Category Archives: Winter Sports

Feb. 20 sports recap

Freshman Girls BBall
Feb. 8, 10, 12 @ NIB-12 Tournament—The Lady Knights finished their 2013-14 season with a fourth-place showing at the NIB-12 Freshman Tournament, held at Rochelle Twp. High School. KHS won their first two games—38-35 over LaSalle-Peru and 33-30 over Sycamore—before falling to Rochelle in the quarterfinals. KHS lost the third-place game to Ottawa 54-28.

Sophomore Girls BBall
Feb. 13 vs. DeKalb—The Lady Knights jumped out to a 16-6 lead after the first quarter and never looked back in their 37-20 win over DeKalb. It was their final game of the 2013-14 season. Kristen Siebert led the team with 10 points, while Meg Cohrs and Kylie Modaff each had six points. Kiandra Powell had five points, Sophie Sandquist had four points and Jenna Harvell and Nichole Koczka each supplied three points. The Lady Knights ended the season with a 14-11 overall record, and an even 5-5 record in NIB-12 conference play.

Sophomore Boys BBall
Feb. 14 at Yorkville—The Knights beat their Route 47 bretheren 48-42 behind Mark Lilly’s 14 and Jake Marczuk’s 10 points. Joe Laudont had seven points for the Knights, while Jacob Violett and Brett Hansen each had five points. Jason Edwards had four points and Tanner Robertson had three points.

Feb. 15 vs. Hillcrest—The Knights dropped just their fifth game of the season against a strong Hillcrest team 72-46. Violett had 10 points, while Mitchel Groen had nine, while both Marczuk and Matt Vanenborn each had eight points and Robertsen had three.

Feb. 18 vs. St. Charles North—The Knights earned their 17th win with a 73-66 triumph over the North Stars. Marczuk led the way with 18 points, while Lilly had 15, Robertsen and Laudont each had 12, Groen had nine and Hansen had seven. The team is 17-5 overall, with a 7-1 conference record.

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Helping hands

Six-team shootout at Kaneland on Saturday to benefit worthy cause
KANELAND—It stands to be no ordinary Saturday at Kaneland.

You’ll have your customary weekend basketball action, but the Kaneland boys team and dedicated volunteers are coming together for something bigger than jump shots.

The first-ever Hoops For Heroes-Kaneland Day and Knight of Hoops will feature five other Chicagoland teams, and proceeds from the six-game extravaganza go to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. The Wounded Warrior Project organizes to honor and empower wounded veterans.

Scheduled to run from noon to 9 p.m., beginning with sophomore contests, the Knights battle Hillcrest High School from Country Club Hills, Ill., in the 7:30 p.m. nightcap, with North Chicago and Larkin doing battle at 5 p.m. and St. Charles North meeting Peoria Richwoods at 2:30 pm.

“The volunteers and I decided for this night to have some special meaning, and we have some great basketball programs coming in,” KHS boys coach Brian Johnson said.

The first of its kind in Kaneland basketball history, the gathering already holds importance before the jump ball.

“It’s important to be there for those that have served and come back. I’ve told the team it’s bigger than basketball that night,” Johnson said.

The night, also featuring Bob and Donna Harner receiving a Friend of the Program award, is also set to feature games for Kaneland Youth Basketball and Cagers, as well as performances by the KHS Pep Band and cheer programs.

“It’s an honor to be able to host the event, and we have storied programs and a couple of top-20 ranked teams,” Johnson said. “If you take Kaneland out of it, it’s still a big night at KHS.”

Saturday also featues 50/50 and draw down raffling and Chuck-a-duck contests that benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.

For information on the night’s proceedings, head to support.woundedwarriorproject.org/individual-fundraising/hoopsforheroes.

Senior Justin Diddell place first at the Belvidere Regional

In proper position

Photos courtesy of Stefanie Vanik
Third-place at tough sectional paves way for potential state berths
KANELAND—Call them the lucky seven.

After a third-place finish at the Class 2A Belvidere Regional, however, the rest of the field at this weekend’s Pontiac Sectional might see their fortunes run out, once they face the Knights.

Paced by heavyweight regional king Justin Diddell, the Knights’ 124-point total was good for third in the nine-team setup.

Sandwich took the regional with 174 points, followed by rival Sycamore’s 130. Belvidere (122.5) and Marengo (92.5) rounded out the top five. Belvidere North and Boylan Catholic of Rockford tied for sixth with 80. Burlington Central and Joliet Catholic brought up the rear with 34 and 31, respectively.

A year ago at the Sycamore Regional, the Knights finished second and also advanced seven.

While the regional championship mantle was less full this go-around, the Knights still maintain enough to do damage the rest of this postseason.

Besides Diddell, the Knights plan to brandish 160-pound second-placer Austin Parks, 170-pound runner-up Tom Price, and third-place grapplers Adam Mish (113), Riley Vanik (145), George Strang (152) and Zac Parker (182).

Diddell’s day began with a :41 second fall over Deon Roby of Belvidere, with the finals going the Knights’ way after a 1-0 edging of Sycamore rival, Devin Knight.

Parks beat Sycamore’s Michael Beaudoin by 12-0 major decision in his semi challenge before falling to capable Sandwich Indian Rigo Fraire by 3:45 pinfall in the final.

Price, who has had a productive first year as a transfer, got past Boylan’s Austin Middleton by 1:01 stick and Marengo’s Brandon Dierkes by 1:34 pinfall. In the finals, Price was upended by Sycamore’s Austin Armstrong in 51 seconds.

In the 113 category, Mish found his way to the consolation bracket, where he pounded Belvidere wrestler Jonathan Sanchez in a 15-2 major decision.

Vanik, getting a taste of the postseason attrition as a freshman, beat Spartan counterpart Andrew Larsen 14-6 in a major decision win. After a semifinal loss to Boylan’s Joey Bartolino and a consolation slot, Vanik recovered by beating BC’s Ray Coklan in 3:05 and beat Hilltopper Cameron Haney in a 17-10 slugfest for the invite to next weekend.

Strang wrote his ticket for this weekend by placing third in the 152-pound category. Beginning with a 13-7 win over Sandwich foe Jesse Brunoehler, Strang was then defeated by Sycamore’s Michael Ernster, 3-0. In the consolation bracket, the Knight recovered with a 3:17 pin of a Marengo opponent before outlasting BC’s Christan Quiles in a 4-3 final.

Parker’s journey began with a 6-2 win over Belvidere’s Gage Brewer, but after a tech fall loss to Sycamore’s Christopher Malone, the KHS sophomore beat BC’s Kyle Blankenburg by 7-3 count before solving Brewer once again in 5-2 fashion.

The Knights’ journey for statehood continues on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14-15, on the Pontiac High School grounds with the eligible qualifiers from the LaSalle-Peru, Geneseo and East Peoria Individual Regionals.

