Category Archives: Winter Sports

Bowlers handle IMSA

KHS group also deals with tough NIB-12 field
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—For their second win of 2012-13, Kaneland High School bowling didn’t have to go far.

In a meeting at St. Paul’s Lanes in Aurora, KHS earned a 2,280-1,989 win over Illinois Math and Science Academy in a match in which the top five scores were officially counted.

Kaneland saw its dual mark improve to 2-6.

Angela Charhut led the way with a 464 series, followed closely by fellow Lady Knight Morgan Wojciechowski’s 463. Christie Crews also contributed with a 441.

Wojciechowski paced KHS with a team-high 177 game, followed by Charhut’s 170.

Mikayla Petesch of IMSA was tops for the Lady Titans with a 466 series.

At the Northern Illinois Big XII meet hosted by DeKalb at Mardi Gras Lanes, Kaneland took 10th in the 10-team gathering, with a final total of 5,305 pins knocked down. Nearby Sycamore won the tournament.

“We did not have a bad day, but the other teams just seemed to be bowling exceptionally well,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said.

Wojciechowski’s 218 and 193 games and 1,012 series were team-highs on the day. Ellissa Eckert added a 188 game of her own.

Up next for the Lady Knights is a meet with visiting Lisle on Wednesday, Jan. 30.

Girls hoops run over Redskin rival

Photo: Brooke Harner (22) passes out of a crowd to teammate Vanessa Gould (14) in the first quarter against Morris on Tuesday evening. Photo by Patti Wilk

Second-half explosion neutralizes previous
loss to Ottawa

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Tuesday evening in Maple Park was exhibit “A” on how fortunes can change on a dime.

Kaneland and Morris met for the first time since their meeting in the Ottawa Holiday Tournament in late December, and were embroiled in a hotly contested Northern Illinois Big XII outing that saw the visitors up 26-25 at halftime.

Five steals and three three-point plays began the third quarter and shifted the contest into Kaneland’s favor as it outscored the Redskins 27-6 in the third, on the way to a 65-32 shellacking.

The win did its part to take the sting off of a 50-30 loss to host Ottawa on Saturday afternoon.

The Lady Knights are now 12-7 and 4-3 in the Northern Illinois Big XII.

Vanessa Gould hit a basket on a putback, and Emma Bradford hit a foul shot to give Kaneland a 12-9 lead over Morris with 1:08 to go in the first until Morris launched a three-pointer with 42.1 left to tie the score at 12. The first quarter ended with the same score.

Morris withstood baskets by Brooke Harner (career-high 15 points) and a three-point play by Sarah Grams to tie it at 23 with 2:33 left in the half.

Bradford hit a basket to give KHS a 25-23 lead before a Morris trifecta with 1:44 to go in the half sent Kaneland down one.

The third quarter began with KHS on a 12-0 run thanks to a three by Aly O’Herron (22 points), a three-point play by Grams, a three-point play by O’Herron and a three-point play by Harner to give KHS a 37-26 lead with 5:45 to go in the frame. A second flurry with two Harner foul shots, a Bradford basket, a Caroline Heimerdinger shot and two more Harner free throws extended the lead to 45-28 with 3:35 to go.

“In the second half, we realized we were a better team than this, and we need to play better,” O’Herron said.

To add an exclamation point on the third-quarter, O’Herron caught an inbound pass with one tick left and nailed another trifecta to give KHS a 52-32 lead after three.

“I was supposed to screen and run across and I saw nobody around me, so I was like, ‘Caroline, here,’ and my eyes lit up,” O’Herron said.

Kaneland forced Morris into a scoreless fourth quarter and an 0-for-9 stretch from the field as the Lady Knights put up 13 more points of their own.

“I think the girls were disappointed in the first half and came out better on defense in the second half,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “They stepped up in the second half. Any time you hold a team to six points in a half at this level, it’s excellent.”

Ashley Prost led the Lady Knights with 10 points against the Ottawa counterparts, but KHS struggled with a 12-for-39 effort from the field, and 6-of-23 from the charity stripe.

KHS was down 17-9 after one and 28-14 at the half. Ottawa was up 36-21 after three before the final frame.

On Friday, Jan. 18, Kaneland faces host Sycamore at 7 p.m.

Sports_GirlBB_1

Sports_GirlBB_5

Sports_GirlBB_4

Sports_GirlBB_3

Sports_GirlBB_2

Knights at hub of victory

Photo: John Pruett executes a leaping lay-up in the fourth quarter of Kaneland’s 65-62 home win against Rochelle on Thursday. Photo by Patti Wilk

Limbrunner, Pruett combine for 40 in NIB-12 win
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Eight out of 10 isn’t bad.

Outside of two setbacks at last month’s Plano Christmas Classic, the Knights don’t have a blemish on the slate since junior guard Drew David saw his way back into the lineup from injury.

The narrative continued on Thursday evening against the visiting Rochelle Hubs, as the Knights staged a 65-62 comeback win.

The win raises KHS prospects to 9-6 (4-1 Northern Illinois Big XII).

“We still have a long way to go offensively. The nice thing about having Drew back is that we are taking care of the ball better. But our consistency needs to improve,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said.

Helped by a 16-for-24 evening at the line, compared to just four tries for the visitors, Kaneland beat its 2012 regional final opponent from a year ago. Matt Limbrunner had a game-high 23 points, to go with teammate John Pruett’s 17. Dan Miller added nine in the win.

The 65 points marks a team-high for 2012-13 thus far, and held up despite Rochelle’s mind-boggling 14 three-pointers. Grant Prusator had a team-high five treys.

Rochelle led 19-14 after one quarter and 40-29 at the end of the first half. Kaneland closed within 51-45 at the end of the third frame before making a 20-11 run spanning the fourth quarter.

Kaneland hopes the effort shows on the court in this second half of the season.

“The boys are buying into our defensive philosophy. They also work hard on a consistent basis,” Johnson said.

Kaneland travels to conference crossover adversary LaSalle-Peru on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 6:30 p.m.

Sports_BoyBB_1

Sports_BoyBB_2

Sports_BoyBB_4

Sports_BoyBB_5

Sports_BoyBB_6

Wrestlers take down Morris, host Flott

Photo: Junior Zack Russell won the championship in the 160 pound weight class against a Prairie Central opponent. Photo by Patti Wilk

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Fourth time is a charm for local wrestlers.

For the fourth straight season, KHS wrestling was crowned king of its own mat at the Margarett Flott Memorial Tournament held in Maple Park on Saturday.

The Knights also took down Morris in a slim 40-35 encounter on Thursday, raising their dual mark to 13-12.

The Knights’ improvement in 2012-13 is already tangible, with the Kaneland group eclipsing last season’s dual meet mark of 11-12.

“We’re a better tournament team than a dual team, but we did well and we’re down to an important part of the season,” KHS coach Monty Jahns said.

Kaneland’s total of 227 beat Elgin (156), Prairie Central (141), Ottawa (128.5) and Niles North (105) to round out the top five in the 10-team invite.

Connor Williams captured the 120-pound mantle with a 4:12 pinfall over Ottawa rival Christian Boswell. Williams reached the final with a 14-2 major decision over Elgin’s Daniel Easter.

Esai Ponce conquered the 132-pound group with a 6-2 decision over Bradey Weinrich of BC. Ponce reached the final with a 3:11 pin over Prairie Central’s Nick Kauffman.

Sonny Horn won the 138-pound gathering with a 4-1 win over Marian Catholic’s Nick Remke. Horn made the final via 4-2 decision over PC’s Ben Traub.

Kaneland standout Dan Goress captured the 145-pound title with a 3-1 decision over Evan Bahler of PC, after a 15-1 major decision over Larkin’s Alex Duran.

Zack Russell staked the 160-pound claim by 5:35 pinfall over PC’s Jake Adams. Russell made the final by 6-5 win over Niles North Calvin Rosenburgh.

