friday. Photo by Ben Draper
Kaneland sophomore Zach Parker works against Yorkville’s Mike Kurtz during the meet Friday. Photo by Ben Draper

KHS also steamrolled in
NIB-12 tussle at Yorkville

by Mike Slodki

KANELAND—As the calendar tips to a new year, it was in the Kaneland High School wrestling roster’s best interest to try and continue to end on as high a note as possible.

With a Friday matchup with rival to the south Yorkville and a Saturday quadrangular against three other clubs, KHS achieved its goal, but only partway. On Friday the Knights were rocked by Yorkville 60-6.

Saturday saw a 48-6 win over Belvidere North, a 36-33 close shave over Rock Island and a 34-30 setback at the hands of old conference-mate Geneva.

After the four encounters, the Knights still hold a capable 11-6 dual record through 17 battles.

Against the Blue Thunder of Belvidere North, the Knights saw decisions on behalf of 138-pounder Dane Goodenough and heavyweight Justin Diddell, 132-pound Luke Eggenberger earned a pinfall in 3:57, and the remaining victories came by forfeit.

Facing the Rocks of Rock Island, the Knights were paced by Goodenough’s 54-second pin, followed by Austin Parks’ 13-7 win in the 160-pound match. Down 27-9, Kaneland went on a five-match tear. Diddell won a 4:34 pin, 106-pounder Austin Kedzie won in 1:45, followed by 113-pound teammate Adam Mish’s pin in 1:01, 120-pound rep Jacob Shearer won via pin in 2:23 and Matthew Redman won the 126-pound standoff in 6-2 fashion.

In the lone Saturday loss to Geneva, KHS had victories on points from personnel Nick Mish in the 106 bout, 8-3, and Redman, 3-1. Meanwhile, Kaneland pins were gathered by Diddell in 1:01, Adam Mish in 1:48, and Goodenough in 1:15.

In the setback against conference powerhouse Yorkville, the Knights saw five major decisions on Yorkville’s side, and two technical falls. The lone KHS win came at the skills of 145-pounder Riley Vanik, who took a pinfall win with 10 seconds left.

Friday and Saturday, Dec. 27-28, represents the final 2013 challenge for the Knights in the form of the Palatine Invite, located in the northwest suburbs.

Bowlers don’t feel at home vs. DeKalb

The Lady Knights bowlers (below) huddle up prior to their match against DeKalb. Photo by Marshall Farthing
The Lady Knights bowlers (below) huddle up prior to their match against DeKalb. Photo by Marshall Farthing
Freshman Kayla McDuffee sends one down the lane against the Lady Barbs. Photo by Marshall Farthing
Freshman Kayla McDuffee sends one down the lane against the Lady Barbs. Photo by Marshall Farthing

Junior Rena Wojciechowski gets in on the action against the Lady Barbs. Photo by Marshall Farthing
Junior Rena Wojciechowski gets in on the action against the Lady Barbs. Photo by Marshall Farthing

by Mike Slodki

KANELAND—Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb doesn’t feel like a home base when you lose to the building’s other tenant.

Kaneland suited up against the DeKalb Lady Barbs for a Thursday meeting as part of Northern Illinois Big XII Conference play, only to suffer a handy 3,063-2.539 defeat. It marked the third consecutive head-to-head setback for KHS, which fell to 2-5 on the season.

DeKalb was paced by a high team series of 1,013. For Kaneland, high series went to junior Dominique Lee at 522 and senior counterpart Christie Crews at 503. High games went to Lee’s 210 and Crews’ 193. The high Kaneland team game was a collective 850.

Kaneland bowling will enjoy a little rest and relaxation before hitting the lanes on Tuesday, Jan. 7, at Four Seasons in Sycamore against the Lady Spartans.

Dec. 24 KHS sports recap

JV Wrestling

Dec. 18 at Hononegah Invite—The Knights JV wrestlers traveled to the Honoegah JV Invite, coming home with a 2-1 team record. The team lost to Hononegah’s JV-1 team 58-13, but defeated Hononegah’s JV-2 team 45-15. Kaneland also won 54-30 against Rockford East. Individually, Austin Kedzie and Colin Gussman were both 3-0 on the day, while Preston Havis, Diego Lobo and Misael Frias were all 2-1. Hayden Patterson was 2-0 on the day.

JV Bowling

Dec. 21 @ Lisle Invite—Kaneland JV bowling took seventh place out of 12 at Saturday’s Lisle Invitational Bowling Tournament at Lisle Lanes in Lisle, Ill. The Knights in head-to-head play rolled 502 and 474 in losses, and 485 in a win.

