Category Archives: Winter Sports

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.

Lady Knights split pair of WSC contests

by Mike Slodki

With the Western Sun Conference schedule in full swing, KHS girls basketball was hoping that both conference contests could swing its way. Kaneland will have to be happy with a split.

The Lady Knights took care of visiting Yorkville on Saturday evening by a final of 37-26 for their first WSC win. Meanwhile on Tuesday, the Lady Knights were vanquished by visiting Geneva 65-26. KHS now sits at 4-9 (1-4 WSC).

Despite senior Katie Hatch going down with a leg injury in the first quarter against the Lady Foxes, KHS held firm and rebounded from a 7-6 first quarter deficit to take a 20-15 lead at the half. Kaneland led 25-19 after three.

Andie Strang had eight points. Kaneland was 13-for-47 from the field.

Against Geneva, Mallory Huml had a team-high five.

Five steals by Geneva keyed a bad start for KHS and they fell behind 14-0 just 4:14 into the contest, before Alyssa Galvan put back a miss for the Lady Knights’ first points. A Huml three-pointer with 18.8 seconds to go closed the deficit to 20-7 to end the first frame.

KHS, who takes on Batavia on Friday, Jan. 9, made a mini-run in the second to cut it to 28-15 before Lauren Wicinski found her way to the basket twice to lead 32-15 at halftime. Geneva then went on an 13-0 run to seal it.

“They’re a good team and they showed why they’re undefeated,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said about Geneva.


Bowlers get best of first-year program Huntley for first win

by Mike Slodki

Based on the first attempts of the year marked 2009, Kaneland bowling is already looking better, thanks to their first win.

The bowlers took to the lanes on Monday in Huntley to face off against the first-year Raiders program.

“They’re young and have a good attitude, and we’re glad we can bowl against them,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said.

Kaneland nabbed its first head-to-head meet of 2009 with a 2,601-1-2,420 win.

“It’s a pretty heavy schedule now until the end of the season, so we’ll see how it goes,” McKnight said.

The Lady Knights followed that up on Tuesday with a home loss to non-conference rival Lisle in a 2,831-2,508 match.

Kaneland is now 1-7 (0-4 WSC).

Jessica Stebbins led the way with a capable series of 466.

Stebbins wants to see improvement which started at Huntley.

“I want to get either get a 550 series or 250 game,” Stebbins said.

Holly Thomas had the team-high series vs. Lisle with a 454.

Lady Knights nab third place in OE consolation

            The Lady Knights finished their Oswego East Holiday Classic stay on a winning note, but just barely last Tuesday.

            In the battle for third place in the consolation bracket, Kaneland held off a charging Brooks Prep squad 37-35 to close out the gathering and finish 2-1.

Kaneland could be in the midst of stacking some wins and is now 3-8 with an 0-3 Western Sun Conference record as it closes out 2008.

            Kaneland won despite shooting just 12-for-43 from the field and getting outscored 14-5 in the fourth quarter.

            Working in the Lady Knights’ favor was a good night of 12-for-18 from the foul line and 19 steals. The end came when Katie Hatch (team-high 11 points, three rebounds, three steals) hit two free throws with 10 seconds remaining.

            Kaneland and the Eagles were tied at 6-6 after one with KHS leading 17-11 at halftime. The Lady Knights took a 32-21 lead before the tight conclusion.

            Eight Lady Knights entered the scoring column, with Sara Rose and Alyssa Galvan scoring six points apiece.

            In the championship, Driscoll Catholic defeated Oak Park-River Forest 58-47 on Dec. 23.

            The Lady Knights begin 2009 with a home encounter against Yorkville on Saturday, Jan. 3.

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.

Wrestling deals with tough first day of Flavin Invite

by Mike Slodki

            Kaneland wrestling’s usual late-Dec. venture to DeKalb’s High School’s Don Flavin Invite proved to be difficult but a valuable learning experience.