Zack Theis captured the heavyweight final with victories over Alex Vara of Ottawa (1:20) and Grant Ricketts of PC (1:30). Teammate Justin Diddell had a 9-2 victory over Ottawa’s Sean Taulbee in the same bracket.

113-pound asset Stephen Gust made it to the finals of his bracket by a technical fall over Ottawa’s Alex Brown before dropping a 3:50 fall to Zachery McCullough in the final.

At 126 pounds, Dane Goodenough beat Burlington Central’s Michael Metz in :57 before losing in the final to Larkin’s Duke Bogicevic by 6-2 count.

At 220 pounds, Nick Sharp made it to the finals with a :49 pinfall of PC’s Cody Parks before dropping the final to Ottawa’s cornerstone Cyrano Rayfield in 5:15.

At 106 pounds, Knight Adam Mish defeated Jacob Meyers of Rochelle by 6-5 decision to secure third place.

At 152 pounds, Austin Parks made it to the third-place match with an overtime win over BC’s Brad Roberts before losing to Niles North’s Stephen Heilman by 3:05 pinfall to finish fourth.

Against Morris, Mish won via pin in 1:30, Gust took a 5-0 win over Jake Crowther and Goodenough won a 5-3 decision over AJ Vota.

Kaneland’s David Barnhart won a :24 pin in his 132-pound encounter, and Horn’s 12-2 major decision also helped the KHS effort.

Dan Goress, at 152 pounds, beat Andrew Olson in 1:44, while Parks also managed a 3:35 pinfall over Kyle Abney.

Theis also earned a 2:52 pinfall over Morris’ Dalton Ness in the win for heavyweight supremacy.

On Saturday, Jan. 19, the eyes of the NIB-12 wrestling landscape will be in Sycamore for the conference meet.

“They just have to push themselves,” Jahns said. “We need to focus on every meet and every match like it’s our last.”

Sports_Wrestle_6

Sports_Wrestle_5

Sports_Wrestle_3

Sports_Wrestle_2

Senior Connor Williams took the championship<br /><figcaption class=in the 120 pound weight class vs Ottawa in the finals of the Margaret Flott
Invitational. Photo by Patti Wilk" width="385" height="580" class="size-full wp-image-27816" /> Senior Connor Williams took the championship
in the 120 pound weight class vs Ottawa in the finals of the Margaret Flott
Invitational. Photo by Patti Wilk

Lady Knights drop pair of matches

KANELAND—The KHS bowling team dropped a pair of matches this week, both by narrow margins.

Kaneland hosted fellow Northern Illinois Big XII outfit Ottawa in DeKalb, and after Tuesday’s loss at Rochelle on Tuesday, fell to 1-7 on the dual campaign tour.

Against Ottawa, Kaneland suffered through a slim 2,803-2,757 setback on the lanes.

Ottawa’s best individual series was a 603 total. Kaneland was lifted by Angela Charhut at 508. Amanda Strayve added a 487.

Teammate Morgan Wojciechowski added a 484 series of her own.

Charhut had the team-high game effort of 224, while Wojciechowski supplied a 172 for second-best.

In JV action, Ottawa bested KHS by a 2,437-2,102 score. Dominique Lee had a team-best 393 series.

Kaneland came out with a game-one victory at Rochelle on Tuesday, 938-894, before dropping the next two games and the match overall, 2,715-2,688.

Ellissa Eckert notched the Kaneland high game with a 168 in game two. Wojciechowski put up the team’s high series with a 482.

Kaneland’s JV squad posted a victory at Rochelle, 2,059-1,859. The team swept all three games, led by Karizza Sotelo’s high game of 172 and Dominique Lee’s high series of 419.

On Thursday,. Jan. 17, the Lady Knights face host Illinois Math and Science Academy, with a 4:15 p.m. start.

Back to even

Photo: Kaneland’s Brooke Harner played tough defense against Burlington on Saturday at home. Photo by John DiDonna

Comeback win over Rochelle evens KHS conference mark
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Bouncing back from adversity could be the difference in later games this season, and Kaneland girls basketball put it into practice this past Friday and Saturday as the calendar switched to 2013.

Friday saw a laboring battle against visiting Yorkville, and KHS fell 39-26. Kaneland rebounded on Saturday with a 56-53 win over Burlington Central.

Down five late against visiting Rochelle on Tuesday, the Lady Knights went on a 12-0 run spanning the fourth quarter and overtime in a 54-47 overtime win.

Kaneland now sits at 11-6 (3-3 Northern Illinois Big XII).

KHS shot just 10-for-41 against the Lady Foxes and scored just two points in the third quarter of play.

Aly O’Herron and Emma Bradford paced the Lady Knights with six points each, while Corrine Rowe had a game-high 10 points for YHS.

Yorkville was up 11-8 after one quarter and 22-19 after the first half of play before leaving the third quarter with a 31-21 lead. Yorkville outscored Kaneland 8-5 in the final eight minutes to cinch it.

Against BC, Ashley Prost and Bradford had 12 points each, while Sarah Grams added 10.

Despite shooting just 12-of-46 from the field, the Lady Knights converted 31-of-39 foul shots.

The two squads were tied at 8-8 after one, and Kaneland led 23-18 after a half before BC closed within 32-30 after three. BC sent it to an extra period by outscoring Kaneland 14-12 before KHS outscored the Lady Rockets 12-9 in OT.

Against Rochelle, Kaneland was down 24-22 at halftime. The two squads exchanged baskets until Grams hit two straight and O’Herron stole and converted to tie the score at 30.

Rochelle scored with 1:56 to go to take a two-point lead before Brooke Harner’s offensive putback tied the game with 3.8 left in the quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Michelle Dobbs of Rochelle hit a bucket and then hit one-of-two foul shots for a 36-32 edge with 4:33 to play. The Lady Hubs hit four of six free throws down the stretch for a 41-36 lead with 47.6 seconds remaining in the game. O’Herron responded by launching a rainbow perimeter attempt that connected with 40.3 to go, making it 41-39. Prost tied the game at 41-41 with a basket converted off a steal with 20.9 to go, and Rochelle missed on two shot attempts near the end.

In the extra four-minute session, Emma Bradford made good on a lay-up, and O’Herron launched a trey for a 46-41 lead with 2:49 left. Prost nailed a pair of free throws to give KHS a 48-41 lead that completed the 12-0 run.

Dobbs hit a bucket and a pair of free throws to close within 48-45 with a minute to play, but a Prost basket, as well as foul shots from O’Herron and Grams, put the contest away after much tension.

“The key to the game was really our composure,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said following the second consecutive OT win. “We got down early. Dobbs is a dynamic scorer, and we wanted to make her work a little bit harder.”

Kaneland plays in Ottawa on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 2:30 p.m.

Photos by John DiDonna:
Sports_GirlBB_6

Sports_GirlBB_5

Sports_GirlBB_4

Sports_GirlBB_2

Sports_GirlBB_1

Bowling drops duel with Huntley

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Kaneland bowling is trying to up the competitive fire against good teams, and its opponents are making sure it’s a difficult ride.

Facing familiar adversary Huntley on the road on Monday evening, KHS fell with a 2,978-2,728 loss in the first meet of 2013.

For KHS, Christie Crews had a team-high series total of 545 and a high game of 205 and Morgan Wojchiechowski added a 527 total and high game of 189.

Kaneland played hosts to visiting Sycamore on Tuesday and pulled out a tight 933-925 win in game three, although the team fell overall, 2,923-2,759.

Annie Salerno led the team with a 204 high game, and Angela Charhut paced the Lady Knights with a 519 high series.

Kaneland travels to Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb to battle crossover foe Ottawa on Thursday, Jan. 10.

“On Thursday, we face Ottawa at home, and that match could go just about any way,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said. “They appear to be a bit inconsistent with their scores, just like us. They’ve had some amazingly high games, but they’ve also shown weakness at times, so it should be a good match.”