2-13 sports recap

Sophomore Girls BBall
Feb. 6 at Morris—KHS treked south on Route 47 and returned with a 43-35 NIB-12 win over Morris. Kiandra Powell’s 16 points led the Lady Knights, and Meg Cohrs was close behind with 12 points. Nicole Koczka supplied seven points while Hollie Fedderly had four.
Feb. 8 at LaSalle-Peru—The Lady Knights defeated LaSalle-Peru 44-40 Saturday. Kristen Siebert led the way with 14 points, while Powell had nine, Koczka had eight and Kylie Modaff had five for KHS.
Feb. 10 vs. Yorkville—Twenty-one turnovers doomed KHS in a 44-22 loss at home to Yorkville. Fedderly, Koczka and Siebert each had five points, while Cohrs had 4. The sophomore Lady Knights are now 13-11, 4-5 in NIB-12 play before playing DeKalb at home tonight.

Sophomore Boys Bball
Feb. 7 at Rochelle—The sophomore Knights fell on the road 78-72 at Rochelle. Tanner Robertsen, Mark Lilly and Jake Marczuk each had 18 points, while Joe Laudont had eight points and Kevin Fajardo and Brett Hansen each had three.
Feb. 11 at West Chicago—KHS lost for just the fourth time all season at West Chicago Tuesday, 66-56. Lilly led the way with 15 points and Marczuk had 14. Mitchel Groen had eight points, Laudont had five, Robertsen and Jacob Violett each had four points and Fajardo and Hansen each had three points. The Knights are 15-4 overall, 6-1 in NIB-12 conference play. They play at Yorkville Friday.

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Crews controls fate after Regional

Photo: The 2013-14 KHS bowlers competed as a team one final time Saturday at the Metea Valley Regional in Aurora. The team included senior Michelle Bohanek (from left), junior Rena Wojciechowski, junior Katie Hill, freshman Grace Lindgren, junior Dominique Lee and senior Christie Crews. Photo by Mary Paulson

AURORA—Whenever the end comes for Kaneland bowling in 2013-14, it’s going to have a different feel and look.

That’s because senior Christie Crews is still going and has a chance to qualify for the State tournament in two weeks.

At Parkside Lanes in Aurora, Crews represented Kaneland well as part of the Metea Valley Regional, managing to qualify for the Freeport Sectional on Saturday, Feb. 15.

After Kaneland finished with a middle of the pack 4,183 to finish sixth, Crews’ singular total of a 908 series put her in eighth of 10 individual qualifiers for the weekend.

The top individual total went to Metea Valley junior Jordan Newham, who bowled a 1,378.

The four qualifying schools for sectional play were Metea Valley at 5,620, St. Charles North at 5,472, St. Charles East at 4,671 and Larkin at 4,383.

The 2014 regional marked the first time for a new postseason format. Normally, the bowling landscape would go from sectionals to State, and the top two teams plus two additional individuals would advance. Now with regionals, the top four teams plus 10 individuals go to sectionals. Four teams and five additional individuals stand to advance out of Freeport.

“Christie just happens to be one of the first to go through the new format,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said. “She did not have any spectacular scores last Saturday, but most of the girls who bowled the really high scores were on the top four teams—the four teams who qualified for the Sectional. The format was designed in part to accommodate bowlers who are not necessarily on one of the top teams.”

While the Lady Knights have never managed to advanced to State, the school has advanced four qualifiers, most recently Tannya Serrano in 2003.

“The past few years, it has taken close to a 220 average at the Sectional to qualify as an individual for State. It will probably be close to that again this year, so Christie will need to have a spectacular day up in Freeport this Saturday. Regardless of outcome, we are proud of her, and she is proud to represent us,” McKnight said.

Additionally, the Lady Knights closed out regular season play on Feb. 5, in Lisle. The Lady Lions dropped KHS to 3-10 in dual action with a 2,226-2,191 result. Junior Dominique Lee had a team-high 498 series, while also having a team-best 184 game.

Crews continues at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, with other competitors from the Rockford East and Sycamore Regionals.

GBB

More like it

Photo: Freshman Morgan Weber had four points in Kaneland’s 51-41 win over the visiting Lady Foxes of Yorkville Monday. Photo by Ben Draper

Girls hoops stabilizes in season homestretch
KANELAND—Kaneland girls basketball made sure its recent five-game losing streak was a thing of the past this week.

It remains to be seen what’s in the immediate future with the postseason looming.

After falling to a season-low 9-13 at the beginning of the month, Kaneland rattled off a three-game win streak. On Monday, the Lady Knights capped off the successful stretch by laying waste to visiting Yorkville, 51-41. In a Saturday crossover contest with host LaSalle-Peru, KHS beat the Cavaliers, 57-24, and saw a trip to Grundy County last Thursday turn productive in a 74-67 win.

Kaneland sits at 12-13 on the year, with a 4-4 record in Northern Illinois Big XII play.

“We played well in all three games,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We have been working hard in practice and trying to get better each day.”

Kaneland was able to get revenge on the Lady Foxes after a 19-point loss back on Jan. 31. After falling behind 16-9 after one quarter, and 26-23 at halftime, the Lady Knights took advantage of poor opposing shooting and went on a 22-1 run that spanned two quarters, thanks to key baskets and defense. Up 38-30, Kaneland saw the lead grow to 17 before the final margin.

“We stuck with what we wanted to do even after we got down 26-15. We got on a big run and really controlled the tempo of the game. In our first meeting with Yorkville they really controlled the tempo and game from start to finish,” Colombe said.

Leading the way were Kelly Wallner with 18 points and Amber Winquist-Bailey with 11 points and four steals. KHS was 19-of-44 from the field and 11-of-23 from the free throw line.
Against the West division Cavs, Kaneland’s defense and 18 steals made life miserable in LaSalle County for L-P fans.

“We needed to get better in our rotations and also better at stopping dribble penetration,” Colombe said.

Up 15-4 after one, the Lady Knights led 36-11 at the conclusion of the first half. The lead stretched to 49-14 after three before the final frame. Winquist-Bailey had a team-high 13 points, followed by Bailey Crimmins’ 11 and Ally Van Bogaert’s 10. KHS ended 27-of-58 from the field.

Facing the Lady Redskins, the Lady Knights led 21-9 after the first eight minutes and 36-27 at halftime. Seeing the lead shrink to 52-48 at the end of the third, the Lady Knights were helped by 14 foul shots to secure the win.

Guard Caroline Heimerdinger lifted the victory effort with 16 points. Wallner had 15 and Camri Conley put in 11 of her own.

Going 22-of-45 from the field, KHS went to the charity stripe an astounding 47 times, hitting 27 shots.

This week features home matches up against challenging teams DeKalb, on Thursday, Feb. 13, and Sycamore on Friday. Feb. 14, in a quest to eclipse .500.

The IHSA postseason plan was released last week, with Kaneland set for Class 3A Plano Regional action beginning as the No. 3 seed against No. 2 Plano on Wednesday. Feb. 19, at 8 p.m. The winner is scheduled against No. 1 Sycamore, No. 4 Rochelle or No. 5 Sandwich in the regional championship on Friday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m.