Soph. Girls Basketball

Dec. 21 @ Ottawa Tournament—The Lady Knights sophomore basketball squad split its Ottawa Tournament contests on Saturday, losing 51-44 to LaSalle-Peru before downing Kankakee 55-8. Kristen Siebert’s 15 points and Meg Cohrs 11 paced the Lady Knights against LaSalle-Peru—a contest in which Kaneland’s opponent went 30 for 45 from the free throw line. Against Kankakee, Kaneland was led by Kylie Modaff’s 13 points and Sophie Sandquist’s 12.

Kaneland resumed Ottawa Tournament action on Monday, with results unavailable as of press time.

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Spring is in the air

Photo: The Kaneland High School Cheerleaders participated in a cheer competition at Joliet West High School on Sunday, placing seventh out of 12 schools in the medium division. During their routine, Kaneland girls performed a cheer, stunts, tumbling and a dance in front of an audience and panel of judges. Prior to performing, the girls do stretches, warm-up tumbles and a run-through of the routine. Courtesy Photo

Blackberry Township working to renew lease on Elburn Youth Baseball field

BLACKBERRY TWP.—The Blackberry Township Board hopes to renegotiate a lease that will allow Elburn Youth Baseball to continue playing at McNair Field.

The previous lease negotiated between Blackberry Township and Burr Ridge company Transmission Relay Corporation had lasted 10 years. The lease granted local athletic leagues the use of five of the corporation’s 20 acres located south and east of the intersection of Bateman and Rowe roads in exchange for a fee of $1 a year.

Transmission Relay Corporation had purchased the property in 2003. Located in unincorporated Kane County, the property is zoned for recreational open space. According to Village President Dave Anderson, who was Township Supervisor at the time of purchase, the agreement the new owner made with the previous owners was that it was to be used for athletic fields for Kaneland area athletic leagues.

When the new owners applied for a zoning variance from Kane County to install a tower on the property, the variance was granted on the condition that it would continue to be used for athletic fields.

Elburn Youth Baseball volunteers had begun the process of expanding the field’s parking lot when they received a call telling them to hold off on the expansion. It was then that the baseball organization members realized the lease had expired on April 30 of this year.

Blackberry Township Supervisor Dennis Ryan and Road Commissioner Rod Feece initiated a meeting with owner Lynn Limanowski on Nov. 20 to discuss the renewal of the lease. Feece said the meeting was cordial, and that Limanowski was receptive to the baseball organization continuing to use the field. However, he said she was not open to the property being used for football activities.

A call to Transmission Relay Corporation was not returned by press time.

Sign-up for baseball begins on Saturday, Feb. 1, and Blackberry Township officials said their plan is to get the lease in place before then. They said they will schedule a special meeting for Thursday, Jan. 2, to discuss the issues, and then meet with the property owners before their first regular meeting of the new year on Tuesday, Jan. 14.

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Air supply

Photo: Junior Ben Barnes scored a team-high 16 points in Kaneland’s 83-63 rout of Rochelle Friday. Photo by Patti Wilk

Knight boys hoops runs wild on rival Hubs
KANELAND—Five players managing a double-figure night should be a harbinger of good things for one’s basketball lineup.

In the case of Kaneland, it meant terrible things for visiting Rochelle last Friday night.

With a strong output from personnel like John Pruett (14 points) and Tyler Carlson (11 points), along with 16 from reserve Ben Barnes, 14 from Dylan Vaca and 10 from sub Ryan David, the Knights flew to an 83-63 win over the Hubs.

Kaneland’s first challenge of the week, coupled with Tuesday’s 63-38 win against Hinckley-Big Rock, raised its record to 4-2, and 1-1 in Northern Illinois Big XII Conference play.

KHS held firm in the victory despite being trumped in foul line opportunities by a 26-12 margin.

“The goal was to keep (Rochelle) to one shot so we could keep it and run,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said. “I thought we did a good job with that. Our three-point shot wasn’t falling, and you have to make them work on defense and tire them out, and we beat them on transition.”

Kaneland stormed out to a 7-0 lead just 2:10 into the contest until Rochelle solidified and used three three-pointers to go up 11-10 with 2:49 left in the quarter. A basket by Drew David, a reverse layup by Carlson and a bucket by Ryan David set Kaneland back on top 16-11 with 1:47 to play in the frame. Later, a putback and foul converted by Carlson and a putback by Barnes with 44.5 to go closed the scoring at 22-13 for the first quarter.

Shots by Drew David, and a foul shot coupled by a steal and hoop from Ryan David, completed a 13-6 run for a 29-19 lead with 5:31 left in the half. A short flurry by Rochelle closed the margin to 33-27 with 2:48 remaining before two Vaca foul shots and a Vaca hoop brought the lead to eight. Two Carlson foul shots and a Hub foul try closed the scoring at 39-31 before the buzzer.

