Category Archives: Winter Sports

Matted down

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dec. 31 sports recap

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

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

GBBall1

Split decisions

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

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

by Mike Slodki

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Follow the Knights at the Plano Christmas Classic

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

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

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

Knights see success in quadrangular

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

KHS also steamrolled in
NIB-12 tussle at Yorkville

by Mike Slodki

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bowlers don’t feel at home vs. DeKalb

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

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

by Mike Slodki

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

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

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

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

Dec. 24 KHS sports recap

JV Wrestling

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

JV Bowling

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

Soph. Girls Basketball

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

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

459

Air supply

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

244

Girls basketball looks to sleigh field at 2 tourneys

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DSC_0619

KHS grapplers can’t grab hold in tough week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bowlers sunk by Streator, Morris

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

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

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

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

Kaneland is now 2-4 after six duals.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dec. 19 sports recap

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

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

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

School board approves hiring of two interim athletic directors

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

The two directors are Rudy Keller and Ralph Drendel.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Schuler spoke favorably of Keller and Drendel.

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

http://www.unitedcenter.com/

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

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

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

DSC_0723

Close encounter

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Spartans’ effort was amplified by seven successful trifectas.

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

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

DSC_0106

Stuck at Sycamore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wrestlers go Huskie-size over Sycamore, beat Lemont

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IMG_3293

Bowlers beat IMSA, lose close matches

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dec. 12 sports recap

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

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

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

George Strang

Wrestlers battle through tough stops

Photo: 152-pound George Strang won 6-4 in overtime over Andrew Ives of Wheaton-Warrenville South Saturday. Photo by Stephanie Vanik

KANELAND—It could have been a rude awakening to the start of the 2013-14 season for Kaneland Knights wrestling, but the KHS lads acclimated themselves serviceably.

Saturday in Maple Park saw a quad with Burlington Central, Freeport and Wheaton-Warrenville South, while Nov. 26 had a trip to the Quad Cities area.

In their home digs, Kaneland beat BC by a 55-21 margin, while handing WWS a 49-21 drubbing before solving Freeport 58-18

Things got off to a nice start against the rival Rockets, with Jacob Shearer winning a 15-0 technical fall in the 120-pound bout. Following that, 132-pound entry Matthew Redman won a 5-2 matchup to pad the Kaneland lead to 14-3. At 160, Austin Parks won by technical fall, 20-5, while 170-pounder Zach Parker won by pin over Kyle Coffland in 1:37. To cap the initial tussles, heavyweight Justin Diddell earned a pin in 1:34. KHS also took away five forfeits.

In the sizable win over the NIC-10 representative Pretzels, seven forfeits paved the way for wins by: Luke Eggenberger in the 132-pound match (10-0 major decision), Riley Vanik in the 145-pound match (1:58 pin) and Tom Price in the 170-pound match (1:59 pin).

Facing the DuPage Valley Conference stalwart Tigers, the Knights went out to an early 15-0 lead, thanks to a win by 106-pounder Nick Mish in 1:57, 113-pound Adam Mish’s 8-7 win and Shearer’s 1:19 pin.

Vanik would later earn a win by 3:13 pinfall. At 152 pounds, George Strang needed overtime, but earned a 6-4 win.

When any mistake could mean your downfall, Strang kept his cool.

“I definitely was cautious when I was wrestling, but I put everything on the line, and I had the mentality of really wanting to go out there and beat him,” Strang said. “The first couple of moments I felt him out and wanted to know how he wrestled. I knew when he got onto my leg I had to do something. I could hear the crowd going ‘spin, spin, spin,’ and that’s exactly what I did.”

Parks won a 17-8 major decision at 160 points, while Price won his bout in 1:57 and Diddell closed out the win with a 1-0 triumph.

In the opening gathering at East Moline U-High, Kaneland lost to Moline by a final of 57-16, with Vanik (6-4), Parks (4:51 pin) and Redman (4-3) earning the lone wins.

Ahead for KHS wrestling is a Thursday, Dec. 5, meeting with Sycamore out at Northern Illinois University’s Convocation Center.