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Emerging victors

Photo: Senior John Pruett continued his torrid scoring streak, putting up 26 points Friday at Rochelle, and following that up with 28 more against West Chicago Tuesday evening. Fellow senior Tyler Carlson (23) was the team’s high-scorer with 33 points against Rochelle. Photo by Patti Wilk

KANELAND—Whatever questions exist concerning the fortunes of Kaneland boys basketball, the offense doesn’t have to be included.

Dealing with an athletic West Chicago lineup on Tuesday in a road jaunt, the Knights withstood the floor-spreading attack and emerged with a 71-65 win.

That came on the heels of a successful Friday trip to Rochelle, where KHS ran to a 91-67 win over the host Hubs.

Kaneland enjoys a 12-7 record with a 3-3 mark in Northern Illinois Big XII conference play.

The Knights’ win on Joliet St. in West Chicago proved considerably more agreeable than the 54-43 Wildcat win from a year ago.

Kaneland resisted several lead changes and 27 points from scoring threat John Konchar by utilizing John Pruett’s 28 points, including 14-of-17 shooting from the foul line in the win.

“I’m just coming out here, and it’s my senior year, and this could possibly be the last time I play basketball, in high school for sure, at least,” Pruett said. “I’m just going to try to end it with a bang.

An even first quarter ended with West Chicago up 13-11, and the close tempo held for much of the second quarter when Pruett’s three-pointer with 2:25 to go in the half gave KHS a 24-22 lead. After a WC three, Pruett came back with a three-point play with 1:14 to go for a 27-25 lead. An offensive putback on the other end tied the affair. Drew David’s bucket with 43.4 to go put the Knights back on top, 29-27, but a Wildcat three with 29.7 ended the scoring at 30-29 for the first half.

The third quarter saw West Chicago get out to a five-point lead during one stretch, but the Knights were helped by two foul shots from Pruett, a foul shot from Tyler Carlson and a putback by Carlson in a 49 second stretch to lead 49-45 at the end of three.

A Pruett three 21 second into the quarter gave the Knights a seven-point edge at 52-45, but WC wouldn’t go away, missing just three shots in the quarter and going six-for-nine from the charity stripe.

Kaneland saw its lead grow to eight with 2:26 to go at 66-58, but a WC trey with 1:59 left closed it to 66-61. Two Pruett foul shots with 1:14 left made it 68-61 before a Wildcat trifecta and a foul shot cut it to 68-65 with 48.5 left.

With the Wildcats potentially able to tie the score on the next possession, the senior cornerstone David’s quick steal of a pass led to a foul and two free throws with 19.9 left. The pair gave the Knights a 70-65 lead which iced the contest.

“(The steal) was huge,” Pruett said. “Drew is a four-year starter. Whenever we need him, he’s always coming through. Free throws, threes or steals, he’s always doing what we need to do.”

“The boys were a little more comfortable, and that was a game we were going to have to play hard,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said. “There’s no let-up in them, and I thought the boys responded. They played hard and they played physical.”

Against the Hubs, Kaneland was helped by a 33-point night from Carlson and 26 from Pruett in the win. Pruett also went 12-of-18 from the foul line.

Kaneland and Rochelle were deadlocked at 18 after one, and the Knights led 36-29 at the halftime buzzer. Up 65-52 after three frames, Kaneland poured it on and outscored the Hubs 26-15 in the fourth.

On Friday, Feb. 14, the Knights head to Yorkville for NIB-12 play, and Saturday, Feb. 15, brings Kaneland’s first Day and Night of Hoops with six varsity and sophomore games featuring storied programs.

Kaneland tips off against Hillcrest in the 7:30 p.m. nightcap, with proceeds from the event benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project.

All cylinders

KHS continues to roll in duals, ends regular season with close win vs. Batavia

BATAVIA—It doesn’t matter the caliber of opponent—Kaneland wrestling makes sure the foe has its mat work cut out for it.

The latest example was a 37-32 win over former conference rival Batavia at the Bulldogs’ refurbished fieldhouse on Friday.

The notch in the Knights’ favor cements their dual record for the 2013-14 season at a stellar 15-7, up from 13-13 last year and 11-12 in 2011-12.

“As a dual team, we’re a little bit better than the last two years,” KHS coach Monty Jahns said. “The frosh/soph guys are doing great, and the upperclassmen are hanging in there.”

The win also bests last year’s 42-30 regular season ender in Maple Park to Batavia. Two years ago saw Kaneland earn a tiebreaker in a 31-31 contest.

There were wins aplenty for KHS, beginning at 106 pounds, with Austin Kedzie pinning Mike Orlow at 1:57. Matthew Redman took a 12-11 decision in the 126-pound battle, followed by an 11-2 major decision for 132-pound entry Hayden Patterson.

At 138 pounds, Dane Goodenough earned a 60-second pinfall over Marc Goodin, while teammate Riley Vanik took the 145-pound mantle in 2:06. George Strang took a 3-2 decision over 152-pound rival Eric Wallerstein, while Austin Parks won the 160 match over Derek Nutley, 11-6 and fellow Knight Tom Price worked to a 3:35 pinfall at 170 to complete the Kaneland run.

“It’s a solid team,” Jahns said. “They are constantly improving, and we have guys like (285-pound) Justin Diddell leading the way with 28 wins. Our goal is to get down to Champaign (Ill., site of dual team finals).”

Up next for the Knights is postseason territory on Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Belvidere Regional. Teams include Belvidere, Belvidere North, Burlington Central, Joliet Catholic, Marengo, Boylan Catholic, Sandwich and Sycamore. Last year’s postseason journey yielded a 145-pound State crown for graduate Dan Goress.

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Starts and stops

Photo: Sophomore Ryan David had six points for the Knights at DeKalb Tuesday. Photo by Patti Wilk

KANELAND—It was a game that had two near-misses.

Unfriendly weather had shelved the Kaneland boys basketball team to Elgin outfit St. Edward on both Jan. 30, and Thursday before finally settling for a Friday tip-off.

With no elements in their way, the Knights worked toward a 65-55 victory.

After yet another makeup contest on Tuesday in DeKalb, the Knights sat at (10-7, 2-3 Northern Illinois Big XII).

The Knights have alternated wins and losses in their last six games.

The DeKalb contest was originally set for Saturday, while the Knights have yet another makeup contest against visiting Sycamore scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 22, from Jan. 24.

Senior John Pruett continued his high-level of play in 2013-14 with a 29-point evening, followed by classmate Tyler Carlson with 17.

The Knights also benefited from 32 chances at the foul line, allowing for 16 baskets from the charity stripe for a 50-percent night.

KHS and the Green Wave were deadlocked at 13-all before Kaneland stormed to a 30-21 advantage at halftime. Kaneland led 45-36 after three before stretching the lead with a 20-19 fourth frame.