Grapplers open 2013 with dual win

Photo: Kaneland’s Austin Parks (152 pounds) gets the upper hand on his Rochelle opponent during wrestling Senior Night home match on Jan. 3. Photo by Mary Herra

Wrestlers battle through Sycamore Invite field, stifle Rochelle
KANELAND—Nothing like a tough Sycamore Invite and a Northern Illinois Big XII battle against a familiar foe to measure your team’s progress.

In the usual early-January stop, the Knights finished ninth at the furious Sycamore Invite with 363.5 points.

Kaneland also evened up its dual mark at 12-12 with a 43-15 win over visiting Rochelle on Thursday.

Rockton’s Hononegah High School took first in Sycamore with 679 team points, followed by Grant at 591.5 and the hosts with 567.5.

Noteworthy finishes began with 120-pound asset Connor Williams, who nabbed third place overall with a 5-0 win over Grant’s Troy Parent.

Teammate Esai Ponce did well with a third-place finish, capped with a 2:39 pin over Marian Catholic’s Frank Voltattorni.

Dan Goress continued his trajectory and made it to the 145-pound final before losing to McHenry’s Wade Lardy by 5-2 count.

Against the Hubs, wins were plentiful, including 113-pound rep Stephen Gust winning a 3-1 decision and Williams taking a 5-0 win.

Ponce took a major decision by 8-0 count, and the KHS crew collected two pins from the efforts of Sonny Horn at 138 pounds (2:58) and Goress (1:28).

Austin Parks won an 8-6 OT victory in the 152-pound match, while Nick Sharp added a 1:15 pin.

Kaneland will wrestle at the Flott Invite on Saturday, Jan. 12.

Knights take care of Yorkville, BC

Photo: Kaneland’s Tyler Carlson passes as a Burlington player goes down during Kaneland’s home contest on Saturday. The Knights defeated the Rockets 38-30. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—The silver-and-black-clad Knights are making good on committing to excellence in 2013.

After splitting the last competition of 2012 in the 50th running of the Plano Christmas Classic, Kaneland got off to a nice start with the new year.

Kaneland handily solved a visiting Yorkville squad on Friday evening by a final of 51-30 and stifled a lineup from Burlington Central in Maple Park on Saturday by a final of 38-30.

KHS sits at 8-6 (3-1 Northern Illinois Big XII) on the year, having won seven of its last nine.

In NIB-12 action against the Foxes, the Knights were paced by John Pruett’s 14 points, Matt Limbrunner’s 10 and Tyler Carlson’s 10.

After taking a 12-8 lead after the first eight minutes of play, YHS hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to 12-11 23 seconds into the second quarter.

Limbrunner then hit two baskets, including one on a crisp pass down low from guard Drew David, to take a 16-11 lead with 6:10 to go.

Baskets by Dan Miller and Cole Carlson and two foul shots from Tyler Carlson gave KHS a 22-18 edge with two minutes to play in the half, the Foxes’ basket with 1:19 left closed the first-half scoring out at 22-20.

The third quarter saw the scales tip even more in the Knights’ favor as a mid-quarter flurry of baskets from Tyler Carlson, Limbrunner and a three-pointer from Pruett made it 31-22 with 2:28 to go. Yorkville missed six straight shots in the quarter at one point, while Limbrunner converted on two baskets and David hit a shot, giving KHS a 37-28 lead with 1:02 to go that closed out the scoring.

Yorkville hit just one of four shots in the fourth quarter, while Pruett hit the first three baskets of the quarter for KHS to give the hosts a 14-point lead.

“We know they ran their 2-2-1 press, and we were pretty much game planning that all week,” Pruett said. “Yorkville is good at getting pressure and turnovers, and we were just getting the ball down the floor.”

The lead grew to 21 on a three by freshman Dylan Vava with 1:26 to go, while Yorkville scored just two points in the frame.

“(Yorkville) did a good job early on at causing us to make some mistakes and not necessarily take care of the basketball, but it was nice to get a little bit of breathing space in the fourth quarter,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said.

Limbrunner led the Knights with 16 in the comeback win over visiting BC, but the visitors enjoyed an 8-6 lead after one quarter. Kaneland powered through for a 19-16 lead at halftime before BC emerged with a 25-24 lead after three. KHS went on a 14-5 run encompassing the fourth quarter for the win.

Kaneland hosts rival Rochelle on Thursday, Jan. 10.

Photos by John DiDonna:
Sports_BoyBB_1

Sports_BoyBB_3

Sports_BoyBB_4

Sports_BoyBB_5

Sports_BoyBB_6

Dudzinski named Patriot League Player of the Week

WORCESTER, Mass.—Holy Cross junior forward Dave Dudzinski, an Elburn resident and Kaneland High School alum, was named the Patriot League/Anaconda Player of the Week, for competition from Dec. 17-23. This marks the first time Dudzinski has won Patriot League Player of the Week honors during his collegiate career.

In two contests that week, Dudzinski averaged 26.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots per game, while hitting 69.2 percent (18 of 26) of his field goal attempts, 80.0 percent of his three-pointers (four of five) and 92.9 percent (13 of 14) of his free throws. He opened the week with a career-high 31 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in the 73-63 victory at San Francisco on Dec. 18. Dudzinski then totaled 22 points, two assists, two blocks and two steals in the 72-65 loss at Harvard on Dec. 22.

On the year, Dudzinski has averaged a team-best 15.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.0 blocked shots per game. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has totaled 577 points, 336 rebounds and 53 blocked shots, while connecting on 50.2 percent (211 of 421) of his field goals and 80.6 percent (133 of 165) of his free throws.

Top-tier finish in Plano for boys hoops

Photo: Kaneland boys varsity beat Newark 54-35 on Dec. 27 at the Plano 50th annual Christmas Classic tournament. No. 22 Dan Miller goes up and over his opponents for a score. Photo by Patti Wilk

by Mike Slodki
PLANO—Kaneland boys basketball is slowly but surely gelling again.

At the 50th running of the Plano Christmas Classic, that reality stood as an ominous warning to some teams and a statement of fact to the teams that bested the Knights.

Kaneland finished in fourth place, one spot worse than in 2011, but still continues to make strides with a healthy lineup and new faces.

Coupled with a win back on Dec. 22 against Sandwich, the Knights returned to action with a handy 47-29 win on Dec. 26, against sixth-seed Lisle. On Thursday, they handed Newark a 54-35 loss before losing to Ottawa on Friday, 60-50. Saturday’s third-place game saw Aurora Christian hand Kaneland a 54-46 loss.

Ottawa, a 10th seed, won the entire tournament with a 55-53 win over top-seed Belvidere on Saturday night.

With the 3-2 showing at the tourney, Kaneland’s record is now 6-6.

Against the Lisle Lions, Kaneland was led by Matt Limbrunner’s 23, Tyler Carlson’s 11 and John Pruett’s 10.

Two Limbrunner hoops gave KHS a 10-5 lead with under a minute left, but a technical foul on the Kaneland bench gave Lisle four foul shot attempts, only to convert on one of the tries. Kaneland led 10-8 at the first-quarter horn.

It was once again the Limbrunner show in the second quarter, with four of the five team baskets.

The senior was able to power down low to make it 19-12 with 3:02 to go in the half. After Lisle’s hoop 19 seconds later, Limbrunner went low for a 21-14 edge with 2:21 to play, closing out the first-half scoring.

KHS then went on a 13-4 run, taking care of the entire third frame. Back-to-back three pointers by Carlson grew the lead to 14 points with 29.1 left, and two Pruett foul shots with 15.8 to go made it 34-18 as the quarter wound down.

Baskets by Pruett and Limbrunner within the fourth quarter’s first minute made the lead 38-18, while free throws from Limbrunner, Dan Miller and Connor Fedderly iced the game.

Limbrunner and crew persevered against a higher seed and an up-tempo style of play for a handy win.