Photos courtesy of Stephanie Vanik

155

Knights do well at Windmill

Photo: Sophomore Dylan Vaca led the Knights with 19 points against Batavia Nov. 27. Photo by Patti Wilk

Season opener sees OT win vs. Batavia; KHS splits other two games
BATAVIA—It’s an early idea, but it’s a bright one in terms of how Kaneland High School boys basketball could do this upcoming season: you’ll never be able to count them out, to be sure.

Trying to put together another winning season, coach Brian Johnson’s crew trekked to Batavia for the Ken Peddy 38th annual Windmill City Classic on Thanksgiving eve and came back from double digits to earn an 81-74 overtime win.

Friday had the Knights edged by Englewood of Chicago by a scant 54-50 margin before once again taking charge on Saturday evening and beating St. Francis by a final of 66-48.

Kaneland is now 2-1 to begin the season.

In the opener, sophomore Dylan Vaca had a team-high 19 points, while seniors John Pruett and Drew David had 18 each. Senior Tyler Carlson added 14 to the winning effort.

Canaan Coffey of Batavia had a game-high 26 points.

After keeping in step with the host Bulldogs with a 13-13 score after one frame, Batavia took control with a hot perimeter game to go up 35-28 at the half.

It looked dire for Kaneland in the fourth, with Batavia up 63-50 with 5:36 remaining. Then, buckets from David and Carlson started to fall to slim the lead. A Carlson three closed it to 64-61 with 2:30 to go, and he would soon follow with a three-point play to close it to 66-64 with 1:38 to go in regulation.

Vaca was fouled on a three-point try and would sink all the shots to close within 68-67 with 35.6 to go. After two Bulldog free throws made it a 70-67 game with 34.2 left, David drained the last basket of regulation from behind the arc to tie the score with 19.4 and send it to overtime.

Kaneland stifled the Bulldogs on the offensive end in overtime, while David hit a baseline jumper to give the Knights their first lead since quarter one at 72-70, 63 seconds into the extra frame. Carlson’s three and a foul shot by Connor Fedderly made it 76-70, effectively sealing the deal as KHS went 6-for-10 from the foul line.

Vaca’s three foul shots put the Kaneland roster into a chance to catch up in what was his first sophomore outing.

“It felt good to get out there and run and shoot the three,” Vaca said. “They fell in the second half. It was a big deficit, and we just had to find a way to come back.”

The team effort was evident and paid off, according to Johnson.

“Dylan made some big shots, and we were fortunate that he made the free throws. (Batavia) shot unbelievably well. We just got lucky and got a few turnovers. Carlson did an excellent job on the glass and he played really hard, and Drew just seems to come up with big shots a lot.”

Against Englewood of Chicago, Pruett had 18 points and David had 11 in the loss. Down 31-17 at halftime, KHS made a valiant comeback to close within 37-36 after three before its foes held firm.

In the win over St. Francis, Vaca paced the Knights with 21 points—the only Knight in double figures—while Kaneland went 21-of-28 from the line. Up 35-27 at halftime, Kaneland expanded the lead to 54-36 after three before the final margin.

On tap for the Knight hoopsters is a trip to Sycamore on Friday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m.

Photos by Patti Wilk

Lady Knights aim for higher court at IC Catholic

KANELAND—No first-place plaque would come their way, but the Lady Knights hoops talent would still make a fine showing.

After an initial win over Luther North two weekends ago to top things off, the Lady Knights would win two out of three contests to improve their mark to 3-2 for the season and 3-1 for the tourney.

On Nov. 26, Kaneland achieved its second straight rout with a 73-27 win over Elmwood Park, before losing to Nazareth Academy of LaGrange Park, Ill., on Nov. 27. The Lady Knights righted the victory ship by outlasting Wilmette, Ill. outpost Regina Dominican on Friday in double overtime.

“The IC Tournament gave us a chance to see where we need to improve,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We feel like we have some work to do defensively and also with our rebounding.”

Against Elmwood Park, KHS saw nice production from Ally Van Bogaert with 14 points and Kelly Wallner with 10 points herself. The outing had all 13 players get in the scoring column. KHS was 32-of-60 from the field, but 5-of-13 from the foul line.

Kaneland blazed out to a 29-18 lead after the first eight minutes of play, and kept EP to one point in the second quarter on the way to a 45-19 halftime edge. Kaneland outscored its foe 27-4 in the third to truly put the contest out of reach.