Against DeKalb, Pruett had a game-high 23 points, but DeKalb had four players in double-digits, as the Barbs used a 19-13 opening quarter to pave the way for a 76-70 win over visiting Kaneland. Tyler Carlson had 19 points and Cole Carlson had 15 for the Knights in the loss.

Kaneland continues the NIB-12 tour with a trek to Ogle County on Friday, Feb. 7, against Rochelle, in what continues a five-game road swing.

Feb. 6 Sports recap

Girls Soph. Basketball
Jan. 31 at Yorkville—Bailey Crimmins had 16 points and Kiandra Powell had 11, but the Lady Knights fell to the host Lady Foxes 56-43 Friday. Kristen Siebert had six points for Kaneland. KHS was 11-10, 3-4 in NIB-12 play through Jan. 31.

Boys Soph. Basketball

Jan. 31 at St. Edwards—The sophomore Knights defeated St. Edward 56-47 Friday. Tanner Robertsen had 17 points, while Brett Hansen supplied nine points. Mark Lilly, Mitchel Groen and Joe Laudont each had eight points, and Jacob Violett had four points.
Feb. 4 at DeKalb—The 15-2 sophomores (6-0 in NIB-12 conference play) routed the host Barbs 50-32 Tuesday. The Knights did it with even scoring, with Robertsen, Lilly and Jake Marczuk each supplying nine points, Hansen with eight points, Groen with six points, Laudont with five points and Violett with four points.

Hard Luck Lady Knights

Skid hits five after road loss to rival Yorkville
YORKVILLE—With as hard as the Lady Knights basketball team plays game in and game out, the bad luck could end soon.

The shame is that the bad luck keeps going at a critical juncture.

Falling in a 12-2 hole early and dealing with an up-tempo game patrolled by hosts like Corrine Rowe and Lindsay Schlichting, the Lady Knights were forced to play catch-up in a 53-34 loss to host Yorkville on a flurry-filled Friday evening.

The lone game of the week brought the Lady Knights mark down to 9-13 (2-4 Northern Illinois Big XII). A scheduled Saturday afternoon matchup with Illinois Math and Science Academy in Maple Park was cancelled due to poor driving conditions.

The five-game losing streak means the last win for KHS came back on Jan. 9 against Morris.

Leading the way for the Lady Knights was post presence Kelly Wallner with 10 points and 13 rebounds for a double-double. KHS was just 12-for-45 from the field in the Kendall County setting, with a 9-for-21 night from the foul line.

“Their guards did a good job; I thought their whole team did a good job of spacing us out,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “They were hitting shots, and we were scrambling.”

Rowe had a game-high 17, while Schlichting had 13 for the Lady Foxes.

Down 10 early, the Lady Knights closed to 12-10 by the end of the first frame.

Bailey Crimmins cut the lead to 14-12 with 6:34 left in the half, and other baskets were supplied by Ally Van Bogaert and Morgan Weber. Rowe and Schichting added three key baskets, with Yorkville making six shot attempts in a row enroute to a 26-17 lead at halftime.

Wallner was responsible for all three KHS field goals in the third quarter, but Yorkville increased its lead to 43-26 by the end of third quarter play. Yorkville increased its edge to 23 points at 53-30 with 1:15 to go before a Kaneland mini-run.

“The attitude’s good; the kids are working hard. But (Yorkville) controlled the tempo, and that’s what seniors do,” Colombe said.

On Thursday, Feb. 6, Kaneland continues on the NIB-12 circuit in Grundy County at Morris.

[st_box title=”Looking back…” type=”info”]Looking at the Lady Knights’ five-game loss streak, the longest skid of the 2012-13 season was three: Jan. 18, 19 and 26 of 2013 at Sycamore, vs. LaSalle-Peru and vs. Sterling, respectively.[/st_box]

Degree of difficulty

Delayed NIB-12 gathering has KHS bowling 10th

STREATOR, Ill.—It took only a week to get going, but the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference meet took place on Monday at Dixon Plum Hollow Lanes.

The meet, hosted by exiting conference outfit Streator, ended with Morris in first place after an output of 7,230 pins. Departing Dixon was second with a tally of 6,485, followed by the hosts at 6,167.

Ottawa was fourth from the West division at 6,091.

LaSalle-Peru, DeKalb, Rochelle, Sycamore and Sterling filled out the rest of the order.

Morris’ Jessica Winter, at 1,291, was top in the individual category, while Dixon’s Emily Quaco was second at 1,264.

While Kaneland was stuck with bringing up the rear in the 10-team field with a total pin collection of 5,115, there were some bright spots.

[st_callout title=”So close ..” button_text=”Full NIB-12 Results” link=”http://nibig12.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/NIB12-2013-14-Varsity-Tournament.xls”]Kaneland junior Dominique Lee was 82 pins away from entering the conference’s top 15 list for high six-game series on Monday.[/st_callout]

“Dominique Lee had a nice 228 game for us at the tournament,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said. “It was amazing how Morris absolutely ran away from the field. They really were in a different league, you might say.”

With a 228 as her high game, Lee, a junior, ranked 15th in the conference high-game category.

The Kaneland totals included Lee followed by senior anchor Christie Crews, junior Rena Wojciechowski with an 888 afternoon, freshman Grace Lindgren at 851, junior Katy Hill at 825 and senior Michelle Bohanek at 662.

Kaneland’s regular season was scheduled to come to an end on Wednesday in Lisle, Ill., against the Interstate Eight Conference entry Lions in a road contest.

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Diddell wins conference crown

Team places sixth
STERLING, ILL.—Sterling High School housed quite the collection of wrestling talent on Saturday, as Kaneland found out firsthand.

Earning some individual glory and having to deal with capable talent in both Northern Illinois Big XII divisions, the Kaneland Knights wrestling squad finished in sixth place with 112.5 team points.

The kings of the conference turned out to be Yorkville with a total of 237 points, followed by Geneseo with 219.5. Rounding out the top five schools were DeKalb at 180, Sycamore at 127.5 and LaSalle-Peru at 120. After Kaneland, Sterling finished seventh with a 110 score, and Ottawa took eighth at 96. Morris, Rochelle and soon-departing Dixon and Streator completed the lineup with 67, 60.5, 37 and 21, respectively.

A year ago, Kaneland finished fifth at the NIB-12 meet in Sycamore.

The Knights saw one of their own get to the first-place promised land, as 285-pound juggernaut Justin Diddell owned his weight class, much like graduate Dan Goress did a year ago at 145.

Austin Parks managed a third-place finish in the 160-pound category, and teammates Matthew Redman (126) and Nick Mish (106) took fourth-places for their afternoon effort.

Other KHS action featured Adam Mish (113) managing a fifth, while Zach Parker (170) and Riley Vanik (145) took sixth places.

For Diddell, action began with a win over L-P foe Jon Hewitt in 31 seconds, and a semifinal win over Geneseo’s Nick Verbeck in 3:49. In the heavyweight final, DeKalb’s Alex Roach fell victim to a Diddell pinfall in 3:21.