“It was nice; we knew they wanted to play fast,” Limbrunner said. “So we wanted to play our game, slow it down, and it worked out really well.”

KHS coach Brian Johnson was wary of the No. 6 seed in the Classic.

“We wanted to make sure we could control the tempo,” Johnson said. “Lisle is pretty athletic and big, and they want to get out and run.”

In the win over the Norsemen, Carlson paced the Knights with 16. Kaneland was ahead 15-3 after one frame and 26-18 at the halftime buzzer before leading 41-26 after three. KHS shot 17-for-38 in the win and 17-for-22 from the foul line.

In the loss against the eventual champ Pirates, Miller had a team-high 12, while Ottawa’s JD Bryant had 16 of his own.

Kaneland was plagued by a 19-for-53 day from the field. Ottawa was ahead 15-12 after one and 30-18 at the half before the Knights closed to within 39-33 after three.

Miller had a team-high 15 in the loss to the local rival Eagles in the tourney conclusion. Cory Windle had a game-high 16.

Kaneland was plagued by a 19-for-50 night from the field.

AC went up 22-9 after one frame and 36-24 after the first 16 minutes of play before the Knights closed to within 45-36, but a 10-9 fourth in favor of Kaneland wasn’t impactful enough.

Kaneland continues Northern Illinois Big XII action on Friday, Jan. 4, against visiting Yorkville.

KHS earns split at usual Flavin stop

Photo: Kaneland sophomore Adam Mish puts an arm lock on his Burlington rival during the DeKalb Invitational on Saturday. Photo by Patti Wilk

DeKalb gathering lifts KHS; sees dual mark at 10-11
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—A usual late-December stop offered a glimpse as to what caliber the Knight wrestling squad is at right now.

Friday and Saturday marked the familiar Don Flavin Invite, hosted by DeKalb High School.

The event was ultimately won by Hononegah High School over Naperville North, and the Knights went 2-2 in the weekend. Hononegah improved on its second-place finish of a year ago.

Kaneland finished eighth in 2011 and sixth in 2010.

After a 41-30 win over Burlington Central, a 54-24 win over Stagg, a 44-32 loss to 2011 champ Neuqua Valley and a 40-26 loss to Glenbard West—plus a loss to Pewaukee of Wisconsin—the Knights sit at 10-11 in head-to-head competition.

In the win over the rival Rockets along Dresser Road, the Knights saw a 7-0 decision from 106-pounder Adam Mish and a 2-0 decision for 120-pounder Connor Williams. Teammate Dane Goodenough managed a pin in the 126-pound outing in two minutes, 31 seconds.

Kaneland 138-pounder Sonny Horn won a 2:32 pinfall, and 145-pound teammate Dan Goress took a technical fall by 20-4 count.

BC found wins in the 152-through-182 classes, but the twin towers of Nick Sharp and Zach Theis took pins home to secure a win.

Sharp won in 1:27 for 220-pound glory, and Theis managed a 1:53 pin in the heavyweight category.

In the win over the Stagg group, Mish’s 8-5 win paved the way for pins from Williams, Goodenough, 132-pound Esai Ponce, Horn and 152-pound Austin Parks. Goress also nabbed a 24-9 technical fall, as well.

Sharp won his match in 3:53, while Theis scored a 12-2 major decision.

In the 12-point team loss to the Naperville, Ill.-based outfit, Mish (:43) and Williams (2:32) took pins, while Stephen Gust won a 7-6 squeaker.

Horn won a pinfall in 1:36, while Goress won a third technical fall of the competition in 18-3 fashion.

In the 14-point loss to the Hilltoppers, decision wins came by Gust (2-0), Williams (6-3), Ponce (9-8), Horn (6-5) and Sharp (6-1).

Goress earned a fourth technical fall win by 21-6 count, while Sharp took the lone team pinfall by 3:14 time.

KHS head coach Monty Jahns said Goress has served as a spark plug for the team.

“He got the ball rolling and was fun to watch,” KHS coach Monty Jahns said. “As a senior, he sets the tone for us.”

GW’s winning trail through 152-195 country was the difference.

Kaneland gets back into the Northern Illinois Big XII swing of things on Thursday, Jan. 3, against the visiting Rochelle Hubs.

Hot start

Follow the Plano Tournament at
RockCreekBall.com/Classic12.htm

Kaneland’s Tyler Carlson (10) steals the ball from the Sandwich players during the 50th annual Plano Classic on Saturday. Kaneland handled Sandwich easily in this game, winning 52-31. Photo by Patti Wilk

KHS boys trounce Sandwich in Plano Classic’s first round
KANELAND—It’s a tall order for an 11th seed to find glory in the Plano Christmas Classic, so Kaneland had to take it one step at a time at the tournament setting.

They did so on Saturday against Sandwich with a 52-31 victory during the first afternoon of the 50th edition of the tournament.

Winners of the entire tournament in 2009, KHS played No. 6 seed Lisle at 3:30 p.m., on Wednesday, with results unavailable at press time.

Kaneland (4-4) went 17-for-42 from the field and was paced by Tyler Carlson’s 19 points, John Pruett’s 12 and Matt Limbrunner’s 11.

Liam Crotty had eight for Sandwich.

Key in the winning effort was the Knights going 18-for-21 from the foul line, compared to 5-for-5 for the Indians.

KHS went 10-for-22 from the field in the second half.

Kaneland was up 10-8 after the first quarter, and 18-13 at the half before upping the lead to 30-22 after three. The Knights’ 22-9 run spanning the entire fourth quarter iced the first-round contest.

Knights take 2 of 3 in Woodstock quadrangular

KANELAND—Work never seems done for the Kaneland High School wrestling unit.

While the final school bell of 2012 rang the previous day, the wrestlers headed up to Woodstock High School for a quadrangular meet.

After the day’s activities, the Knights came away with a 52-18 win over the hosts, a 37-30 setback at the hands of Mundelein, and a 51-9 win over Richmond-Burton.

Kaneland’s dual mark sits at 8-8.

Against the Streaks of Woodstock, three of the lightest four weights ended in forfeit wins, while 113-pound entry Stephen Gust took a pin in two minutes, 59 seconds.

Teammate Esai Ponce, at 132 pounds, won a 15-0 technical fall, while Sonny Horn won a 9-5 decision at 138.

At 145 pounds, Dan Goress took a 12-4 major decision, and teammate Austin Parks ended up with the same type of win in 11-2 fashion for the 152 bragging rights.

Woodstock took the 160, 170 and 182 wins by two pins and a forfeit, while 195 ended as a double forfeit.

Nick Sharp and Zach Theis had the final two wins in the heavier weights by forfeit.

Against Mundelein, Kaneland fell victim to losses in every class from 152 to 195. Pins in the Knights favor went to Connor Williams at 120 over Jonathan Avela in 3:26, Horn at 3:52 over Joe Lavree and Theis in 1:15 over Ed Olmos. Goress took a major decision over Javeen Dominguez, 20-5, while Sharp won a major decision over Cesar Obespo, 11-0. Ponce won 5-3 for a win over Matt Hvoenson.

Against Richmond-Burton, victories included a 6-0 win by Gust, a 126-pound win for Dane Goodenough in :40 and a :45 pin by Sharp. The remainder of the wins were of the forfeit variety.

The Knights prepare to hit the 14th annual Don Flavin Tournament at DeKalb High School Friday and Saturday, Dec. 28-29.

Girls leave Ottawa with split

The Kaneland girl’s varsity basketball team ventured to Ottawa for the Holiday Tournament. They beat Morris 38-29 and lost to Pontiac on Saturday, 43-39. File Photo

Colombe contingent nbeats Morris, takes loss vs. Pontiac
by Mike Slodki
OTTAWA—It’s hard to get accustomed to new digs for the holiday season.

Kaneland girls basketball had spent the previous six seasons hooping it up at Oswego East’s tournament in late December, and made its way to Ottawa’s Holiday tournament in 2013.