The third quarter represented a pleasant turn of events for the hosts, as Ryan David, Carlson, Vaca and Pruett were responsible for six successful shots in a row en route to a 51-33 lead after a 12-2 run with 4:22 to go in the frame.

Cole Carlson’s bucket with 52.5 left in the third gave KHS a 60-39 lead before the Hubs scored the last five points of the quarter.

Barnes and Vaca alternated fast break buckets to score the first eight points of the frame and seal the Friday contest. A Connor Fedderly three try with 4:24 to go gave the Kaneland unit its biggest lead of the contest at 75-50.

“We just try to get it and run; that worked in the first half and we tried it again, and we had some key stops on defense,” Tyler Carlson said.

With Carlson and the upperclassmen tasked with a laundry list of duties, the routine is continuing to sink in on the floor.

“So far I think we’re alright, we’re trying to fill in the leadership role. Drew is doing a great job and he’s a four-year starter. John and I are just trying to get that leadership role down,” Carlson said.

At Hinckley-Big Rock, the Knights stormed to a 12-2 lead after the first quarter and didn’t look back. John Pruett led the team with 16 points, and Tyler Carlson 15 points. Vaca had 14 points.

The boys don’t suit up until Thursday, Dec. 26, when they begin their fourth stay at the Plano Christmas Classic, which is entering its 51st year. Kaneland enters as the No. 4 seed and is scheduled to battle either No. 13 Newark or Hinckley-Big Rock at 10:30 a.m.

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Girls basketball looks to sleigh field at 2 tourneys

Photo: Junior Ally VanBogaert and the Lady Knights basketball team trek to Ottawa and Dixon during the holiday break. Photo by Patti Wilk

Lady Knights hitting double shot of Ottawa and Dixon gatherings
KANELAND—At 4-4, the Lady Knight girls basketball roster will hit the court running come this Saturday, Dec. 21.

KHS will have to hope the 11-day layoff won’t cause any problems once the Ottawa Holiday tournament houses their skills for two days of competition.

Last season marked the first time Kaneland went to the Ottawa tournament after a six-year stay at Oswego East’s setup. The Lady Knights finished eighth out of 12 squads and exited the downtown Ottawa setup with a record of 9-5.

Joliet Catholic beat Ottawa in the championship encounter, with Yorkville earning third overall.

Kaneland begins the event in Pool D along with schools Pontiac and Northern Illinois Big XII crossover foe Streator at Kingman Gym. The Lady Knights begin play against Pontiac on Saturday, Dec. 21, at 4:45 p.m., before taking the court again at 7:30 p.m. against the Lady Bulldogs.

The battle for top team honors continues the following Monday, Dec. 23, with teams assured of a morning and afternoon or evening contest against one of the three pool equivalents.

Pool A consists of Ottawa, Rockford East and Sandwich. Pool B is LaSalle-Peru, Lincoln-Way West and Morris, and Pool C is Kankakee, Geneseo and Yorkville.

After Ottawa, Kaneland heads to another West division stop in the form of soon-departing Dixon High School and its 16-team KSB Dixon Holiday Classic.

KHS tips off against Stillman Valley on Thursday, Dec. 26, at noon, with the next challenge on Friday, Dec. 27, at either 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. vs. either Sterling or Freeport’s Aquin. The final night of play is Saturday, Dec. 28.

Other familiar schools in the setup include Rochelle, which plays Oregon in a first-round encounter, and Aurora Christian, which plays Dunlap.

Wasco Diamonds 14U clinic set for Dec. 28

ELBURN—The Wasco Diamonds will present a 14U clinic on Saturday, Dec. 28, at the softball diamond located at 707 Herra St. in Elburn.

A pitching and catching clinic is from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and is $25. An all-skills clinic is from 9-11 a.m. for 10U players and from 1-5 p.m. for 12U and up players and costs $45. To sign up for both clinics is $60. A T-shirt is included in the cost.

For information on registration, email britkoss14@aol.com. Registration ends Friday.

Softball tryouts, clinics approaching fast

WASCO—Wasco Girls Fastpitch Softball (WGFSL) registration for the 2014 Spring/Summer season begins Wednesday, Jan. 1.

Registration is open to all girls from kindergarten through 12th grade. There are no out-of-district fees.

Players develop their skills with the emphasis on fun. Games are played in the evenings and some Saturdays in St. Charles.

Practices start in April and conclude late June/early July. Players may register online at WascoFastpitch.com, download a mail-in registration form, or call (630) 513-1200.