The Lady Knights would be tripped up by the Roadrunners of NA in a 57-40 outing, despite 17 from Van Bogaert, but the Kaneland charge would return in a tight match with RD to end the tourney and clinch second place, 45-37.

Senior backcourt presence Caroline Heimerdinger had 14 points to lead KHS, which went 15-of-44 from the field. Amber Winquist-Bailey had nine boards on the evening.

After being deadlocked at 17 all for halftime, KHS took a slim 23-20 lead before RD evened it up by the buzzer at 29 all. The score was tied at 36 at the end of the first overtime session before the Lady Knights ran away with the bout and outscored RD 9-1.

“We were happy that we finished off the double OT game with a ‘W.’ Regina is coming off a trip to the sectional finals last year and was a good test for us. It was nice to have this group get the opportunity to close out a game. We have a lot of players who are in key roles for the first time so that experience should pay off down the road,” Colombe said.

Friday, Dec. 6, has the Lady Knights venturing to Sycamore for the beginning of Northern Illinois Big XII Conference play.

Wrestlers to face Spartans at NIU tonight

DEKALB—Northern Illinois University will be the center of the local wrestling world Thursday night.

The Kaneland Knights wrestling squad will take on the Sycamore Spartans in a dual meet at the NIU Convocation Center at 5 p.m., just before the NIU Huskies take on visiting Cleveland State at 7 p.m.

There is no admission charge to attend the evening’s game. The NIU Convocation Center is located at 1525 West Lincoln Highway, DeKalb.

Dec. 5 Sports Recap

Varsity Bowling
Dec. 3 at Sterling—The Lady Knights gained two conference points in their season opener at Sterling Tuesday. Christie Crews led the way with a 523 series, while Dominique Lee had a 472. The Knights won game 2.
“Christie’s 213 in the first game really charged the team up, and it was fantastic that we could win a game against such a perennially strong team,” said head coach Jim McKnight. “It was great to see the girls bowl so well their first time out.”
Michelle Bohanek bowled a 411 series, Katie Hill a 409, Rena Wojciechowski a 401 and Amber Spaetzel a 295.

KHS bowled at Lisle Wednesday before their home opener tonight at DeKalb’s Mardi Gras Lanes against Dixon at 4 p.m.

Soph. Girls Basketball
Nov. 26 vs. Belvidere North—The Lady Knights upended the visiting Blue Thunder 50-28. Kiandra Powell led KHS with three three-pointers and 13 points off the bench, while Kylie Modaff had 8 points, and Meg Cohrs and Morgan Weber each scored 7.

Nov. 27 vs. Marengo—KHS secured a second-place finish at its own tournament with a 44-28 victory over Marengo. Corhs led the Lady Knights with 10 points, and Kristen Siebert had 8. Powell, Weber and Sophie Sandquist each had 6 points, Modaff had 4 and Hollie Fedderly and Nicole Koczka each had 2 points. The sophomores sit at 3-1 on the season.

Soph. Boys Basketball
Nov. 27 at Belvidere North—The sophomore Knights took on Hononegah at the Belvidere North Tournament, falling to the Indians 56-55. Mark Lilly let the way with 13 points, while Mitchel Groen had 12 and Jake Marczuk had 11. Other Knight scorers included Jacob Violett (6 points), Joe Laudont (4), Kevin Fajardo (3) and Tanner Robertson, Andy Delgado and Sam Wolf each with 2.

Nov. 29 at Belvidere North—The Knights bounced back to defeat the Sandwich Indians 62-44 at the Belvidere North Tournament Friday. Ten Knights made the scoresheet, with Robertson’s 11 leading the balanced effort. Marczuk (10 points), Jason Edwards (9), Laudont and Lilly (8 each), Groen (6), Conor Peterson (5) Fajardo and Wold (2 each), and Matt Vandenborn (1) also scored for the Knights.

The sophomore group improved their record to 2-1 prior to tonight’s game at Sycamore at 7 p.m.

JV Wrestling
Nov. 30 vs. Freeport, Burlington Central and Wheaton Warrenville South—The JV Knights competed in a home quad Saturday. Winners included Kegan Workman at 152 pounds (fall in 1:30 over Sam Morgan of Freeport), Preston Havis at 113 pounds (fall in 4:22 vs. Tony Anderson of WWS and a fall in 1:18 over a BC opponent), Mitch Jones at 138 ponds (5-3 decision over Sam Milnamow of WWS and a fall over BC’s Shaun McMillian in 1:32) and Hayden Patterson at 132 pounds (fall in 1:32 over Biship Kronenbomb of BC).