After splitting the first two contests a week ago in downtown Ottawa, the Lady Knights once again beat conference rival Morris on Friday afternoon by a final of 38-29, before losing to Pontiac, 43-38, in the seventh-place game on Saturday afternoon.

Kaneland’s eighth-place mark out of 12 teams brings the mark to 9-5 as the 2012 part of the season closes out. The Lady Knights have lost five of seven contests after a solid 7-0 beginning to the season.

Joliet Catholic won the tournament after a 49-26 handling of the host Lady Pirates, while Yorkville beat Geneseo, 39-29, in the third-place encounter.

Ashley Prost had 11 points to lead the Lady Knight attack in the win over the Morris, while Amber Winquist-Bailey had eight points off the bench in key minutes.

“It’s nice to stop the slide,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We knew it was going to be a different game, and they moved up a freshman to varsity and she’s one of Morris’ best players.They did a real nice job of defense on us, just getting in there battling.”

Kaneland emerged with a 12-11 lead after the first quarter, but fell behind quickly until Prost’s basket put the lead back to 14-13 just 38 seconds into the fourth quarter.

Sarah Grams’ jumper with 4:35 to go made it 16-13, while Winquist-Bailey’s basket 27 seconds later made it 18-15 and marked the final score of the quarter until a Morris foul shot with 38.3 seconds remaining.

Morris tried its best to push through to the lead, but junior center Kelly Wallner’s free throw, Prost’s bucket and Emma Bradford’s shot had KHS at a 23-20 advantage with 4:56 to go in the third. Later, Morris sliced the lead to two, but another Winquist-Bailey basket made it 27-23 with 17.9 remaining, closing out the third frame’s scoring.

Yet another key Winquist-Bailey conversion gave KHS a 29-23 lead with 6:24 to go, and the Lady Knights never looked back. Grams’ shot with 4:48 to go gave KHS a 10-point lead with 4:48 left, and her two foul shots with 52.2 left gave the Lady Knights their largest lead of the night at 37-26. Kaneland was 4-for-5 from the field and hit six of eight from the charity stripe to seal it.

“Amber had a nice spark in the game, and we all just cleared our heads and we focused on what we needed to do,” Prost said.

The Lady Knights’ break continues until Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, when they host rival Yorkville.

Drew drops in on DeKalb

Kaneland point guard Drew David returned to the lineup after his injury that kept him out of the first six games. He helped the Knights come back against DeKalb, winning 50-45 on Friday. Photo by Patti Wilk

Key 3 fuels comeback win at Barbs
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—Perhaps the only group unhappy to see the return of Kaneland point guard Drew David was the group hosting the boys basketball game on Friday night.

It was David’s first game back from a wrist injury suffered during football season, and he lofted a successful three-pointer to give KHS a 46-45 lead with 43.6 seconds remaining.

The shot gave the Knights the lead for the rest of the contest and resulted in a 50-45 win over the host Barbs.

Kaneland is now 3-4 (2-1 Northern Illinois Big XII).

The game featured Kaneland playing catch-up since the first quarter, facing as much as an eight-point deficit in the game.

The fourth frame saw KHS go 7-for-10 from the field and a string of six made shots in a row.

Matt Limbrunner paced the Knights with 16 points, followed by Tyler Carlson’s 11, John Pruett’s 10 and David’s eight.

“We were down the whole game, but the boys fought really hard,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said. “Drew came up big toward the end, and it was a team effort. It was obviously nice having Drew back.”

DeKalb entered the fourth up 34-29, and Kaneland’s run began when Pruett’s putback off of a Dan Miller miss made it 39-35 with 4:05 remaining.

DeKalb made the first of two foul shots to make it a five-point game. Pruett’s shot made it 40-37 with 2:50 to go, and David hit his first trifecta with 1:58 remaining to neutralize a previous Barb three and make it 43-40.

Tyler Carlson’s basket 20 seconds later made it 43-42.

Miller’s foul shot tied it with 1:27 left before a Barb conversion tilted the lead back to the home team with 1:05 left.

David then hit the crucial three from the wing, and a similar attempt by DeKalb was for naught, allowing Pruett and David to hit four foul shots to cap the win.

“I don’t know, I’m pretty out of shape, but I was just trying to help the team win,” David said. “I just got cleared the other day and it’s (my hand is) pretty weak, so it’s kind of foreign for me, shooting right now.”

DeKalb had a 10-7 lead after one frame, and was up 20-16 after two quarters.

Kaneland sets off against Sandwich at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. Dec. 22, in the first round of the Plano Christmas Classic. The winner faces Lisle on Wednesday, Dec. 26, at 3:30 p.m., while the loser faces either Newark or Burlington Central at 6:30 p.m.

Wrestlers tussle with Yorkville in losing effort

Photo: Kaneland’s Dan Goress was one of four Knights who earned a win against visiting Yorkville last Thursday night, winning by major decision 18-5. The Knights lost to the Foxes 45-19. Photo by Ben Draper

Knights also face 3 foes in home weekend quad
KANELAND—You can have a plan to be aggressive on the wrestling mat, but unless it manifests during mat time, no win is automatic.

Kaneland’s meet against visiting Yorkville had some nice moments for the Knights, but the Foxes’ strong attack took hold in a 45-19 win.

Saturday turned a little better, with a home quad resulting in wins over Geneva and Belvidere North before a loss to Rock Island.

Kaneland’s dual record is now 6-7.

Wins over the rival Foxes took the form in bouts like a Connor Williams 9-6 win in the 120-pound match and Esai Ponce’s 1:55 pin in the 132-pound match.

“You try to score as much as you can for your team, because you know you’re giving up weights,” Ponce said of the fact that Kaneland forfeits at several weight classes during dual meets. “I feel we can do a lot better than last year.”

Dan Goress, at 145, won a 16-5 major decision, and Nick Sharp took the 220-pound match in 1:41.

“We’re just going to pound basic drill after basic drill,” KHS coach Monty Jahns said. “We’re not attacking enough on our feet. We need to be offensive wrestlers.”

Kaneland went pin happy against rival Geneva in a 42-38 win.

Adam Mish (106 pounds), Stephen Gust (113), Dane Goodenough (126), Ponce, Sonny Horn (138) and Goress all came away with pins.

Ponce’s 12-second fall was the quickest in the head-to-head encounter.

Kaneland also beat Belvidere North 51-21.

Zach Theis took heavyweight glory in a 42-second pinfall, while Mish earned a pin in 2:20.

Teammate Gust won a fall in 1:10, and Williams went the distance in an 8-6 win. In addition to a forfeit, Ponce (:58), Horn (1:48) and Goress (1:17) all took pins.

The only team blemish for KHS was a 45-18 loss to Rock Island.

Gust won a 7-0 battle, while Ponce was victorious in 5-1 fashion. Goress won a 7-2 match, while the final two wins went to Sharp (9-3) and Theis (3:10).

Kaneland travels to Woodstock for a dual on Saturday, Dec. 22.

Kaneland begins Ottawa journey

3-game skid ends with win over Sandwich
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Kaneland Lady Knights basketball endured a three-game skid last week, but still has enough of a pedigree to be a highly looked at team from the area.

KHS began the current season winning its first seven.

Then came last week’s losses to DeKalb and Antioch, and the Lady Knights had to endure another loss to Geneseo High School on Saturday as part of the Ottawa Tournament.

However, the ship was righted with a better result against Sandwich later that day.

The Lady Knights sit at 8-4 (2-2 Northern Illinois Big XII).

“We played solid defensively in all three losses, we played against three tough teams,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We had a chance in all three games; it came down to missing some shots at key moments in the game.”

Kaneland slogged through a 37-33 loss in pool play down in Ottawa to NIB-12 crossover foe Geneseo.

Geneseo led matters 11-6 after one, but KHS tied the score at 15 going into the break. The Maple Leafs were up 25-20 after three before the Lady Knights outscored Geneseo 13-12 to no avail.