WGFSL also offers All Star teams, the Wasco Warriors. The Warrior participate during the in-house season, in addition to several area tournaments without the year-round commitment and expense of full time travel all the while gaining great experience for the more advanced player. All Star tryouts are Sunday, Jan. 12.

WGFSL, in partnership with Elite Sports Training Center of St. Charles is also offering clinics that includes hitting, speed-agility-quickness, pitching and hitting prior to the start of the season.

For more information about WGFSL or the clinics, visit WascoFastpitch.com.

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Pride in Platteville

Photo: Elburn native Ryley Bailey had 86 catches for 1,047 yards for UW-Platteville’s football team this season. It was a school record for catches, and only the second time in school history a receiver recorded over 1,000 yards in a season. Courtesy Photo

Former KHS pass-catcher Bailey continues high level of play for UW-Platteville

KANELAND—A local buzz for something like the Division III football playoffs can be excused, especially with the deep semifinal run from Naperville, Ill.-outlet North Central College.

Look deeper, and you’d see even more reason to follow.

Kaneland High School Class of 2010 member Ryley Bailey, who played both sides of the ball for Knight playoff contenders in 2008 and 2009, also made a playoff run in D-III for the University of Wisconsin-Platteville (UW-P) Pioneers football roster.

UW-P, with the senior Bailey, made it to the second round before losing to North Central, 52-24, at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium in Naperville, Ill., to finish at 10-2, which tied a school win record.

“It was just a great feeling,” Bailey said. “It was a great group of guys and an amazing feeling, and it wouldn’t have happened without guys like Quinn (Buschbacher, fellow Kaneland football alum) and (quarterback) John Kelly.”

Bailey, of Elburn, was also one of six Pioneers this month to get a D3Football.com 2013 All-West Region award for outstanding play.

Helping Bailey throughout his Pioneer tenure was the similarity to Kaneland’s noted spread offense.

“I fit right in, which was kind of unique for me I was the receiver that kind of went across the middle. They needed me to do the dirty work in there, because I’m not as fast as the other guys.”

Doing the dirty work this year yielded 86 receptions for 1,047 yards, on his way to becoming the second Pioneer in school history to record over 1,000 yards receiving in a season. The senior receiver averaged 7.17 receptions per game for 87.2 yards per game.

His 86 catches also set a new school record and ranked fourth most in Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference history.

The wideout came in with accomplished skills, but resolved to pick up his game this season to help make a postseason run.

“You had to stay focused. You had to be ready to do the little things. It was tough this year because of all the hype. We really had a target on our back,” Bailey said.

The Pioneers, paced by assets like Bailey, Buschbacher (28 catches) and Trevor Whitehead (81 catches) in its wide-open offense, had a season to remember, only to end in DuPage County.
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Despite that, Bailey, a first-team all-WIAC member, was able to hold his head up, even catching two touchdowns in the season-ender.

“I’ll remember that game, and I was rooting for (North Central) on Saturday when they lost (41-40 to Mount Union in D-III semifinals). That and the win over Wisconsin-Oskhosh, where we got a late field goal to get us into the playoffs, were what I’ll remember. Those were really emotional,” Bailey said.

Bailey isn’t done with the Wisconsin setting yet, as he works toward his degree.

“I’d like to still be around the football (progam) up here and help the team and the receivers,” Bailey said. “I know football, and football’s been good to me.”

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KHS grapplers can’t grab hold in tough week

Cary-Grove, CLC, DeKalb dish Kaneland losses
KANELAND—Kaneland wrestling had done well so far this season, but they can be sure to run into a wall of tough opponents for days at a time, as was the case this past week.

On Thursday, the 9-4 Knights took it on the headgear against visiting DeKalb in Maple Park by a 44-18 clip, while Dec. 11 saw a trip to Crystal Lake Central end with losses to both the host Tigers and the Trojans of Cary-Grove, 43-30 and 39-24, respectively.

Against DeKalb, wins came courtesy of personnel like Nick Mish at 106 pounds with a pin at 4:46.

Teammate Dane Goodenough stuck a pin in the 138-pound meeting in 3:31, providing a bright spot in the hard-luck conference loss.

“I saw he was slacking a bit so I was able to get inside control and got the fireman’s and kept driving. Once I saw that, I capitalized and pinned him through that,” Goodenough said. “Most of us thought we weren’t going to start as good as we did. Even with our few losses now, we’re still up there.”

The final pin of the night went to 170-pound entry Tom Price, who won his match in 1:42.