            Against a 16-team field with many top teams, KHS fell to Stillman Valley 47-33, West Aurora 50-23 and Woodstock 34-21. The Knights’ dual meet record ending 2008 is 5-10. Kaneland was set to grapple with Shepard on day 2 of the invite.

            In the loss vs. Stillman Valley, J.T. Webb stuck a 4:46 pin at 160 pounds. A.J. Wagner nabbed a 2:32 pinfall at 215 pounds. Matt Weaver also took home a 7-2 decision at 130 pounds.

            Vs. The Blackhawks, Jay Levita (135) earned a 6-5 win, and Cody McGinnis stuck a 2:55 pin at 152 pounds. Heavyweight Jimmy Boyle also earned a pin at 2:42, indicative of his progress lasting the whole season.

            “Jimmy’s improved the entire season,” KHS coach Monty Jahns said. “He’s really worked hard on his motion and driving and he’s done what we’ve asked the team to do and that’s wrestle hard for six minutes.”

            “The coaches have really worked with me and shown me how to be aggressive,” Boyle said.

            Levita (9-7 decision), Wagner (6-3 dec.) 112-pounder Tyler Esposito (3:51 fall), 119-pounder Josh Kuefler (5-2 dec.), 125-pounder Deven Scholl (5-3 dec.) and 140-pounder Kyle Davidson (6-3 dec.) all took home wins vs. Woodstock.

Girls split first two contests at Oswego East Holiday Classic

by Mike Slodki

            Once they made it through the snow, Kaneland girls basketball down to business at the fourth annual Oswego East Holiday Classic.

            After forgoing the first scheduled meeting on Wednesday against Oak Park-River Forest to pay respects to their fallen classmates, the Lady Knights went in the consolation bracket on Saturday afternoon and took it to Plainfield East 60-14. Kaneland fell just short on Monday afternoon by a final of 40-38 against Plainfield North.

            Kaneland’s mark is now 2-8 with an 0-3 record in Western Sun Conference play.

            Ten different Kaneland players found the scoring column led by Brianna Hurst with 10. Kelly Evers and Andie Strang had eight each. Playing their first game since Dec. 8, the Lady Knights started the game against the first-year varsity Bengals right when Sara Rose corralled the opening tip and laid it in just seven second into the game.

            “Yeah, that kind of got us going at first tip,” Hurst said. “We felt we had a pretty good first half and everybody getting in the game will help us when we play some tougher teams in the second half.”

            Three steals, coupled with converting on their shots, allowed Kaneland to storm out to a 20-6 lead in the first quarter with 2:36 to go.The Lady Knights led 24-6 after one.

            Plainfield East just had one point in the second quarter, a free throw with 35.7 second left. Megan Nauert’s shot with 43.2 seconds in the half gave KHS its biggest lead of the game at 37-7.

            The Bengals’ shot to close the score to 46-9 with 2:17 left in the third was their first field goal in 18 minutes of play. Strang later hit another trey, and Evers’ offensive putback with 49.2 left gave KHS its biggest lead at 60-12.

            “We came out pretty fast and pushed the ball. It was nice to get some confidence today after two one-point losses in conference,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said.

            For the KHS team, it was also nice to just come out to the court.

            “It’s important for the girls to get back to a routine. It’s been a tough week for the whole community and we talked about how we could pay respects to Blake and Jeff and thats to compete hard every night,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe.

            Against Plainfield North, Kaneland went just 15-for-48 from the field, although inside presence Alyssa Galvan had 17 points, eight rebounds and four steals. Kaneland led 9-7 after one quarter and 18-17 at the half. Going into the final eight minutes up 35-33, Kaneland stopped producing and went just 1-for-8 from the field and 1-for-6 from the foul line (7-for-18 for the game).

            The Lady Knights were scheduled to conclude the Oswego East gathering on Tuesday before next suiting up against Yorkville on Satruday, Jan. 3, 2009.