GBB1

Knights’ quick turnaround

Girls hoops runs Luther North out of gym in IC Catholic Prep tourney opener

by Mike Slodki

ELMHURST, ILL.—It was a less-than-uplifting opening night against the visiting Lady Blackhawks of West Aurora on Thursday evening. To recover, KHS girls basketball took flight against its first round opponent out at the IC Catholic Prep Thanksgiving Tournament on Saturday.

Using a rotation of uptempo players in the morning tilt in Elmhurst, Ill., the Lady Knights improved to 1-1 and made life difficult at both ends of the floor, with the buzzer sounding after a 63-9 shellacking of Chicago’s Luther North.

It marks the fourth consecutive season for Kaneland at the IC Catholic tourney, with the Lady Knights having taken the last two first-place plaques.

Other teams in Kaneland’s pool are LaGrange Park’s Nazareth Academy and Elmwood Park High School.

The win, featuring 11 points from frontcourt asset and junior Aly Van Bogaert and 10 each from towers Brittany Kemp and Bailey Crimmins, was a nice change of pace from the 60-43 loss to West Aurora.

“West Aurora is a good team,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “They’ve got some players coming back who are four-year players, and they were a tough test first game. I think we did some things well on Thursday. We wanted to make a point of getting out early today. I thought we saw a little bit more of what we could do.”

KHS was also 11-for-26 from the foul line, while Luther North’s offensive struggles were exemplified by its last basket of the contest coming with 6:20 left in the third quarter.

Opening up the whole floor, Kaneland was able to utilize quick passes and use second-chance points to its advantage, while not allowing follow-up chances for the hard-luck Luther North crew.

Kaneland opened up a 17-2 lead after one, and used baskets from Van Bogaert, including a late three-pointer, along with a putback by Kelly Wallner, for a 34-7 edge at halftime.

The third quarter was even more productive for the Lady Knights attack, as consecutive buckets from Van Bogaert, Wallner, Marina Schaefer and Crimmins, sandwiched around Caroline Heimerdinger foul shots, put the Lady Knights up 46-9 with 2:48 left in the third. Crimmins and junior Taylor Eaves had two buckets each in the fourth frame to pad the lead.

Van Bogaert said she feels like she’s gaining steam in her first extended varsity time.

“I think I’ve gotten a lot better than the last season,” she said. “I’m hoping I can do a lot better this season and score 10 points a game. From our first game, losing, that definitely made us go out harder. We realize we need to work a lot harder.”

Against West Aurora, Amber Winquist-Bailey led the Lady Knights with 11 points, while Wallner had nine.

Continuing on with the early stages of the 2013-14 season, Kaneland continued on with the IC Catholic gathering on Tuesday against Elmwood Park, and Wednesday against Nazareth, with results unavailable for press. On Friday, Nov. 29, Kaneland will face either IC Catholic, Westmont, Regina Dominican or Evergreen Park in the crossover.

388

Long-range game

Photo:Senior John Pruett drives to the hoop with junior Ben Barnes right behind during Saturday’s boys basketball practice. Photos by Patti Wilk

Johnson’s crew aims for third NIB-12 title in four seasons
KANELAND—Kaneland boys basketball may have 67 wins under coach Brian Johnson in his previous four years, but the lack of one specific win last February is what spurs them on.

A regional semifinal loss to Wheaton’s St. Francis High School at the IMSA Regional put an end to a season that saw a 16-12 mark and a second-ever Northern Illinois Big XII championship.

The ending of the last campaign meant Johnson said goodbye to two hard-working seniors, Matt Limbrunner and Dan Miller.

“Losing Dan and Matt is obviously a big loss,” Johnson said. “Matt was player of the year in our league and had a nice season. Dan was a leader who played outstanding defense.”

The loss of the two anchors is lessened somewhat with the return of backcourt powerhouse Drew David and senior company.

“Drew is a four-year starter. John (Pruett) is coming off an all-conference season, and Ty (Carlson) was solid throughout the year. We definitely have guys coming back that were solid contributors for us,” Johnson said.