“I thought our kids wrestled hard, but we needed a little more fire when we hit the mat. They didn’t give up, they just didn’t come out with a lot of emotion. We wrestled well against Sycamore, but after DeKalb, there’s some work to do,” KHS coach Monty Jahns said.

In the 15-point loss to C-G, 285-pound Justin Diddell earned a 1:24 pin, while Adam Mish won his 113-pound encounter in 1:18. Goodenough won his bout by 9-3 margin, and Riley Vanik emerged victorious in the 145-pound bout by 6-2 tally.

In the 13-point setback against CLC, Diddell earned another pin in 2:44, while Matthew Redman won a 126-pound encounter in 1:42. The final two wins on Kaneland’s side were Vanik’s 8-1 decision and George Strang’s 5-3 win at 152 pounds.

Friday, Dec. 20, sees a trip to Northern Illinois Big XII rival Yorkville in Kendall County.

Bowlers sunk by Streator, Morris

Photo: Senior Christie Crews has been a leader for the Lady Knights bowlers this season. She bowled a 414 series against Streator and a 434 against Morris in recent action. File Photo

KANELAND—Sometimes you’ll just run into a bowling roster that has a better night in them.

It happened to Kaneland bowling on Dec. 11, against visiting Streator at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb, and it happened on Tuesday at Echo Lanes in Morris against the Lady Redskins.

Against the Northern Illinois Big XII foe Streator, the final was 2,526-2,178. Morris had a stellar Tuesday in its home element, smothering Kaneland by a 3,577-2,328 margin.

Kaneland is now 2-4 after six duals.

Against the Lady Bulldogs, the Lady Knights found themselves paced by Christie Crews’ 418 high series, and teammate Dominique Lee’s 414.

Facing Morris, Crews supplanted the effort with a team-high series of 434, and Lee had a 423.

Crews, a senior, has supplied nice totals for the Lady Knights, but knows it takes more than that for the KHS to hope for a third win soon.

“There’s several things we need to do,” Crews said. “Getting a high game is almost all by chance. You can work as hard as you want. All the girls getting a high game at the same time is great if you can do it, but good luck. It’s great if it happens, and if it doesn’t, at least you get some more practice.”

High game went to Lee on the evening with a 156.

“I still think we’re going to be competitive. We had a bit of a slump. If we had bowled like we did against IMSA against Streator, we would have won. But we’re hanging in there and we have another tough match against DeKalb, and we’re looking forward to a nice tournament on Saturday (Lisle Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 21),” head coach Jim McKnight said.

Kaneland tries to climb back toward .500 on Thursday, Dec. 19, against DeKalb.

Dec. 19 sports recap

JV Bowling
Dec. 11 vs. Streator—The Lady Knights only had two competitors, so no team score was kept. Kayla McDuffee bowled a 323 series with a 132 high game, while Natalie Barnhart bowled a 282 series with 125 high game.
Dec. 17 @ Morris—Grace Lindgren bowled a 314 series, with a 119 high game, while McDuffee bowled a 291 series (105 high game) and Barnhart bowled a 270 series (119 high game). No team score was kept.

Boys Soph. Basketball
Dec. 13 vs. Rochelle—The Knights earned a 68-47 win over visiting Rochelle Friday. Jake Marczuk led KHS with 16 points, while Tanner Robertson had 11 and Mark Lilly had 11. Fellow Knights Mitchel Groen and Joe Laudont each had seven points, while the trio of Jason Edwards, Jacob Violett and Brett Hansen each had four points.
Dec. 17 @ Hinckley-Big Rock—The Knights routed the host Royals 63-36 Tuesday. Lilly led the team with 16 points, while Robertson (12) and Groen (10) were also in double-digits. The sophomore boys are now 5-1, 2-0 in NIB-12 play.

JV Wrestling
Dec. 14 KHS JV Tournament—The JV wrestlers faired well in their own tournament on Saturday.
The Knights had three grapplers earn individual championships. At 98 pounds, Austin Kedzie won by fall over Mark Wuerfl of Batavia in :32. Johnathan Terry defeated Lukasz Skoczen of Plainfield South 5-2 to win the 170 pound A division. Colin Gussman won a 6-4 decision over Wheaton-Warrenville South’s John Bikulcius in the 145 pound A division.
Earning runner-up status on the day for KHS were Hayden Patterson in the 132 pound A division and Mitchell Jones in the 138 pound A division.
Cullen Murray of Kaneland placed third in the the 182 pound division, while Jordan Hoffman placed fourth in the 132 pound B division.
Preston Havis (113 pounds) and Ben Long (170 pounds B) each earned fifth-place medals, while Ben Smith (152 pounds A) was sixth.