Wrestlers earn 1 win out of 3 at Saturday’s Argo quad

            Knights wrestling probably couldn’t think of a better present for itself after two weeks of no meets than to get back on the mat and start pinning people.

            The giving began on Saturday out at south suburban Argo High School in Summit for a quad also featuring Chicago’s St. Patrick and Kelly High Schools.

            The Knights lost to St. Patrick 42-33, but beat Kelly 44-27 before losing to host Argo 32-26. In dual meet competition, the Knights sit at 5-7.

            Knight grapplers who secured wins against the St. Patrick Shamrocks of the East Suburban Catholic included 125-pound entry Devon Scholl who won his match 7-1, Matt Weaver at 130 pounds who got a pinfall in 38 seconds, Kyle Davidson at 140 who eked out a 7-6 win, 145-pound asset Jay Levita with a 2:46 pinfall and heavyweight Jimmy Boyle with a 9-3 win.

            Against the Kelly Trojans, Kaneland soared to victory thanks to a 6-0 win by School, a technical fall by Levita in 3:10, a 1:28 fall by 160-pounder J.T. Webb.

171-pound grappler Tim Meyer also won his matchup with a 9-6 total.

            In the close loss to the host Argonauts, 103-pounder Ryan Goodenough took a technical fall in four minutes. Scholl took a pinfall in 3:59 and Weaver won a 7-6 affair.

            Teammate Emiliano Ponce won his matchup 8-6, Davidson earned a pin in 3:48 and Levita won his matchup by an 8-7 clip.

            Coming up for the Knights is the usual Don Flavin stop in DeKalb which takes place on Monday, Dec. 29 and Tuesday, Dec. 30.

Bowling drops WSC matchup at Rochelle

            The Lady Knights lost at T-Byrds in Rochelle to the Hubs by a final of 2,971-2,388.

            Jessica Stebbins had a 439 series, followed by Kathleen Moravcik’s 409.
High games were had by Stebbins at 170 and Moravcik at 163.

            The JV Lady Knights came away with a 2,097-1,886 victory over the Hubs thanks to a 400 series effort from Jessica McHenry.

            The bowlers now enjoy a break until Monday, Jan. 5, 2009 when they travel to Huntley for a 4:30 p.m. encounter.

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.

Bowling still searching for first win

by Mike Slodki

            Nothing like facing a steady rival to usher in the holidays, but the DeKalb Barbs were not about to yield Kaneland’s first win of 2008.

            DeKalb took care of Kaneland last Wednesday at Mardi Gras Lanes by a final of 3,040-2,618 to drop the Lady Knights to 0-5 (0-3 Western Sun Conference) in dual meet action.

            DeKalb improved to 5-0 on the campaign.

            For Kaneland, the top series were bowled by Emily Curran at 460 and Holly Thomas at 446.

            Cassie Wilson bowled a 444 series, followed by Kathleen Moravcik’s 437 and Jessica Stebbins’ 432. Jessica McHenry bowled a 399 series.

            Top games were bowled by Thomas at 180 and Curran at 171.

            The JV squad lost a 2,239-1,911 skirmish with the Lady Barbs. Tierra Lee and Sonja Isaacs had team-high series with a 392 and 350, respectively. Isaacs had high games of 134 and 125.

            Trish Rogers bowled a 310 series and Seleana Isaacs bowled a 303 series in the effort.

            “At DeKalb, we had one good game from our varsity, but we still lost that game and the match,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said. “We’re happy that we got pretty good scores from everyone in that game, but the highest was 180. We’re still looking for a game in which we get a few 180s, 190s, and 200s from the team. Those are the scores it’s going to take to beat some of our competition.

            Saturday saw the Lady Knights travel to the 5th annual Panther Invite hosted at Highland Park Bowl in Moline by East Moline United High School.

            Kaneland finished 12th in the invite out of 12 teams with a total of 4,224.

            Belvidere North (5,625), Sterling (5,425) and Rock Island (5,266).