The three are also well-versed in the clutch, having seen David crush dreams of DeKalb and Sycamore with late three-pointers last year, and Carlson beating Morris with a putback.

“They’ve gone through a lot as far as basketball is concerned. With them having been in football and baseball, they’ve been through a lot of varsity games and hopefully can add to their basketball experience,” Johnson said.

Junior Connor Fedderly also returns after having served time in the starting lineup, as does Cole Carlson.

“Connor had a nice year last year and a nice summer with his shot. Cole put in major minutes for us last year. We have some other guys that played a little bit last year,” Johnson said.

Johnson refers to assets like tower Tom Van Bogaert and Ben Barnes in his junior year.

Sophomore Dylan Vaca, thrown into the fire last year as a freshman, returns for more second-year minutes. Junior Steven Limbrunner makes his varsity entrance with a good pedigree, while junior Owen Korpela joins the squad as well.

Zach Douglas, Ryan David and Jake Gomes also join the Knight ranks for 2013 after JV experience.

In his fifth year, Johnson has gained more experience with juggling a lineup of different players and personalities.

“It’s nice that I know the kids really well and they know me. I have an idea with some guys, and there’s a competition for minutes. Some guys that may start may not finish games,” Johnson said.

Looking at the upcoming season, Kaneland is upping the ante on awareness and competition, which includes a return to the Plano Shootout over the holidays, and a return to the United Center court for the first time in four years against Geneva. The Knights also host the first-ever Kaneland Shootout in February.

“We’re trying to step up our competition, and we play in good competition over the summer. The goal is not to hide,” Johnson said.

For the NIB-12 landscape, nothing will be taken for granted.

“Every night is a solid matchup, we’re all pretty evenly matched across the board. Sycamore finished strong with a regional title. They have solid players,” Johnson said.

The season tips off on Wednesday, Nov. 27, with the Batavia Windmill Classic. Conference play begins at Sycamore, on Friday, Dec. 6.

Bowling on Crews control

KANELAND—After a 2012-13 campaign that saw a pickup of two late-season wins to improve to 3-6 in dual action, Kaneland girls bowling could be excused if it dwelled in the positive.

But the loss of five seniors from last year’s lineup means no time for basking in anything except lane time, as they get ready for a challenging 2013-14.

The team’s backbone and chance for victory lies mainly with senior Christie Crews and junior Dominique Lee. They’ll be joined by returning senior Michelle Bohanek and juniors Katie Hill, Rena Wojciechowski and Amber Spaetzel.

“Christie has the potential to put up big scores every time out, and we’ll need those scores, that’s for sure,” said three-decade head coach Jim McKnight. “She sometimes gets into split trouble, but she’s also an excellent spare shooter. She’s a very smart bowler, and her confidence is inspiring.”

”Rena showed great promise as a freshman two years ago, but she played basketball last year. She was anxious to return to bowling this year, and so far, she has looked great in practice,” McKnight said.

While McKnight and company have to deal with a slim roster, don’t look to lack in the competitiveness department.

“All the girls are excited and doing well, but we have only eight girls, so that’s a problem. We had several good prospects who decided to play club sports, and a couple others became ineligible. We’re still waiting for some girls to join us, but we’re having the same problems as many other teams. In fact, DeKalb only has seven girls right now, and their student population is larger than ours,” McKnight said. “If we had to compete tomorrow, we’d probably go with Christie, Dominique, Rena, Michelle, Katie and Amber.”

With the landscape of the NIB-12 always heavy, the Lady Knights will aim higher than the 10th-place finish in last year’s conference competition.

“It’s difficult to predict who will be at the top of the conference this year, but I expect Morris, Dixon and Sterling to all be right up there. Sycamore and DeKalb have lost some of last year’s teams, but they’ll probably be right in the thick of it, too. Sadly, this will be the last year for Streator and Dixon in this conference. They have excellent programs and nice people, so they will certainly be missed,” McKnight said.

Kaneland once again will make its home at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb, and begin its quest on Tuesday, Dec. 3, at Sterling.

163

Recovery mission

Photo: Junior Taylor Eaves looks to shoot with sophomore Vanessa Gould playing defense during Friday’s practice. Photos by Patti Wilk

Kaneland girls feel they can replace successful leaders
KANELAND—Last February’s season-ending regional loss to Plano hurt in more ways than one for Kaneland girls basketball.