Kaneland was 11-for-36 from the field and committed 14 turnovers on the game.

Ashley Prost had a team-high 12 points, while Aly O’Herron had 11 points supplied in part by three three-pointers. Teammate Brooke Harner had five steals on the defensive end in a losing effort.

More up the KHS alley was the 60-30 win over the Interstate Eight Conference stalwart Sandwich program.

Kaneland was 23-for-41 from the field and led by Prost’s 16 points, with 11 Lady Knights seeing the scoring column.

Kaneland’s Sarah Grams added five assists in the win. Reserve Marina Schaefer had eight points and five boards, as well.

Tuesday saw Kaneland drop its second game in a week to DeKalb in a 38-22 loss at home.

The DeKalb “D” was too much for the Lady Knights, as they saw a 10-7 first-quarter deficit extend to 19-7 at halftime. KHS was unable to come back in the second half.

Prost led Kaneland with 8 points and 4 rebounds.

The Ottawa gathering resumes on Friday, Dec. 21, with Kaneland set to square off against Joliet Catholic, LaSalle-Peru or Morris at 3 p.m.

KHS had previously called Oswego East High School its holiday tournament home since the 2006-07 season before hitting Ottawa this season.

Bowling sees promising signs at Lisle Invite

Photo: Christie Crews is trying to improve on her standout performance last year. Here she throws against LaSalle Peru High School on Tuesday at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Sometimes a weekend invite is all you need to see what can happen.

On Saturday, Kaneland bowling went to the Lisle Invite and came away with a second-place trophy in the “B” bracket.

Kaneland knocked down 1,308 pins in the morning session and 2,060 pins in the afternoon session for a total of 3,368.

The first matchups were traditional five-on-five formats, with the field divided into A and B brackets in the afternoon.

KHS was ninth out of 16 teams, and was placed in the “B” bracket.

Kaneland came away with wins over Lisle and then Willowbrook before losing to Rock Island in the final match of the day.

“It’s a game we should have won, but tiredness showed, and we just didn’t get the scores we needed,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said. “Still, we got a nice trophy for taking second place. It was good to bowl against several teams on the same day. As is often the case with us, we just seemed to tire out and lose the competitive spirit late in the day. We’ll have to work on that prior to our next tournament in January. All in all, I’m pleased with our performance, and I think the girls are, too.”

Kaneland played hosts to LaSalle-Peru Tuesday and fell in all three games by a total of 2,908-2,620.

Christie Crews led the Lady Knights with a pair of 181-high games and a 508 series. Ellissa Eckert followed with a 175 high game and 467 series.

Bowling picks up on Jan. 3, 2013, hosting Sycamore High School at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb.

Lady Knight streak ends

Photos by Patti Wilk

Kaneland’s season-opening win streak falls in loss to DeKalb
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—The opening season unbeaten streak for the Lady Knights basketball team came to an end Tuesday against DeKalb, but not before earning a tough overtime win over Sycamore last Thursday.

After navigating through a tough and tight battle and seeing the game almost slip away with under a second remaining, the Lady Knights used an extra quarter to dispense of visiting Sycamore on Thursday, 44-37.

Middle presence Ashley Prost paced the Lady Knights with 11 points, while Lauren Goff of Sycamore had a game-high 12.

Kaneland was 15-for-40 from the field on Thursday, but 13-for-18 from the foul line.

The fourth quarter began with Kaneland up 24-22, and a Sarah Grams pull-up jumper eventually gave KHS a 32-27 lead, but two baskets by the Lady Spartans made it 32-31 with 2:58 remaining.

Two foul shots by Grams with 1:41 to go extended the lead to 34-31, but an SHS basket with 28.3 to go made it 34-33.

Sycamore would get one last possession, and a Prost foul sent the visitors to the line with .1 second left.

“It wasn’t a position we wanted to be in,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We just got fortunate and caught a break.”

After the front end of the two shots was made, it was on to overtime, where Brooke Harner scored the first two baskets and KHS kept the lead doing with foul shots from Aly O’Herron, Prost and Grams.

“Our main goal is to make the other team take a time out within the first two minutes and keep up the defense, and the offense will follow after,” Harner said.

Kaneland led 10-8 after one quarter, and trailed 14-13 at halftime.

“They had us dribbling too much early on, kind of got us frustrated. They had us throwing the ball for longer passes than we wanted to, and they got to us that way,” Colombe said.

In the third, baskets by Prost and Harner, along with a free throw from Emma Bradford, gave KHS a 20-16 lead.

Marina Schaefer’s two baskets made it 24-19 with 1:14 left, setting the state for the final quarter.

The streak ended at seven games when DeKalb stifled the Lady Knights offense. Kaneland fell 31-17 in a game that saw just three Kaneland players change the scoreboard.

Bradford led the way with 11 points, O’Herron contributed five points, and Marina Schaeffer added one.

Kaneland sits at 7-1 (2-1 Northern Illinois Big XII). The team gets set for a new holiday tourney entry beginning Saturday, Dec. 15, with the Ottawa Tournament.

Boys step into pressure cooker

Photo: Kaneland varsity head coach Brian Johnson (right) tries to settle down his players in the third period at Sycamore. Photos by John DiDonna

Sycamore ‘D’ too much; KHS nabs win over H-BR
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—There would be no duplicating the last-second magic of late November like the Kaneland boys basketball team had against Morris. The host Sycamore Spartans made absolutely sure of that on Friday along Spartan Trail.

However, another game came down to the wire on Tuesday against Hinckley-Big Rock (H-BR), and this time the Knights came through in a 44-42 win.

Against Sycamore, a stingy press meant Kaneland was playing catch-up for the entire duration of the Northern Illinois Big XII meeting between the rival Knights and Spartans, with Sycamore earning a 60-46 win.

For Sycamore, Devin Mottet had 17 points, while KHS was paced by Matt Limbrunner’s 19. Dan Miller added nine.

Kaneland was 7-for-10 from the foul line.

A Tyler Carlson jumper with 4:24 remaining in the first deadlocked the affair at four apiece, but Sycamore went 4-for-5 from the field and made six foul shots to go up 19-7 at the end of the first, and continued its run into the next quarter to go up 23-7 before Miller’s offensive putback with 4:53 remaining in the half. Kaneland’s scoring drought lasted 5:20.

Down 27-11, the Knights went on a 9-2 run to close the half, thanks to a three-point play by Limbrunner, two foul shots by Bailey Harvell, two foul shots by Carlson and a basket by Limbrunner.

Sycamore’s fortunes were lifted by a fast tempo and key baskets by Mottet to go up 41-22 with 3:36 left.

Kaneland closed the third frame on an 8-2 run, stamped by a Cole Carlson putback with 22.6 to go.

Sycamore saw its lead go up to 15, but Kaneland got within 10 on four occasions, only to get no closer.

KHS coach Brian Johnson surveyed the difficult task with an improved Spartans contingent.

“This isn’t the Sycamore of the last few years; they’re a good team,” Johnson said. “They’re well coached and played extremely hard. We have to stick to our philosophy in beating those types of presses, and we didn’t really do it.”

Against H-BR, Kaneland used an 11-4 third quarter advantage to overcome a three-point halftime deficit to propel them to a much needed victory.

Matt Limbrunner led the team with 14 points, including three three-pointers. John Pruett added 12 points, and Carlson chipped in 10.

Kaneland now sits at 2-4 on the season. The Knights will battle host DeKalb Barbs on Friday, Dec. 14.

Tough week for Knight matmen

Photo: Kaneland’s Stephen Gust doesn’t let his opponent attack him during his match
at DeKalb on Dec. 6. Photo by John DiDonna

KANELAND—If a team is going to have a difficult week, it is much better to have them in early December than in February.

Kaneland High School dual action through 2012-13 has it at a 4-5 record, after losses to Cary-Grove 66-12 and host Crystal Lake Central 46-18 back on Dec. 5, as well as a Thursday loss to DeKalb.