WCC_Coach

WCC’s Wagner garners 200th career coaching victory

SUGAR GROVE—Waubonsee Community College women’s basketball head coach Dana Wagner collected her 200th career coaching victory as the Lady Chiefs hung on to defeat the St. Ambrose University Junior Varsity 73-68 on Sunday, Dec. 8. Waubonsee improved to 9-3 overall on the season as it won its fourth in a row.

This season is Wagner’s 15th year overall leading Waubonsee’s basketball program. Under her guidance, 22 players have been named Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) First Teamers. The Lady Chiefs have finished second in the ISCC three times during her tenure, including two years ago when they won a school-record 11 straight games.

Wagner also directed Waubonsee’s volleyball program for two seasons and was the softball head coach for 11 years, helping guide the 2007 team to the ISCC title and a then record-setting 33-win season.

Additionally, Wagner was named the ISCC’s Female Coach of the Year for 2005-06.

A 1992 graduate of Kaneland High School, where she was an All-Little Seven Conference selection in basketball, Wagner went on to star for Aurora University. She was a three-time NCAA Division III All-American, was selected the Northern Illinois Intercollegiate Conference (NIIC) Player of the Year three times, and was named Aurora’s Female Athlete of the Year an unprecedented three times. The Spartans’ all-time leading scorer with 1,693 points, Wagner’s number 40 jersey was retired upon the conclusion of her last game, and she was inducted into Aurora’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009.

In addition to her coaching duties, Wagner works as Waubonsee’s Assistant Athletic Manager. She also runs Waubonsee’s intramural programs, handles all of the school’s on-campus athletic events and serves as facilities coordinator for the college’s gymnasium, Erickson
Hall.

School board approves hiring of two interim athletic directors

KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board agreed to hire two interim athletic directors for the the school year on Monday.

The two directors are Rudy Keller and Ralph Drendel.

Board member Tony Valente was the only member to vote no.

“You can go without this position for half a year,” Valente said.

The original plan had been to hire a trio of retirees, including Ross Truemper, Keller and Drendel.

Truemper and Keller worked at West Aurora High School as co-interim principal for two years and have experience in athletics and activities.

Drendel is a former Kaneland High School assistant athletic director, coach, teacher and student.

“It just turned out that Ross had some conflicts in his schedule that made it difficult for him to support us,” said Kaneland Superintendent Dr. Jeff Schuler after the meeting. “It just didn’t work out.”

According to a memorandum, Keller will receive $500 per day not to exceed 70 days. That totals up to $35,000. Drendel will receive $250 per day not to exceed 100 days. That totals up to $25,000.

“(That’s) something you can live without for six months,” Valente said. “That’s the issue in my eyes—exorbitant spending.”

Schuler spoke favorably of Keller and Drendel.

“Nothing has changed,” Schuler said. “We’re still providing the same level of support we anticipated. It’s more than just an athletics activities position. It really has a key operational focus for the entire building.”

http://www.unitedcenter.com/

Tickets still on sale for United Center matchup with Geneva Jan. 4

The Kaneland boys basketball team will be playing Geneva at the United Center, before the Bulls game against the Atlanta Hawks, on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $65 and will get you admission into the Kaneland vs. Geneva game as well as the Bulls vs. Hawks game at 6 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at Kaneland High School’s Debbie Theis at deborah.theis@kaneland.org, and will be on sale until Dec. 20.

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Close encounter

Photo: Senior John Pruett went 3/4 at the foul line, and finished with seven points against Sycamore Friday night. Photo by Mary Paulson

Sycamore bests KHS boys to complete Friday sweep
KANELAND—Knight boys basketball dropped to 2-2 in the still early time-frame of the 2013-14 hoops season, thanks to an old foe.

After the initial trek to the Windmill Classic in Batavia yielded a satisfactory 2-1 record, Kaneland began Northern Illinois Big XII Conference play on Friday along Spartan Trail, only to lose the conference opener by a 41-38 result and begin its quest for three conference crowns in four years in dubious fashion.

Facing Sycamore on their home court, senior backcourt asset Drew David was the only Knight to reach double figures with 13 points that included three three-pointers.

Fellow senior Tyler Carlson had eight points in the losing effort.

Sycamore led after the first quarter by a score of 15-13 and led 22-19 after the halftime buzzer, before holding firm in the second half and leading 31-28 after three. The squads exchanged 10 points apiece in the final frame.

The Spartans’ effort was amplified by seven successful trifectas.

Kaneland immerses itself in conference play yet again with a matchup against Rochelle on Friday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m.