In the 160-pound landscape, Parks began with a win over L-P rival Mike Milasuski by 1:02 fall before falling to Yorkville Fox Tyler Wilkinson in 2:51. Parks recovered in the consolation semi by beating Sycamore’s Michael Beaudoin in 2:30 before acing Cole Hunzeker of Geneseo in the third-place match by a final of 7-2.

Redman beat Logan Mathey of Sycamore, 5-2 to kick things off, before losing to Geneseo’s Hunter Grau by 20-5 count. In the consolation semifinal, Redman recovered sufficiently to beat Dixon’s Jake Johnson by 8-0 major decision. In the third-place match, Redman fell to DeKalb foe Izaiah Webb, 15-13.

Nick Mish began the day with a loss to Geneseo’s Tumbo Tumbarello by 8-4 count, and then regained composure by beating Morris’ Tony Menozi in 5:11. Moving on to the consolation semi, Mish beat Sterling host Tyrone Long in :41 before losing to Yorkville’s Hunter Vester by 4-0 count.

Ahead for the Knight roster is the traditional end-of-regular season tussle with former conference rival Batavia in the Bulldogs’ newly refurbished fieldhouse on Friday, Jan. 31.

Photos by Patti Wilk:

Lady Knights endure weekend conference loss

KANELAND—It hasn’t been an easy stretch for KHS girls hoops.

Kaneland girls basketball has had just one opportunity to play a game in Maple Park since Dec. 10, and had lost three in a row coming into Saturday afternoon’s contest in Ogle County against the host Lady Hubs of Rochelle.

Getting revenge for the six-point KHS win on Dec. 10, Rochelle was able to quiet the Lady Knights in a 65-55 affair, Kaneland’s first game in eight days.

“We have had players sick or missing with a school activity conflict at least once per week,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. We sent four players home from the Dixon Tourney with the flu. Throw in the weather and it has been tough to find a consistent rotation. We have had a lot less practice time due to the weather. It impacts conditioning and also impacts skill development.

“The good news is the players are working real hard to get better and are a fun group to be around each day.”

Kaneland is now 9-12, losers of four in a row, and 2-3 in the Northern Illinois Big XII landscape with eight regular season games left on the slate.

The Lady Knights were 20-of-55 from the field on the contest, and 5-of-10 from the free throw line. Amber Winquist-Bailey led the Lady Knights with 16, followed by Ally Van Bogaert’s 15 and Kelly Wallner’s 10. The perimeter game picked up with three three-pointers each from Winquist-Bailey and Van Bogaert.

Rochelle got out to an 11-8 lead after the first frame and was up 25-22 at the halftime break before extending the margin to 46-38 at the end of the third. The Lady Knights were outscored 19-17 in the fourth.

Kaneland’s Friday contest against visiting Sycamore was postponed to Friday, Feb. 14. On Friday, Jan. 31, the Lady Knights travel to Yorkville for conference play and the first meeting of the 2013-14 season between the two rosters.

Jan. 30 sports recap

Sophomore Girls Basketball
Jan. 23 vs. Sycamore—Bailey Crimmins’ seven points paced the cold-shooting Lady Knights against Sycamore, as the squad lost 41-26. Jenna Harvell had four points, while Nicole Koczka and Kiandra Powell each had three.
Jan. 25 at Rochelle Twp.—Kristen Siebert led the Lady Knights with seven points as KHS defeated Rochelle 41-25. Kylie Modaff, Powell and Crimmins each supplied six points, while Harvell, Meg Cohrs and Hollie Fedderly had four points apiece. The Lady Knights are now 11-9 overall, and 3-3 in NIB-12 play.

Sophomore Boys Basketball
Jan. 23 vs. Sycamore—The Knights rolled over the visiting Spartans 53-35. Connor Peterson paced the team with 14 points, while Tanner Robertson and Jake Marczuk each had 12. The trio of Mark Lilly, Mitchel Groen and Kevin Fajardo had five points each. The Knights are 13-2 overall, and 5-2 in NIB-12 play.

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Hoops for Heroes Feb. 15

Kaneland to host inaugural Day and Knight of Hoops
MAPLE PARK—Kaneland Boys Basketball announced the Hoops for Heroes inaugural Day and Knight of Hoops, to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15.

Six premier varsity/sophomore basketball programs—Kaneland, St. Charles North, Hillcrest, Elgin Larkin, North Chicago and Peoria Richwoods—sporting deep traditions in basketball, community, service and youth sports, will be showcased throughout the day.

In addition to the great action on the court, the event will also have plenty of off-court entertainment as well, including:

• Exhibition games by the Kaneland Youth Basketball and Cagers programs
• Kaneland Pep Bands filling the place with sound
• Team cheers and spirit for all teams, by Kaneland Youth Cheer
• Food and drink by the Kaneland Sports Boosters
• Customizable event clothing, to capture the memories
• 50/50 Raffle with winners all day and “Knight” long
• Draw down raffle following the hoops at Maple Park’s Bootlegger’s Bar and Grill with a $2,000 Grand Prize

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, to honor and empower wounded veterans.

In addition to attending the event, sponsorship opportunities are available as well,

For more information or to donate, click here.

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Wrestlers continue to roll

Photo: Riley Vanik throws his opponent to the mat during Saturday’s Tournament at KHS. Vanik took second place in the 145-pound bracket. Zach Parker (below) was Kaneland’s lone tournament champ, winning the 182-pound bracket. Photos by Patti Wilk

KHS takes second at Flott, hands Morris convincing loss
KANELAND—Kaneland High School wrestling is 16-7 in dual competition, which is a decent story in itself.

It’s the convincing way the grapplers have won 16 of 23 duals that has been the main detail.

Before KHS battled its way to a second-place finish at its own Flott Memorial Tournament on Saturday, the Morris Redskins learned firsthand what talent the Knights bring to Northern Illinois Big XII duals, with Kaneland on top 45-15.

At the Flott gathering in Maple Park on Saturday, the Knights’ 170.5 point total was 18.5 points behind Central Suburban Conference mainstay Niles North’s champion-worthy total. At 155 points, Larkin was third, followed by Elgin in fourth at 148 points. NIB-12 rival Rochelle was fifth at 130.5 points, while Plainfield North brought up the rear with 103.5 points.

The Knights had one first-place entry on the afternoon in the form of 182-pound Zach Parker, as well as seven others with a second-place finish.
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Parker defeated Niles North’s Zac Khaya by 4:35 pinfall and stuck Rochelle’s Eli Keating with a 60-second pinfall in the championship final.

The plethora of second-place honorees on the Kaneland side began with 113-pound entry Adam Mish, who beat Larkin’s Edgar Trejo by 7-0 count before dropping a 9-5 final to Hub Jeff Board. At 126 pounds, Matthew Redman finished second by beating Niles North’s Maykel Potros 6-1 and losing to Larkin’s Duke Bogicevic in 1:15. 138-pound asset Dane Goodenough took second by beating Larkin’s Joey Rahn in :54 and Plainfield North’s Dan Valenzio in 5:08, before losing to Joe Pazmino of Niles North 5-3.