At the still-new digs along Dresser Road in DeKalb, the NIB-12 offering featured three key wins by the Knights.

At 145-pounds, Dan Goress took a technical fall, while 220-pounder Nick Sharp earned a pinfall, as did 285-pound teammate Justin Diddell.

Kaneland’s odds were more daunting with four forfeit loses on the night.

The Knights also learned their individual postseason assignment, as they’ll head to Sycamore.

The grouping also features Belvidere, Belvidere North, Burlington Central, Glenbard South, Rockford Boylan, Rockford East, Sycamore and St. Francis of Wheaton.

Top finishers in the regional head to Rochelle for the sectional.

In the thick of things by the end of the season could be those included in the current Class AA illinoismatmen.com rankings, like 113-pounder Stephen Gust (No. 4), 132-pounder Esai Ponce (No.2), Goress (No. 5), Sharp (No. 7) and heavyweight Zach Theis (No. 12).

The Knights strap on the singlets to host fellow conference cornerstone Yorkville on Thursday, Dec. 13.

Kaneland senior Sonny Horn (138 pounds) tries to pull down his opponent at DeKalb on Dec. 6. Sonny went on to win this match. 											           Photo by John DiDonna
Kaneland senior Sonny Horn (138 pounds) tries to pull down his opponent at DeKalb on Dec. 6. Sonny went on to win this match. Photo by John DiDonna

Too much for Morris

Photo: Senior Ashley Prost fights for the ball in the third period of Kaneland’s easy 56-27 win at Morris on Friday. Photo by John DiDonna

Lady Knights lay hurt on rival Redskins in NIB-12 tilt
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—Lady Knights basketball doubled its pleasure on Friday evening in Grundy County.

They did it by doubling the point total of host rival Morris.

Tipping off the third-ever Northern Illinois Big XII season, the Lady Knights put up double figures in every frame en route to a 56-27 win.

KHS now sits at 5-0 (1-0 NIB12).

“Our strong start has allowed us to get to see a lot of players early on. This has allowed us to focus in on ways to improve both individually and as a team,” KHS head coach Ernie Colombe said. “This is a great group of players. They work real hard and have great attitudes.”

Leading the way point-wise was Aly O’Herron, who nailed four three-pointers for a 12-point night. Kaneland hit five treys on the evening.

Kaneland also saw eight points from teammate Amber Winquist-Bailey. Eleven players found the scoring column on the night.

On the defensive side of the floor, Sydney Strang had a team-high three steals in an effort that produced nine overall.

KHS was ahead 14-1 after one quarter, and 34-11 at the halftime buzzer. The Lady Knights were up 46-18 at the end of the third before outscoring Morris 10-9 in the final eight minutes.

Meanwhile, the sophomores also got the best of Morris by a 33-22 margin. Ally VanBogaert had a team-high nine points.

Kaneland varsity sharpshooters host familiar foe Sycamore on Thursday, Dec. 6.

Tylertown!

Photo: Senior Dan Miller works some defense during the varsity boys exciting 32-31 comeback victory over Morris on Friday. Photo by Kimberly Anderson

Carlson’s putback buzzer-beater gives KHS win No. 1
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was a case of right place, right time for Kaneland junior Tyler Carlson.

But that ending sequence couldn’t have taken place without a battling mentality, which helped the Knights crawl back the entire game against Morris on Friday night.

Carlson’s (four points) rebound and putback off the glass after a John Pruett (11 points) three-point miss gave Kaneland a 32-31 win over Morris in Northern Illinois Big XII action.

It was the first win of the young season for the Knight unit after a hard-luck 0-3 start.

“I just saw the shot go up and it was the right place at the right time,” Carlson said. “It was my first buzzer-beater and it felt pretty good.”

Morris fell to 2-2 with the setback.

The fourth quarter marked the first time Kaneland actually had a lead after a three-point play by Dan Miller made it 27-26 with 6:20 remaining. Pruett connected on a foul shot with 4:47 to go to make it 28-26 before a Ben Ortiz basket with 4:10 to go tied the game.

Ortiz’ three-pointer with 1:18 to go gave Morris a 31-28 edge, setting up the final exchange.

Two missed shots by Kaneland hindered a comeback attempt, but Miller’s two charity stripe shots with 57.5 to go made it 31-30.

KHS got the ball back, but a time out was called with 17.7 seconds to go after no shot opportunities opened up, setting the stage for the final sequence.

“The last one was a lucky one,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said. “Ty just happened to crash and got the ball and barely got it off. We’re very fortunate to come away with the win.”

Morris led 13-7 after one quarter. A three-point play by Pruett with 2:38 remaining closed within 10-7 before an Evan Bjelland three with 58.7 to go upped the lead to six.

Morris led by as much as seven in the second quarter, but baskets by Pruett and Matt Limbrunner closed it to 18-14 with 34.9 remaining in the half.

Kaneland kept matters close, and a Miller basket with 3:15 to go in the third made it 23-22 before a Bjelland three with 33.3 to go set the stage for the final frame.

Sycamore represents the next challenge for KHS, in a match-up along Spartan Trail on Saturday, Dec. 8.

Knights power through

Photo: Kaneland Senior Sonny Horn gets the upper hand on his opponent at Sycamore on Nov. 29. Horn went on to win the match. Photo by Patti Wilk

Wrestlers slammed by Sycamore, split Saturday triangular
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Area teams know when they’ve been on a mat with the Sycamore Spartans—the KHS grapplers are no different.

The Knights traveled to Spartan Trail on Thursday for a Northern Illinois Big XII matchup and fell 55-16 in head-to-head action. Kaneland acclimated itself better with a triangular meet that led to a 36-35 slim loss to Plano and a 54-21 handling of the Lemont Indians on Saturday in Maple Park.

Through six dual encounters, the Knights are 4-2.

Against the Spartan program that had a top-tier finish in the IHSA dual meets in February, Kaneland fell victim to an onslaught that began with a 6-1 loss by Adam Mish to Bryce Hansen in the 106-pound match, a 17-1 technical fall win by Kyle Akins over 113-pound Stephen Gust, and a forfeit in the 120-pound match.

David Barnhart lost to Jesus Renteria 10-1 in the 126-pound clash, and George Strang was pinned in the 132-pound match in 2:40.

Kaneland’s first positive development happened with Sonny Horn’s 3:28 pin of Andrew Larsen at 138, followed by Dan Goress’ 12-4 decision over Dylan Foster at 145.

Sycamore went on another roll with an Austin Culton 19-4 tech fall over Knight Austin Parks at 152, an Austin Armstrong pin of Knight Zach Russell in :51 at 160, a major decision by Ren Swick over KHS rep Zach Parker at 182, followed by two forfeits.

The final two matches of the evening had 220-pounder Nick Sharp of Kaneland lose to Martin Malone by 13-5 major decision, but heavyweight Zach Theis pinned Devin Knight in 3:20.

“We weren’t on the attack like we were in the (practice) room the last couple of weeks,” KHS coach Monty Jahns said. “We’ll get it back. They’ve got it, they just didn’t bring it tonight. We wrestled well last Saturday. Sycamore’s a different caliber team, but I expect us to wrestle much better the next time.”

Indicative of Theis’ importance to the squad, the anchor knew he had to come through, regardless of the team score.

“I was in the mindset that I needed to do something good,” Theis said. “I was working on moves all week in practice. I’m just going to keep moving and keep learning.”

Jahns said he hopes the Knights don’t serve up a repeat performance of the Knights-Spartans skirmish anytime soon.

Saturday’s encounter with the capable Plano Reapers contingent began with an 11-2 major decision loss by Mish to give Plano an early edge, but Kaneland went on a roll thanks to a Gust tech fall (15-0), a 15-12 win by 120-pound rep Diego Lobo, a forfeit, a 9-0 major decision by 132-pound Esai Ponce, a 2:56 pin by Horn and a tech fall 20-5 win by Goress.