            High six-game series for Kaneland was accomplished by Cassie Wilson at 916 and Jessica Stebbins at 874. Best three-game series for the Lady Knights was handled by Thomas (499) and Wilson (448).

            Kaneland’s JV crew finished 10th out of 12 with a total of 3,273 pins struck down. Belvidere North had 4,574 to win it all. Top six-game series for the JV Lady Knights were done by Amy Kuryliw (680) and Tierra Lee (578).

            Next up for Kaneland bowling is the Lisle Invite on Saturday, Dec. 20. Kaneland was also set to meet up at Rochelle on Wednesday.

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.

Bowling suffers losses to Sycamore, IMSA

by Mike Slodki          
            Wins for the Lady Knights bowling squad have been just out of reach.

            The good news is is that the reach is getting shorter.

            Kaneland (0-4, 0-2 Western Sun Conference) dropped a 2,993-2,620 matchup with rival Sycamore at Four Seasons Sports on Dec. 3. Kaneland took a game from Sycamore for the first time in 15 years.

            Monday saw IMSA come to AMF Valley Lanes in North Aurora and take a 2,613-2,540 match.

            Against Sycamore, senior cornerstone Cassie Wilson bowled a 487 series, followed by Kathleen Moravcik’s 483 series. Emily Curran bowled a 453 series.

            Wilson also came through with a 185 game and a 179 game, the two highest for the Lady Knights. Both games were key in the first head-to-head matchup of the night which saw Kaneland take a game from the Lady Spartans.

            “It’s an important day and we feel like we can’t get too down and keep improving,” Wilson said.

            Against IMSA, Holly Thomas had a 488 series, followed by Jessica Stebbins’ 475 and Moravcik’s 444. Top games were Thomas’ 200 and Moravcik’s 182.

            The JV troops had a 1,965-1,853 win over IMSA thanks to Amy Kuryliw’s 359.
Coming up for the Lady Knights: the Moline Invite on Saturday, Dec. 13 at 9:30 a.m. and a home matchup with Lisle on Monday, Dec. 15.

Grapplers tear through Saturday quad

Kaneland wrestlers earn three wins at Rochelle meet

            What’s the best remedy for a 1-5 dual meet start if you’re Kaneland wrestling?

            How about going to town on three opponents on Saturday.

            Kaneland improved to 4-5 after a successful outing at Rochelle High School’s gym.
In three matchups, the Monty Jahns-led Knights defeated host Rochelle 48-19, Bremen High School of Midlothian 63-12 and Lemont High School 37-32.

            Highlights against the Hubs included 135-pound entry Emiliano Ponce nabbing a 7-6 win with a takedown in the final period.

            Kyle Davidson, at the 140-pound mark, stuck a pin at the 4:42 mark.

            Jay Levita almost pulled out a win in the 145-pound match, down 10-8 in the final period, but lost 13-12 in a valiant effort.

            In the 103-pound match against the Hubs, Ryan Goodenough pulled out a 4:51 pin for a victory. In the 112-pound meeting, entry Tyler Esposito earned a pinfall in 1:44.

            Josh Kuefler won his meeting in the 119-pound range in just 27 seconds due to a pinfall.

            At this time a year ago, the Knights were 5-4 in dual meet action. At that very meet at Rochelle a year ago, Kaneland beat Bremen 60-21, but lost to Rochelle 40-33 and lost to Lemont 46-27.

            In oncoming action, the Knights host Western Sun Conference rival DeKalb on Friday, Dec. 12 at 5:30 p.m., and then travel to rival Glenbard South’s Raider turf on Tuesday, Dec. 16 at 5:30 p.m.

Lady Knights point-shy in two losses

            Lady Knights girls basketball can taste the wins just out of its reach, but lately the end of games have been sour.

            On Friday, the Lady Knights lost to host DeKalb 37-36 and on Monday, KHS lost to host Rochelle 42-41. Both games saw leads in the fourth quarter expire.