After falling behind in the Burlington Central semifinal, Kaneland almost administered the comeback to end all comebacks before a last-ditch three-point try missed. To come back so far only to fall short smarted, along with the fact it marked the end for six seniors responsible for so much success and a regional title the year prior.

However, with the calendar turning to 2013-14, eighth-year coach Ernie Colombe has confidence the returning players can gel with the varsity newcomers to make things happen along the lines of the last two regular seasons.

“A great group of kids, we miss them on and off the court,” Colombe said. “We feel pretty strong about this group. They had a really good summer, and we had some players step up. I think the big positive to having all those seniors leave, they had an impact on the kids who stayed.”

With eight returning to the varsity ranks, Colombe was still working on a rotation that optimizes success.

“We’re still figuring that out. We’ve got some players that have stepped up. We certainly have some players we think will be in that rotation. We’re trying to figure out a few spots,” Colombe said.

Key returning components for the Lady Knights, who finished 15-11 in 2012-13, include personnel like senior center Kelly Wallner, sophomore forward Vanessa Gould, senior forward Marina Schaefer, along with forwards Brittany Kemp and Ally Van Bogaert, who saw a handful of minutes. Returning members of the backcourt include senior Caroline Heimerdinger, Amber Winquist-Bailey and Katie Brinkman.

“Caroline really stepped up and had a great summer and is playing real well right now. She had a lot of minutes last year and finished off real strong. Amber might be the most improved player we’ve had. She’s shooting threes and beating people off the dribble. She’s really stepped up for us and Vanessa has extended her range a bit, and she does a lot of things real well. Marina has always had a role with us and her role will be a bit bigger this year,” Colombe said.

In personnel like Wallner, Van Bogaert and Bailey Crimmins, Colombe has a pleasant problem of entering the season with bona fide height for the first time in ages.

“It’s nice to come into a season with a roster that has players with a ‘six’ (6 feet tall). We’ve got some size, and a couple of kids at 5-9, 5-10. One of our strengths hopefully will be rebounding, and we’ll able to do things we want to do on offense,” Colombe said.

Total newcomers to the KHS girls hoops varsity ranks include Crimmins in the frontcourt, along with sophomore guard Camri Conley, junior forward Taylor Eaves, junior guard Emily Grams and junior guard Rachel Miller.

A challenge for Kaneland will be how to supplant the sometimes-prolific scoring left behind by fearless shooters like Allyson O’Herron.

“I think honestly, we’re going to be scoring in different ways than we did last year. I think this group runs a little bit better. Collectively, we should be scoring more points in our fast break. Part of that is rebounding better,” Colombe said.

In terms of the Northern Illinois Big XII, Colombe eyes the landscape as a possible uphill challenge.

“Looking at what we’ve lost, we’re the only school in the conference not to return an all-conference player. Everyone has one. We think we’ve got players who have stepped up and can put us in the mix,” Colombe said.

Kaneland’s season begins on Thursday, Nov. 21, with a matchup vs. West Aurora. The Lady Knights then head to the IC Catholic Thanksgiving Tournament that begins on Saturday, Nov. 23, against Luther North. NIB-12 action commences on Friday, Dec. 6, at Sycamore.

757

Leveraging Success

Photo: Kaneland sophomore Austin Parks carries some familiar weight up the hill during the annual wrestling training/team building practice at Johnson’s Mound in Elburn on Saturday. Photo by Patti Wilk

KANELAND—With a 13-13 dual mark and three state qualifiers in the four of departed seniors Dan Goress, Esai Ponce and Zach Theis, it might be hard for Kaneland wrestling to reach similar or further heights.

If any team is up to the challenge, it’ll be the Kaneland wrestling troop.

Back in the fold is head coach Monty Jahns, who previously stepped down after last season, but returned after projected coach Jeremy Kenny took a coaching job on the Plano staff.

With a capable lineup that reached second place at the Class 2A Sycamore Regional and a 145-pound first-place trophy, Jahns will miss the group as much as anyone.

“First of all, it was a fun group of kids. It really carried over to the kids. Without Dan in the room, I don’t know if the others would have been quite as successful as they were. I thought we had a successful individual year. That group is a hard working group,” Jahns said.

It’s reassuring to Jahns to have returning grapplers who were witnesses to last season’s postseason events.