Road warriors
Friday’s home game against Rochelle will be the final time the Knights boys basketball team will play on their home court in 2013, with the total road span of 27 days away, reaching the second week of January. With trips to Hinckley-Big Rock and the Plano Christmas Classic filling out the remainder of December, a matchup with Geneva at the United Center in Chicago on Jan. 4, 2014 will kick off the new year before they finally host Morris Jan. 10.

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Stuck at Sycamore

Photo: Sophomore Camri Conley attempts a free throw Friday night at Sycamore. Photo by Mary Paulson

Kaneland girls basketball drops conference outing
KANELAND—Lady Knights basketball is always up for a conference battle with rival Sycamore.

On Friday evening, however, the KHS attack was knocked down.

Using a high degree of back door passes and converting in the paint, the Lady Knights fell victim to host Sycamore in a Northern Illinois Big XII opener by the final of 50-37.

Kaneland is now 4-4 (1-1) after its first games in seven days, while also dropping a 50-46 decision to visiting Antioch on Saturday afternoon.

In the conference tipoff, Ally Van Bogaert led the Lady Knights with 10 points, with KHS just 14-of-44 from the field and 8-of-18 from the charity stripe. Sycamore’s Bailey Gilbert managed a game-high 23.

Kaneland never led against the host Lady Spartans, only tying it on its first basket by Brittany Kemp 1:43 into the game. A basket by Amber Winquist-Bailey with 3:11 to go closed within 9-7, but Sycamore used two free throws and a three from Gilbert to close the first quarter scoring at 14-7.

A basket and two foul shots from Sycamore completed a 9-1 run before a Kemp bucket and Winquist-Bailey hoop closed it within 18-12 with 5:12 remaining in the half.

Toward the end of the quarter, a Bailey Crimmins baseline shot closed the margin to 21-16 with 1:57 to play before two more Sycamore buckets ended the first half at 26-16.
In the third quarter, a Van Bogaert basket with 6:29 left, making it 28-20, was as close as the Lady Knights would get, with Sycamore riding its hot hands and closing the frame out with an 11-7 run.

Kaneland converted on four-of-six foul shots in the fourth but could only cut it to 43-33 with 5:28 to go, thanks to a Van Bogaert hoop. Sycamore saw its lead balloon to 15 with 4:45 to go at 48-33.

“(Sycamore’s) a good team and Bailey Gilbert’s a good player,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We tried to key on her, and she made shots. She had 23 tonight, and she didn’t miss much. We’ve been trying to work on our defense.”

In the weekend clash with the Sequoits, the Lady Knights saw a team-high 11 from Van Bogaert, and Kelly Wallner was one point away from a double double with nine points and 10 rebounds. KHS led matters 21-15 after one before Antioch rallied to tie the game at the half, 26 all. The visitors took a 35-34 lead after the third frame before icing the contest in the fourth.

On Tuesday against Rochelle, the Lady Knights defeated the visiting Hubs 44-38. KHS was paced by Wallner’s 10 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Van Bogaert supplied 11 rebounds and seven points, while Caroline Heimerdinger had seven points, three rebounds, three steals and two assists.

Kaneland has a 10-day break before keying up for the Ottawa Holiday Tournament beginning on Friday, Dec. 20.

Junior Adam Mish pinned his Sycamore opponent in 1:38 Thursday at NIU.

Wrestlers go Huskie-size over Sycamore, beat Lemont

Photo: Junior Adam Mish pinned his Sycamore opponent in 1:38 Thursday at NIU. Sophomore Photo by Ben Draper

KANELAND—Venues may change, but victories are still as sweet anywhere.

Kaneland traveled to NIU’s Convocation Center last Thursday to battle rival Sycamore before the college-age Huskies took the mat that evening, and got things off on the right foot with a slim 33-29 win.

Saturday saw a trip to Lemont, where the Knights handed the Indians a 49-18 shellacking.

Kaneland is now 5-1 on the season (1-0 in the Northern Illinois Big XII).

After a forfeit win for Kaneland, 113-pounder Adam Mish had his hand raised against the Spartans after a 1:38 pin. Sycamore would win the next bout before the 126-pound match went Matthew Redman’s way by 3-2 count.

Dane Goodenough took his 138-pound challenge with a 10-1 major decision over Jesus Renteria. Two Sycamore wins closed the Kaneland margin just before Austin Parks won a 16-0 technical fall at 160-pounds.

Sophomore Austin Parks won by technical fall, beating his Sycamore opponent 16-0 Thursday at NIU. <em><figcaption class=Photo by Ben Draper” width=”300″ height=”250″ class=”size-medium wp-image-32911″ /> Sophomore Austin Parks won by technical fall, beating his Sycamore opponent 16-0 Thursday at NIU. Photo by Ben Draper

Sycamore would rally for three consecutive match wins before KHS retook the lead for good on a forfeit and a heavyweight win for powerhouse Justin Diddell by 7-2 decision.