            The Lady Knights now sit at 1-7 on the season with an 0-3 record in the Western Sun Conference.

            Vs. the Barbs the Lady Knights went just 15-for-37 and 5-for-9 from the foul line.

            Brianna Hurst led the Lady Knights with 10 points and Katie Hatch added eight.

            Kaneland and DeKalb were tied at 12 after one and went into the locker room deadlocked at 20. After the third quarter in which the Lady Knights and Barbs were still tied at 28, DeKalb pulled out the win in the fourth.

            Hatch had a solid game at the home of the Hubs with 10 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and two steals.

            Chassidy Mangers had eight points and four rebounds.

            The Lady Knights enjoyed an early 14-8 lead at the end of one quarter, and still had a 23-17 lead going into the locker room. Rochelle closed to within 32-30 after three, before the Hubs’ 12-9 run encompassing the fourth quarter sealed the deal.

            Lower class action during the week had the freshmen lose to Glenbard South on Saturday. Kylie Siebert had 11 points.

            The sophomores lost to Rochelle on Monday by a 37-20 final.

            The next challenge for the girls is not until Wednesday, Dec. 17 when Kaneland plays at the Oswego East Tournament. The Lady Knights are set to play Oak Park-River Forest at 6:30 p.m.

Girls basketball drop one to GS; earn first win over St. Francis

Raiders hand girls loss in WSC opener

by Mike Slodki

            While it initially looked like Kaneland girls basketball had Glenbard South’s number on Tuesday night, it was the Raiders who deep-sixed the Lady Knights.

            A hot first quarter couldn’t carry over to the last three, and Kaneland lost its first Western Sun Conference affair by a 50-37 clip.

            In the final of last week’s Burlington Central’s tournament on Tuesday, Nov. 25, Kaneland got revenge on St. Francis 62-37. St. Francis solved Kaneland a year ago in the same setting.

            The Lady Knights are now 1-5 to begin the year and 0-1 in the conference.

            Chassidy Mangers had a team-high 11 points for the Lady Knights on Tuesday, and Alyssa Galvan had 10, but the Lady Knights had a sub par shooting night going 13-for-45 and just 10-for-20 from the foul line.

            “It just kind of snowballs,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “Four or five people start trying to do too much and we commit turnovers and start throwing long passes. Glenbard South is a good team and they’re well coached and they took advantage of it.”

            The Lady Knights roared out to a 15-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, but then committed a total of 19 turnovers in the middle two frames. Kaneland trailed 26-24 at halftime and 38-32 at the end of three.

            In the fourth, a baseline jumper by Mangers brought KHS within 41-34 with 4:56 left. Sara Rose hit a layup to close within 41-36 with 4:23 to go. A Katie Hatch foul shot with 3:39 to go made it 41-37 but Glenbard South upped the aggressiveness and made it to the foul line for six separate trips and put the game out of reach.

            Sara Rose had a productive 20-point night vs. St. Francis, while Katie Hatch added nine. Kaneland went 26-for-55 from the field, but 10-for-22 from the foul line. The Lady Knights also had 27 assists.

            The Lady Knights went up 10-8 after one and took advantage of a 17-3 second quarter to go up 27-11 at halftime. KHS was up 44-22 after three before the final eight minutes.

            In sophomore action, the Lady Knights dropped a 45-17 decision at Hampshire in its new gymnasium last Tuesday On Monday, Glenbard South defeated Kaneland 24-20. The sophomores sit at 0-5.

            The girls are at DeKalb on Friday, Dec. 5 and go to Rochelle on Monday, Dec. 8.

Kaneland wrestlers fighting through early season struggles

            Kaneland’s wrestling squad is giving its members valuable experience, but it probably wishes it could see more of the winning kind.

            After the first two meets of the regular season, the Knight grapplers under coach Monty Jahns have a 1-5 dual meet.