“I think they knew that up front, but believe a little more when they see it,” Jahns said. “They know what his work ethic was and how intense he was.”

Returning to the fold with weight classes to be determined are personnel like lower weight class anchors Adam Mish and Dane Goodenough. Zach Russell, at 164 pounds a year ago, looks to move up. Justin Diddell looks to fill senior leadership.

George Strang and Zach Parker look to Wrestling damage opposing ranks after being in. Willowbrook move-in Tom Price adds experience from the crowded West Suburban conference. Austin Parks projects to have a spot in the lineup, as does Ryan Bridge.

Freshmen like Jacob Scheer and Matthew Redman could find opportunity to break into the ranks, according to Jahns.

Kaneland will be sure to give six full minutes of aggressive wrestling, no matter the opponent.

“We’re just going to ask them not to quit, and I don’t think they will. What I see in the room, I’ve never had anybody just give up in a match. That’s all I’m going to ask of them,” Jahns said.

The quest begins on Tuesday, Nov. 26, at the East Moline Quad. The home slate begins on Saturday, Nov 30, against Burlington Central, Wheaton-Warrenville South and Freeport.

Kaneland announces interim athletics, activities director

Maple Park—Kaneland School District 302 recently announced a finalized plan for filling the position of interim athletics and activities director for the remainder of the 2013-14 school year.

The position will be filled by a team of three retired educators, who will each contribute to the program in unique ways.

Ross Truemper and Rudy Keller come to Kaneland with numerous years of administrative experience and expertise, including experience in athletics, activities and high school principalships. As retired administrators, they are well known in the area for the strong administrative support they have been able to offer school districts on an interim basis. Most recently, they worked together for two years as West Aurora High School’s interim principal.

Ralph Drendel returns to Kaneland High School as a third member of the team. As a former Kaneland High School assistant athletic director, coach, teacher and student, Ralph brings with him a passion for Kaneland and a commitment to supporting athletics and activities programming.

The team approach to filling the interim position was crafted with the goal of both supporting needs for the remainder of the current school year, as well as identifying processes and setting up systems that will promote success when the permanent position is filled.

Kaneland High School will begin gathering feedback and input from community, staff and students in January 2014 regarding the search for a permanent athletics and activities director.

Kaneland to play at United Center

KANELAND—The Kaneland boys basketball team will play Geneva High School at 2 p.m. on Jan. 4, 2014. The game between the Knights and Vikings will take place prior to the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks game, which will be played at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $65, and will get you into both games. They can be purchased at Kaneland High School by contacting coach Brian Johnson at brian.johnson@kaneland.org, or Debbie Theirs at deborah.theis@kaneland.org or (630) 365-5100, ext. 347.

Tickets wil be on sale until Friday, Dec. 20.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Youth earns spot in national bowling finals

Photo: Mabel Cummins prepares for the upcoming ISYL event at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb. Courtesy Photo

ELBURN—Mabel Cummins, added another bowling trophy to her collection this past weekend with a win in the 12-under Boys & Girls “Scratch” division at the Illinois State Youth Leaders scholarship event. Mabel joined over a hundred of the state’s top young strikers at Brookmont Lanes in Kankakee, Ill., as they vied for college scholarships and recognition at the United States Bowling Congress-sanctioned competition.

Participants in both scratch and handicap divisions bowled six games, moving one pair of lanes to the right after each game on a very challenging oil pattern that changed rapidly as the day wore on. Mabel posted the highest total pin fall to claim the top spot in her division and earned an invitation to the 2014 Junior Gold Championships in Buffalo, N.Y. The Junior Gold Championships is recognized as the largest and most coveted youth bowling tournament in the United States, showcasing the nation’s elite bowlers as they compete for scholarship funds and individual titles in six divisions for boys and girls up to age 20. Top finishers can earn spots on Junior Team USA, the development squad for America’s international (professional) bowling team.

Although Mabel spends most of her time on the lanes at Funway Entertainment Center in Batavia, she is no stranger to national events, having placed fifth in the U-12 Girls division at the 2013 United States Bowling Congress Youth Open Championships in Detroit. She says she doesn’t look forward to the long drives to distant events, but she likes visiting new places and she is really excited about going to Niagara Falls, the most popular attraction in the Buffalo area.