Riley Vanik of the 145-pound group mowed through Niles North’s Joe Broton by technical fall before dropping a 12-4 major decision to Rochelle’s TC Hager in the final. At 160 pounds, it was Zach Russell finishing as runner-up after a 3:56 solving of Niles North’s Thomas Gaul and 11-8 loss to Elgin rep Devin Syavong. Tom Price of the 170-pound range began with a 1:17 pin of Plainfield North’s Bryan Bott, and beat Larkin’s Victor Cuevas in :38 before losing by DQ to Plainfield North’s Mark DiNardo in the final. In the heavyweight category, Justin Diddell beat Elgin’s Ariel Barraza in :38 and Niles North’s James Edmond by 4-3 count, before losing to Plainfield North’s Nick Wolf in 1:27.

In the dustup with the Redskin rivals, Kaneland got on a roll early with a 7-2 win for Parker over Ryan Kowalczyk and a 195-pound win for Cullen Murray over Morris’ Victor Toissant, 10-3. After a forfeit, Diddell picked up the slack with a 2:45 pinfall over Andrew Faught to begin a five-match win streak for KHS. Nick Mish won a 10-4 decision over Tony Menozi at the 106-pound mark, followed by Adam Mish at 113 pounds taking a 6-1 decision over Morris’ Andrew Smith. KHS teammate Jacob Shearer, at 120 pounds, took a 1:39 pin, followed by Matthew Redman winning his 126-pound match with Dominic Byerly just 34 seconds before regulation ended.

“I don’t really know what to say, we’re just having a really good year and we have a young team,” Redman said. “We’re succeeding with it.”

The Knights ended up with three more victories in the form of Luke Eggenberger at 132 pounds over Morris’ Hunter Herman (2:42 pin), Vanik with a 6-0 win over AJ Vota, and a 1:17 Russell pin over Ryan Olsen.

It was a satisfying win for the group, especially on Senior Night.

“It was nice for the seniors and for the underclassmen to get the pins where they needed them,” KHS coach Monty Jahns. “It was huge and fun. It’s been a really good year so far.”

Ahead for the Knights crew: the Northern Illinois Big XII meet housed by Sterling on Saturday, Jan. 25.

1-23 Sports Recap

Soph. Girls Basketball
Jan. 17 at DeKalb—Kiandra Powell’s 18 points led the Lady Knights as they romped the host Lady Barbs 53-24. Powell made four treys. KHS led 35-8 at halftime. Bailey Crimmins had nine points, Jenna Harvell and Nicole Koczka each had six points, and Kylie Modaff had five. KHS is now 10-8 overall, and 2-2 in NIB-12 play.

Soph. Boys Basketball
Jan. 17 vs. Yorkville—The Knights used a strong start and finish to hang on and beat the visiting Foxes. After down 17-10 in the first quarter, Yorkville closed within one point to start the fourth quarter. The Knights outscored the Foxes 16-11 in the final frame to seal the victory. Tanner Robertson led the way with 15 points, while Jake Marczuk supplied 14 and both Mark Lilly and Joe Laudont each had 11 points. The sophomore Knights are 12-2 overall and 4-0 in NIB-12 conference play.

Don’t see your lower-level results here? Send them to sports@elburnherald.com or fax to (630) 365-2251.

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KHS stops streak on lanes

Photo: Kaneland High School seniors Christie Crews (left) and Michelle Bohanek enjoy one of their last few games as seniors. Photo by Patty Wilk

Bowlers celebrate win, seniors
KANELAND—It was bound to happen, and lucky for Kaneland, it happened with some time left in 2013-14.
Stopping a five loss skid, Kaneland earned a win over the host IMSA Lady Titans on Thursday in non-conference competition.

The 2,080-1,863 win for the Kaneland Lady Knights crew at St. Paul’s in Aurora marked the first dual win for the black-clad roster in exactly five weeks.

KHS followed that up with a Northern Illinois Big XII matchup against visiting Rochelle at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb on Tuesday and ended up on the losing end of a 2,666-2,296 affair.

Kaneland is now 3-8.

In the win over IMSA, noteworthy series came at the throws of junior Dominique Lee at 447, senior Michelle Bohanek at 432 and junior Rena Wojciechowski at 421. Top games were from Lee at 179 and Wojciechowski at 170.

“We did have some good, consistent bowling last Thursday at IMSA,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said. “The conditions are always a challenge at St. Paul’s Lanes, but we went in there with a good attitude and the idea that we could do well, regardless. It paid off, as most of the girls bowled at or slightly above their season averages.”

Against Rochelle, top series came from Lee at 421 and Bohanek at 411, with Lee notching the top games at 156 and 150. Wojciechowski also rolled a 150.

On Wednesday, Kaneland bowled at Ottawa, and lost to the hosts 2,733-2,537.

The Lady Knights continue their regular season homestretch with the NIB-12 meet on Monday, Jan. 27, at Dixon Plum Hollow Lanes, hosted by Streator.

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Downed in DeKalb

Photo: Senior Kelly Wallner was the high scorer for the Lady Knights with eight points against a strong DeKalb squad. Photo by Mary Paulson

DEKALB—Kaneland girls basketball, despite being 9-11 (2-2 Northern Illinois Big XII), has managed to hang tough in many of its 20 contests thus far.

When they end up of the wrong side of a result, such as Friday night in DeKalb, the Lady Knights know they’ve been on the court with tough teams in their own right.

In the Lady Knights’ lone contest of the week, DeKalb handed KHS a 41-25 loss on the strength of a prolific first half.

The Lady Barbs’, winners of their 13th game of 2013-14, held Kaneland to a rough 10-of-38 evening from the field. Kaneland’s top scorer was frontcourt asset Kelly Wallner with eight points. DeKalb junior Madelyne Johnson supplied a game-high 14 points.

Kaneland was also just 4-of-10 from the foul line on the DeKalb hardwood.

KHS kept it somewhat close and trailed 15-10 after the first eight minutes, before managing just two points in the second quarter and falling in a 29-12 hole. In a slower-tempo third quarter, KHS closed it to 33-18 before the final frame.

“The girls did an excellent job defensively holding DeKalb to 41 points,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “They have a lot of weapons. We have struggled shooting the ball this season and we had a rough night shooting on Friday. The effort is there, we just need to knock down some shots.”

The other teams in the NIB-12 landscape are shaping up to how Colombe saw.

“We felt like the conference would be very strong and it is. DeKalb is the defending champ and is until someone else takes it from them. They feature two girls who are D1 recruits. Sycamore has arguably the top player thus far in conference in Bailey Gilbert, and they play very well as a team,” Colombe said.