            Tuesday, Nov. 25 had Kaneland travel to the tough East Moline United meet and get defeated by Moline 49-9, Rock Island 30-26 and East Moline United 45-26.

            Good news did find its way to the Knights at the meet though.

            Josh Kuefler, at 119 pounds, won all three of his matches. Meanwhile, 125-pounder Devon Scholl won two matches, 140-pounder Kyle Davidson won two, as did Jimmy Boyle at the heavyweight category.

            The lone win on Saturday in a four way meetup was against Freeport, 50-28.

However, in a 45-36 loss to Oswego, Emiliano Ponce got a pin at 2:51 in the 135-pound class. Boyle earned a pin at 2:57. Kaneland also lost to Burlington Central, 47-24.

            Next up, the Knights take on Bremen, Lemont and Rochelle at the home of the Hubs.

Rival Morris handles Lady Knights bowling

            Kaneland and Morris have had many a battle on the bowling lanes, but it was the Redskins who emerged victorious in this 2008 edition.

            Morris traveled to AMF Valley Lanes in North Aurora on Tuesday evening and handled Kaneland by a final total of 3,122-2,631.

            The varsity Lady Knights fell to 0-2 on the season.

            Morris entry Ashley Copley had a meet-high 654 series. For Kaneland, sophomore asset Holly Thomas had a team-high 453 series, while senior Emily Curran had a 423.

            Jessica Stebbins had a 450 series, and Thomas added a 164 game.

            The JV troops lost to Morris, as well, 2,313-2,060. Jessica McHenry earned a 393 series and Amy Kuryliw had a 374.

For the Lady Knights, the next challenge is a Monday, Dec. 8 battle vs. IMSA.

            Five years ago, the Lady Knights bowling team started getting into the holiday spirit with a 1,607-1,245 win over Mooseheart. Laura Burkhalter bowled a 435 series, with a high game of 170. Julie Burton bowled a 404 series and a 150 game.

            Last year, Kaneland was edged by IMSA 2,460-2,425 despite Jen Yach’s 461 series.

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.

Hubs take first WSC bowling battle with KHS

            It was a less than ideal start for the Kaneland bowling squad at AMF Valley Lanes in North Aurora on Monday evening.

            Luckily, it being the first meet of the season, there remains plenty of time to make adjustments.

            Rochelle defeated the Lady Knights by a final of 3,198-2,656.

            For the Hubs, the top series was bowled by Kat Hager, who ended Monday with a 577. She was followed by fellow senior Sami Roth, who scored 575.

            The high game for Rochelle was a 225 by Hager.

            For Kaneland the high series were had by senior captain Cassie Wilson with a 499, followed by Emily Curran at 459 and Kathleen Moravcik at 445.

            The top individual games were bowled by Moravcik at 169, Wilson at 168 and Jessica Stebbins at 167.

            JV action had Rochelle defeat Kaneland 2,207-1,970.

            Sonja Isaacs bowled a 384 series, followed by a 383 by Jessica McHenry and a 344 by Molly Lambert.

            Next week’s action sees Kaneland hitting the lanes vs. rival Morris on Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 4:30 p.m. out in North Aurora.

Lady Knights in rough stretch at beginning

            Kaneland High School girls basketball fans were probably hoping for a better start.

            The girls basketball team would be inclined to agree.

            Making its way to the usual Thanksgiving-time Burlington Central tournament, KHS dropped its first two outings on Saturday.

            Rockford Auburn got the best of Kaneland 51-48, and Woodstock used a prolific second quarter to handle KHS 63-45.

            On Monday, Kaneland dropped a 53-41 result to Marengo.

            The Lady Knights now sit at 0-4.

            Vs. the Rockford version of the Lady Knights, KHS outscored RAHS 13-8 in the first quarter, but Kaneland was on the receiving end of a 17-9 second quarter, making it 25-22 at halftime. Kaneland rallied to take a 34-33 at the end of the third before Rockford Auburn used an 18-14 fourth to close the game out.