Facing Lemont in a Saturday affair, wins were plenty for the Kaneland attack. At 106 pounds, Austin Kedzie won a major decision in 11-2 fashion, while Mish earned a pin in 1:47. Jacob Shearer won his 120-pound outing by virtue of a 5:20 pin, as well.

At 132 pounds, Luke Eggenberger won his challenge by 14-12 decision, followed by 152-pounder George Strang winning his match, 3-2.

Parks won his 160-pound encounter by 2:32 pin, followed by 170-pound teammate Tom Price’s pin in 2:32. The remaining wins, besides two forfeits, went to Zach Parker at 182 pounds by 4-3 decision.

Kaneland was set to trek to Crystal Lake Central to take on the hosts and Cary-Grove on Wednesday, and Thursday, Dec. 12, sees a conference tussle with the DeKalb Barbs outfit in Maple Park.

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Bowlers beat IMSA, lose close matches

Photo: Junior Katie Hill (above) bowled a 405 series for the Lady Knights Thursday. Photo by Ben Draper

KANELAND—Margins are relatively close, but the Lady Knight bowlers housed at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb would like to pick up a few more wins sooner rather than later.

After opening up last week with a loss to Sterling, the Lady Knights faced Lisle High School on Dec. 4, and lost 1,993-1,927 in a Northern Illinois Big XII-Interstate Eight Conference meeting in DeKalb. Kaneland then lost to visiting Dixon in the last meeting between the two squads as conference mates by a 2,826-2,362 total.

After competing in the Dundee-Crown tourney on Saturday, Kaneland broke into the win column Monday against Illinois Math and Science Academy, where it won 2,251 to 1,970.

Kaneland sits at 1-3 after Monday’s matchup.

Against the Lady Lions, Christie Crews was team-best with a 427 series, while Dominique Lee had a 393 series herself. High game was bowled by Crews at 153.

Facing off against the rival Duchesses, the high series for the Lady Knights was accomplished by senior Michelle Bohanek at 429, followed by Lee at 422. High game was Bohanek’s at 168. Dixon’s Maggie Thomas had a meet-best 546 series.

At the Dundee-Crown tourney KHS took sixth out of 12 teams with a day-long total of 2,572, with D-C winning the day at 3,182.

KHS coach Jim McKnight recognizes challenges ahead, but feels the girls could be able to meet what’s on the horizon.

“We have some tough matches coming up against Streator and Morris, so it’s nice to go into that kind of competition on the upswing,” McKnight said. “Even though our numbers are small, we’ve proven to ourselves that we can be competitive on any given day. What we need now are some consistently high games and series from three or four of the girls on the same outing.”

McKnight got his wish for more consistency against IMSA Monday, where the Lady Knights won all three games to post a convincing win over the visiting Titans. Crews led the way with a high game of 190 and a high series of 482. Bohanek (465) and Rena Wojciechowski (461) and Lee (443) all bowled series over 400, while Katie Hill (375) and Grace Lindgren (351) also competed for KHS.

Wednesday had Kaneland battle Streator in a NIB-12 crossover before a trek to Morris on Tuesday, Dec. 17.

Dec. 12 sports recap

Girls JV Bowling
Dec. 5 vs. Dixon—Freshman Grace Lindgren led the way for the Lady Knights against visiting Dixon with a 321 series at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb. Freshmen Kayla McDuffee and Natalie Barnhart bowled a 265 and 257 respectively, while Amber Spaetzel bowled a 254. Dixon defeated the KHS 2,257-1,637.

Soph. Boys Basketball
Dec. 5 at Sycamore—The Knights defeated host Sycamore 51-43 behind Jake Marczuk’s 13 points. Joe Laudont had 11 points, Mark Lilly had 10, Tanner Robertsen eight, Jacob Violett six and Mitchel Groen three. The Knights improved to 3-1, 1-0 in NIB-12 play.

Soph. Girls Basketball
Dec. 7 vs. Antioch—The Lady Knights dismantled visiting Antioch 43-10. Morgan Weber led all scorers with 10 points, Kiandra Powell had eight, Meg Cohrs had six and Kylie Modaff had four for KHS.
Dec. 10 vs. Rochelle—On Tuesday, KHS dispatched NIB-12 foe Rochelle 63-38. Cohrs led the Lady Knights with 16 points. Bailey Crimmins had 12 points, while Weber had 11 points. Kristen Siebert had eight points and Powell had four points. The team is now 5-2 overall, 1-1 in NIB-12 play.