The girls deal with Sycamore at home on Friday, Jan. 24, and will try to halt a three-game skid.

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Feeling the freeze in Burlington Central

Photo: Senior forward Brittany Kemp contests a Morris shot Jan. 9. Kemp had four points against the Lady Redskins, but came back with a team-high 11 points Monday at Plano. Photo by Marshall Farthing

Rockets’ wide-open style dooms Lady Knights in between Morris win, Plano loss
BURLINGTON, Ill.—Kaneland girls basketball was on the run often on Saturday at Burlington Central.

Usually, it was to rush back to either side of the floor or trying to deal with Burlington Central’s long-range game, led by Samantha Pryor’s 21 points and three three-pointers, and Shelby Holt’s three treys.

The long night ended with a 54-33 loss. Preceding that, the Lady Knights beat rival Morris on Thursday by a final of 57-45 in Maple Park, but dropped a 44-41 result on Monday to the team responsible for their 2013 regional ouster, host Plano.

Kaneland is now 9-10, with a 2-1 mark in Northern Illinois Big XII conference action.

Post presence Kelly Wallner led the KHS charge with 15 points against Burlington Central, but the next-closest Lady Knight output was Caroline Heimerdinger with six.

Two quick buckets for Wallner gave KHS an early 4-3 lead just 47 seconds into the contest, but BC found its footing and hit two threes and used a high shooting volume for a 17-6 lead at the end of one. Kaneland ended up missing its last five shooting opportunities of the quarter and were 2-of-6 from the line and just 6-of-16 from the charity stripe on the day.

BC made it through a 21-6 run into the second quarter before Heimerdinger and Wallner came up with buckets to close within 21-10 with 5:33 to go in the half. With baskets from Amber Winquist-Bailey and Wallner, the Lady Knights were able to close within 21-14 with 3:47 to go. The Lady Knights could get no further, and BC closed the half out on a 10-5 run.

The only field goal for the Lady Knights in the third was an Ally Van Bogaert hoop with 5:54 to go to close within 36-22, and BC lead 43-23 at the third-quarter buzzer. The Lady Rockets outscored Kaneland 11-8 in the fourth quarter to close it out.

“(BC) played good defense, obviously,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We took some shots that were a little rushed. It was a combination of those and being a little inexperienced, I think. Obviously, we played at their temp and that was from start to finish.”

In the win over the rival Lady Redskins, Wallner had 13 points and 11 rebounds, Van Bogaert had 13 points and Caroline Heimerdinger pitched in 10 in the winning cause. The Lady Knights went 17-of-50 from the field and went to the line 40 times, hitting 21 opportunities. KHS was up 16-9 after one and 29-11 after two quarters before solidifying a 37-23 lead after three frames.

In the loss against Plano, Brittany Kemp led the way with 11 points and Heimerdinger added nine herself. Kaneland stayed competitive along Route 34 and led 12-7 after one and 24-21 after the first half. Up 35-34 after three, the Lady Knights fell victim to an 0-for-18 cold streak and allowed Plano to emerge with the three-point edge. KHS was 13-of-51 from the field and 12-for-24 from the foul line.

On Friday, Jan. 17, the Lady Knights head to DeKalb to try and separate from the pack in NIB-12 action.

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Bowlers get back into strike of things

Photo: Junior Dominique Lee gets a high five from junior Rena Wojciechowski Saturday. Lee was awarded medals for fourth place individual high game for the morning round, and first place for individual high series in the afternoon round at the IMSA Tournament. Photo by Mary Paulson

KANELAND—With its first action of 2014, Kaneland looked to do some damage in three road outings.

On Jan. 8, Kaneland sauntered down to LaSalle-Peru for a Northern Illinois Big XII crossover battle with its West division foe, where L-P took a 2,879-2,375 win. Thursday saw a loss against its Sycamore rival, 2,917-2,494. Meanwhile, Saturday saw the usual January trip to the IMSA Invite, where Kaneland finished sixth of 15 squads, with Marengo taking the day.

The top series on the Kaneland side against L-P were managed by Dominique Lee at 450 and Christie Crews at 476.

Against Sycamore, Lee managed a 490 series, while Crews bowled a 476, and teammate Rena Wojciechowski took a 479.

“The extended Christmas Break took a toll on our performances at LaSalle-Peru and Sycamore last Wednesday and Thursday, but things went better on Saturday. Most of the girls did better on Saturday, and Dominique’s performance was particularly noteworthy,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said.

At IMSA, Lee’s total of 447 included games of 223 and 224 for a first-place prize in her afternoon round division. Teammate Michelle Bohanek also took a first-place medal in her division, bowling a 333 series (games of 187 and 146). The afternoon session paired off bowlers based on their season averages. After Marengo, Ottawa and Trinity filled out the top three slots.

Kaneland has dropped five duals in a row, and is still looking for its first head-to-head win since Dec. 9. The Lady Knights sit at 2-7.

Ahead for the Lady Knights is a dual against the IMSA Lady Titans on Thursday, Jan. 16.

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Kaneland wrestlers see Hub of action

Photo: Medal-winners from the Sycamore Invite. Photo submitted by Stephanie Vanik via email

Grapplers also partake in Sycamore Invite
KANELAND—Before the deep freeze that hit the roads toward the weekend, it was Kaneland High School wrestling that put the chill on Rochelle’s road to victory.

A Northern Illinois Big XII dual in Ogle County on Thursday yielded a 53-18 win for Kaneland, which improved its record to 15-7 through 22 duals. Kaneland was 10-12 after the same amount of head-to-heads in 2012-13.

KHS also took to the Sycamore Invite mats on Saturday and took 12th of 25 outfits.

Two forfeits and a loss for Kaneland were quickly thrown to the wayside when 126-pounder Matthew Redman took a major decision victory over Hub Julian Hernandez, 11-0. At 138 pounds, Dane Goodenough won his own major decision by 8-0 count over Joe Goshko. 152-pound entry George Strang bested foe Alex Eckhardt by a 7-2 final, followed by Austin Parks taking the 160-pound match over Jacob Scarbrough in 3:27. Teammate Tom Price, at 170 pounds, put the hurt on Cole White with a 2:28 pinfall. Three matches down the weight list, heavyweight asset Justin Diddell took home a :24 pin.

In Sycamore, it was Hononegah, Grant and Bloomington taking the top three spots with 634, 584.5 and 498.5, respectively. Kaneland’s total encompassed 309 points, seven ahead of Cary-Grove.

The top three finishers for the Knights outfit were Diddell finishing fifth, Redman taking sixth and Price taking seventh in their categories.

In the heavyweight category, Diddell started with a 9-1 major decision over Rock Island’s Daveonte Jackson, before beating Marian Catholic’s Mitchell Taylor in 2:29 via pinfall. After getting dropped by Bloomington’s Ryan Rembert in 2:29, Diddell came back in the consolation bracket by outlasting Cary-Grove’s Michael Gomez by 5-2 count. In the final action, Diddell captured fifth by beating Belvidere North’s Jake Rodgers in 5:41.