            Kaneland was 17-for-56 from the field and 14-for-28 from the foul line. The Lady Knights also pulled down 31 rebounds.

            Sara Rose, Katie Hatch and Alyssa Galvan each had a team-high 10 points.

            Ninety minutes later, Kaneland faced the Blue Streaks of Woodstock and held close, trailing just 18-14 after one before getting blown by in the second frame to go down 39-21 at the end of the third quarter.

            Overall, the Lady Knights were 17-for-45 from the field but 5-for-10 from three-point range. KHS was 10-for-20 from the foul line, and pulled down 28 rebounds.

            Galvan scored a team-high 14 points with a team-high nine boards. Megan Nauert added seven.

            In the matchup with the Indians in Burlington, Rose had 10 points.

            After Tuesday night’s affair vs. St. Francis, the Lady Knights were to enter pool play on Wednesday night.

            Sophomore action had the Lady Knights fall to the visiting Rochelle Lady Hubs on Saturday by a 39-26 margin to fall to 0-2.

            Taylor Bradbury and Tesa Alderman supplied nine points each in the losing effort.

            KHS enters Western Sun Conference play on Tuesday, Dec. 2 against Glenbard South at 5:30 p.m.

Lady Knights look to keep arrow pointing up

Girls hoops using seven seniors for lift in WSC

by Mike Slodki

            Two years ago, the Lady Knights basketball squad, helmed by Ernie Colombe, limped toward a 5-21 mark.

            Last year, KHS improved to 10-16 with a 5-9 record in Western Sun Conference play and was 5.7 seconds away from ousting Burlington Central in the regionals before losing 49-48 last February.

            This year, the Lady Knights look to make more positive strides under Colombe in his third year.

            “We work hard,” Colombe said. “I know it sounds like a cliche, but we push these girls in practice, and they seem to respond well to that.”

            First off, the Lady Knights have to deal with departed Class of 2008 members Brittney Hankes, Lesley Winslow, Vickie Mathieu and Jackie Smith.

            Hankes is playing collegiately at Elgin Community College this winter.

            Forwards on the 2008-09 roster are seniors Brianna Hurst and Katie Hatch. Hatch is on for her fourth varsity year, and made all-WSC last year.

            “Day in, day out. No one works harder than Katie,” Colombe said.

            Junior forwards are Kaila Ingraham and Mallory Carlson, both new to the varsity ranks, and sophomore Megan Nauert joins the ranks as well.

            Guards are seniors Sara Rose, who brings an improved shot, according to Colombe, CeCe Anderson, Chassidy Mangers and defensive stopper Mallory Huml, along with new sophomore editions Emily Heimerdinger and Andie Strang.

            Senior Alyssa Galvan provides minutes at the center position.

            Colombe, along with assistant coach Tom Dillavan, thinks that the younger set of sophomores bring intangibles to the court.

            “Andie might be the best shooter in the program and gets up and down the court well. Emily is really improved and is working against Sara every day in practice and is so competitve. Megan can play around the basket and has a knack for scoring,” Colombe said.

            The Knights will have their hands full with Geneva (21-7 in 2007-08) and Batavia (21-5).

            After the opening matchup at Hampshire on Tuesday, the Lady Knights hop on over to Burlington Central for its annual Thanksgiving Tournament beginning on Saturday, Nov, 22. The first conference matchup is vs. Glenbard South on Tuesday, Dec. 2. The regular season ends for the Lady Knights on Friday, Feb. 13, 2009, at Sycamore.

Hampshire deals out convincing loss to KHS girls

by Mike Slodki

            As is customary over the last several years, Kaneland High School girls basketball opened its campaign against Hampshire.

            Unfortunately, the results are as customary as the previous two seasons were.

            For the third consecutive year, Hampshire got the best of the Lady Knights, this time by a final of 59-39.

            Center Alyssa Galvan had a game-high 10 points in the Tuesday night affair at the brand new Hampshire High School. Chassidy Mangers added nine.

            Hampshire went on an early 12-0 run to take a 14-3 lead with 3:10 to go in the frame.

            KHS cut the margin to 15-7 after one.

            The Lady Knights went on a mini-run and made adjustments in the second quarter. Down 22-11, Sara Rose hit a layup and Mangers made a foul shot to close within 22-14 with 5:41 to go in the half. Later on, the Lady Knights went on a 7-0 run, thanks to a Rose shot, a Galvan basket, a Katie Hatch free throw and an Emily Heimerdinger baseline jumper that closed it to 24-21 with 2:24 left. Rose’s offensive putback with 1:19 to go made it 29-25, but Hampshire clamped on the defense and Kaneland went into the half down 36-25.

            Hampshire upping the tempo on both ends led to a 23-point lead in the third quarter before Andie Strang’s two foul shots closed it to 51-30 at the end of three.

            “We made defensive mistakes today,” Colombe said. “These are mistakes that you make when you’re sophomores but not when you’re on varsity. We’ve got a lot to fix, but we’ll work hard in practice.”

            The Lady Knights head out to Burlington Central, facing Rockford Auburn at 2:30 p.m. and Woodstock at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22.

KHS boys basketball ready to deal with season’s challenges

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.

Senior core of captains key for Lady Knights bowling

by Mike Slodki

            Approaching his 20th year at the helm of Kaneland High School bowling, coach Jim McKnight has seen his share of pins knocked down.

            But the only situation he can help influence at this moment in time is the current 2007-08; just so happens that’s all he’s worried about.

            The Lady Knights look to rebound from a 3-11 (0-7 Western Sun Conference) dual meet mark from 07-08. While key grads are gone, the Lady Knights have their share of returnees looking to make their mark.

            “We have quite a few who do have varsity experience,” McKnight said. “With any luck at all, I think we could have a decent varsity this year.”

            It begins with a group of four senior captains: Emily Curran, Kathleen Moravcik, Jessica Stebbins and Cassie Wilson. It also includes sophomore Holly Thomas, who saw lane time last year.

            “Barring any unforseen circumstances, those five will be our varsity and ready to go,” McKnight said.

            Additional seniors include Donna Sury and Sonja Isaacs. Juniors are Amy Kuryliw, Molly Lambert, Tiera Lee, Jessica McHenry and Danielle Rose. Freshmen are Madi Bluml, Ashley Diddell, Seleana Isaacs, Megan Scott and Grace Snyder.

            The bowlers kick the season off on Monday, Nov. 24, vs. Rochelle.

Grapplers set to begin Jahns era

by Mike Slodki

            A less prepared team might be scrambling.

            With former coach Gary Baum stepping down after a 20-year coaching career and the departure of four graduates, fans would understand if Kaneland wrestling got off to a slower-than-normal start.

            But with new head coach Monty Jahns, himself a former Knight wrestler and longtime assistant coach, it is going to be business as usual and hitting the mat running.

            “We are going to miss Coach Baum,” Jahns said. “Leadership was his biggest quality, and I hope to carry that on with these guys, along with dedication and making these guys the best wrestlers they can be.”

            Jahns is joined by Rob Bohaczyk, Jeremy Kenny and Joe Thorgesen on the coaching staff.

            Looking to make a name for themselves are Paul Morning at 112 pounds, Devon Scholl at 119 pounds and Matt Weaver at the 125-pound class.

            Kyle Davidson looks to pin down the competition at the 140 class. Senior Jay Levita, fresh off a postseason in which he stood out at last year’s regionals, sits at 145. Keagan Mattes begins at 171 and Jimmy Boyle takes over Fabrizius’ old spot at 285.

            “We want the kids to battle for seven minutes, finish the match strong and never give up,” Jahns said.

            Tuesday, Nov. 25, has Kaneland traveling to East Moline United.