Redman’s day began with a 9-0 major decision over Pontiac’s Billy Burns, followed by a 4-2 win over Sycamore rival Logan Mathey. The Kaneland rep fell to Belvidere North’s Psalm Fambro in 3:01, before nabbing a 7-1 decision over Rock Island’s Drew VanDeWoestyne. In the fifth-place encounter, Redman was defeated by Cary-Grove’s Sean Cullen by 3-0 count.

For Price, the invite began with a 5:04 pin over Woodstock North’s Randall Kline, but the quarterfinal match went the way of Hononegah’s Tyler DeMoss by 18-3 technical fall. Price then lost to McHenry’s Hayden Carey in 3:28 before claiming seventh place in a 13-5 major decision win over Willowbrook’s Elijah Rochel.

On Thursday, Jan. 16, the Knights host NIB-12 rival Morris in Maple Park.

Photos submitted by Stephanie Vanik via email

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Knights contain Cadets

Photo: Kaneland varsity boys basketball coach Brian Johnson and his team honor senior Drew David for breaking the program record for most games played. David has played in over 87 games for the Knights varsity basketball team as of Tuesday against Marmion. Photo by Mary Paulson

Late FTs down Marmion in busy three-game week
AURORA—While the Kaneland High School boys hoops squad would have preferred a clean sweep of the week, two out of three will do fine for now.

On Tuesday off of Butterfield Road in Aurora, the Knights got two late free throws from Tyler Carlson to down the host Marmion Academy Cadets 49-47. That dramatic result took some of the sting out of a Saturday road loss to Burlington Central in a 67-43 result, while Friday night had a 42-41 comeback win over the invading Morris Redskins after a Carlson basket with under a second remaining.

The KHS record improved to 9-5, and 2-1 in the Northern Illinois Big XII conference.

The Knights went out to an early 12-5 lead as Marmion struggled to find its shot, and KHS took advantage of turnovers. A John Pruett basket and two Carlson free throws gave KHS a 23-11 lead at halftime. The lead ballooned to 37-22 with 1:59 left in the third before Marmion went on a 12-1 run to end the frame, thanks in part of a late basket and two foul shots due to a technical foul on head coach Brian Johnson.

In the fourth, Pruett fouled out, after being responsible for the only field goal the Knights would make in the quarter. Kaneland would go 9-of-12 in the fourth from the charity stripe, including Carlson going 7-of-8. His front-end shot with 2:45 to go made it 43-40 with 2:45 to go, and two more would give KHS a 45-40 lead with 1:57 left. Another later pair made it 47-44 with 1:02 remaining before a game-tying three try for Marmion athlete Michael Sheehan with 51.2 left tied the score.

With time running out, Carlson was fouled on an offensive putback try with 1.3 to go. After nailing both tries, Tom Van Bogaert stole an inbounds heave to end it.

Pruett and Carlson each had a game-high 16 points for Kaneland.

“(Tyler) made some big free throws, and he was running a play that we run for John, and he was able to execute on that. We ran it earlier and John was able to get a look. It probably helped having Ty down there,” Johnson said.

With Pruett’s exit and Marmion’s comeback, Kaneland handled the in-game adversity well, according to Johnson.

“Having Drew (David) and John in foul trouble and having guys do things they weren’t used to doing, and that puts a lot of pressure on the other guys and I thought they handled it pretty well,” Johnson said.

Against BC, Carlson’s 13 points was the only double-figure total. Kaneland was down 14-10 and 33-23 after the first half concluded. The Rockets pulled away to lead 50-31 at the end of the third quarter.

Carlson had a game-high 18 points in the Morris outing, followed by Pruett’s 14. David (8 points) and Cole Carlson (2) were the only other Knights to find the scoring column. The Knights led 8-7 after one and pulled away some, 19-11 at the half, before the margin closed to 31-25 after three.

After this latest stretch, the Knights roster is home against rival Yorkville on Friday, Jan. 17.

Jan. 16 sports recap

JV Girls Bowling
Jan. 8 @ La Salle-Peru—The Lady Knights were led by Amber Spaetzel’s 126 game and 329 series, but fell to the host Lady Cavaliers 2,114-1,478. Kayla McDuffee bowled a 277 series, while Grace Lindgren had a 246, and Natalie Barnhart had a 186.
Jan. 11 @ IMSA Tourney—The Lady Knights placed sixth out of eight teams at Saturday’s IMSA tournament. Emma Nawrot led KHS with a 349 series, followed by Barnhart’s 328. Barnhart also bowled a Kaneland-best 135 game. Summer Gibbs (322 series), Margaret Nelson (286) and Spaetzel (237) rounded out the JV bowlers.

Soph. Girls Basketball
Jan. 9 vs. Morris—The visiting Lady Redskins defeated KHS 47-37. Meg Cohrs led the Lady Knights with 11 points, while Kylie Modaff had 10. Kiandra Powell had five points, Bailey Crimmins had four and Morgan Weber had three.
Jan. 11 at Burlington Central—Crimmin’s 13 points and Kristen Siebert’s six led KHS as they defeated the host Lady Rockets 33-28. Madi Edwards had four points while Nicole Koczka and Modaff each had three.
Jan. 13 at Plano—KHS led by double-digits at halftime, and handed Plano a 49-28 loss. Koczka’s 14 points led the Lady Knights. Crimmins had seven points, Cohrs, Modaff and Powell each had six points, and Siebert had four points. The sophomore Lady Knights are now 9-8 overall, while 1-2 in NIB-12 play.

Soph. Boys Basketball
Jan. 10 vs. Morris—After a deadlocked first quarter at 13 apiece, the Knights outscored the visiting Redskins 38-23 in the final three quarters to win 51-36. Tanner Robertson’s 16 points led the team. Mark Lilly had 13 points, while Joe Laudont had eight, Jack Marczuk had six and Mitchel Groen had four.
Jan. 11 at Burlington Central—The Knights prevailed in Rocket-land 41-32. Robertson again had a team-high points, with 10. Marczuk had nine points, Lilly and Groen each had seven and Laudont had six.
Jan. 14 at Marmion—the Knights lost for only the second time this season with a 60-40 setback to the Cadets. Robertson led the team with 10 points, while Lilly had nine. Four nights had four points: Marczuk, Groen, Jacob Violett and Kevin Fajardo. Connor Peterson had three points. The Knights sit at 11-2, 3-0 in NIB-12 conference play.

Boys Bowling
Jan. 13 at Streator (NIB-12 Meet)—The Kaneland boys bowling club took on the NIB-12 field in Streator Monday. Steven Becker led the Knights with an 1,119-pin day, while Nate Dyer (1,076) and Joey Mendoza (1,048) also broke the 1,000 pin mark. Tyler Rowe (971), Joe Kusarek (891) and Josh Rodrigues (636) also bowled for the Knights.

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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.

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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.

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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.