Plano closed the deficit after a pin of Parks at 152, a 3:10 pin of Zach Russell by state-qualifier Wes Brown, a loss by Zach Parker in 9-6 fashion at 170, two forfeits and a 10-2 win by Derrick Maisonet over Sharp.

Theis had a 5:20 pin of Junior Nunez in heavyweight action, but the tiebreaker edge of decisions went to Plano for the razor-thin win.

Kaneland regained its footing with a win over south suburban fixture Lemont, beginning with a forfeit and a 4:56 pinfall win for Gust.

After a Lemont forfeit win, Barnhart picked up a 5-0 decision to lift Maple Park’s spirits. Ponce acted on a 1:20 pinfall, but Horn fell victim to a 7-2 decision in the next two matches.

Goress earned a quick :30 pinfall at 145, and Parks followed up with a 1:28 pinfall. Russell pinned Mike Fragner in 3:52 to send KHS on its way. Kaneland took a forfeit win followed by two of the same for Lemont, before Sharp won a 5-2 matchup at 220, and Theis won a forfeit.

Kaneland was set to head to Crystal Lake Central on Wednesday, with results unavailable at press time. The Knights will then face host DeKalb on Thursday, Dec. 6.

Bowlers secure non-conference win

Lady Knights solve Lisle, dropped by Dixon
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—Kaneland bowling had a rougher start than they would have liked, but it no longer has to wonder where its first win will come from.

A Nov. 28 dual hosted by Lisle resulted in the first win of the 2012-13 campaign for KHS, while a loss followed in Dixon against the host Duchesses on Thursday.

Kaneland’s head-to-head mark sits at 1-4.

KHS defeated the Interstate Eight Conference staple Lady Lions by a final of 2,731-2,363 in varsity action.

Kaneland was led by Morgan Wojciechowski and her 515 series. She was followed closely by Amanda Strayve’s 492 and Dominique Lee’s 488 efforts.

High games went to Wojciechowski at 236 and Lee at 219.

For Lisle, Shelby Jensen had the high series at 481.

In JV action, KHS took home a 1,976-1,796 win.

“It was a great win for us at Lisle. It was a very busy week, with competition Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, so it was great to see the girls bowl well at Lisle. Morgan Wojciechowski’s 236 and Dominique Lee’s 219 really lifted the team,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said.

Against Northern Illinois Big XII crossover foe Dixon, KHS ended up on the wrong side of a 3,086-2,637 loss.

Wojciechowski’s 520 series and a 513 series from Christie Crews were tops for the Kaneland lineup, and high games went to Wojciechowski at 205 and Crews and 176.

“It’s no wonder they’re right up there near the top of the conference. It was our fourth contest in as many nights, and the girls were showing their tiredness. We actually bowled pretty well, all things considered, but Dixon simply bowled better,” McKnight said.

The Lady Knights host Illinois Math and Science Academy on Monday, Dec. 10, at 4 p.m.

3’s a welcome crowd

Photo: Senior varsity wrestler Esai Ponce gets pulled down during his winning match against Freeport on Saturday. Kaneland hosted a quad tournament against Freeport, Wheaton-Warrenville and Burlington Central. Photo by Patti Wilk

Wrestlers get on right side of mat with sweep at KHS
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Coaches and wrestlers have often said the Knights tend to be a different tournament team than a dual team.

Freeport, Wheaton-Warrenville South and Burlington Central probably wish neither showed up on Saturday in Maple Park.

The Knights took it to the Pretzels 54-18, the Tigers 51-16 and the Rockets in a slim 34-33 affair to go 3-0 on the young 2012-13 season.

In last year’s head-to-head clashes, the Knights went 11-12.

Against the NIC-10 staple Pretzels, two forfeits gave the Knights an early 12-0 lead before Adam Mish was beaten 7-2 in the 106-pound encounter. KHS 113-pound entry Stephen Gust continued his trajectory from a year ago with a pin, and teammate Connor Williams won his 120-pound encounter in :50 over Brett Spradlin to go up 24-3.

Williams felt good about the ending, with his skills ready to give the team a boost.

“I’m feeling good; I’m taller this year,” Williams said. “The chance for six points is always there. We have to fill out a lot of weights, but I think we’ll be a pretty solid tournament team.”

Adding to the solid nature of the Kaneland group is Gust, who looks to capitalize on the sixth-place finish at 106 a year ago.

“It’s the first meet and so you get kind of nervous, but as soon as the whistle blows, you just start going,” Gust said.

After David Barnhart dropped a 5:26 pin against Nate Anderson in the 126-pound match, four more forfeits went the Kaneland way.

Zach Parker lost a 4-2 match against Brian Meiborg in the 170-pound match, with a double forfeit and a forfeit in the 195-pound match completing the scoring.

Against the DuPage Valley Conference rep Tigers, Kaneland got on the board with three straight forfeit wins for an 18-0 lead before Barnhart was pinned to make it 18-6.

Dane Goodenough emerged with a 7-5 win in 132-pound action, followed by a Sonny Horn win by 7-0 count at 138 to make it 24-6.

Knight 145-pounder Dan Goress took a 3-1 win for a 27-6 edge before a forfeit win and a 160-pound pin by Kaneland’s Zach Russell in 2:54 for a 33-6 lead.

After WWS secured a major decision, followed by a double forfeit and a 195-pound forfeit, 220-pounder Nick Sharp pinned his way to a win in 1:48, and Zach Theis’ 3:13 pin in heavyweight action closed the scoring and 35-point margin.

Facing the Rockets, KHS enjoyed an opening 17-0 lead after an 11-9 overtime win by Mish, a 13-2 major decision by Gust, an 8-2 decision by Williams, a 12-4 major decision for Barnhart and a 4-0 decision for Esai Ponce at 132 pounds.

Sonny Horn dropped a 7-3 encounter at 138 to make it 13-3, before Goress’ 1:51 pin gave KHS a 23-3 edge.

BC then went on a tear, earning pins at 152, 160 and 170 before taking forfeits in the 182 and 195 categories.

Down 33-23, Sharp stuck a three-minute pin at 220 to make it 33-29 before Theis’ 11-0 major decision tied the score, allowing the tiebreaker of most decisions to go Kaneland’s way for the win.

Ahead for Kaneland is a trip to Sycamore for dual action on Thursday, Nov. 29.

Great beginning for Lady Knights

Clean sweep of IC tourney brings 4-0 start
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It might be too early to see if the season-opening Immaculate Conception tournament in Elmhurst, Ill., is an accurate indicator of things to come for Kaneland girls basketball.

The Lady Knights will take it just the same.

With wins over Lisle on Nov. 21, and Immaculate Conception on Friday, the Lady Knights went 4-0 at the gathering and took their second consecutive tourney plaque.

Over the Interstate Eight Conference mainstay Lady Lions, Kaneland’s 34-23 victory was paced by Ashley Prost’s 10 points, while Aly O’Herrons’ four steals and Brooke Harner’s three steals keyed the defensive effort that included 14 steals in total.

Kaneland led through the first eight minutes by a tally of 6-3 before maintaining a 14-12 edge going into the break.

KHS was able to pull away and lead 25-19 after three before outscoring Lisle by five in the final frame.

In the tourney championship, Kaneland relied on “D” once again in a 33-27 victory. Emma Bradford’s 11 was tops for the Lady Knights. Up 18-8 at the halftime buzzer, the Lady Knights withstood a 14-4 charge in the third quarter that tied the game, before outscoring IC 11-5.

KHS coach Ernie Colombe feels his rotations did the job in Elmhurst.

“Our bench did a great job at the IC tournament,” Colombe said. “We have noticed early on that both our starters and bench have taken pride in trying to lock down our opponents defensively. We also feel like we have some players currently coming off the bench who have the potential to put up some numbers on the offensive end.”

Recent sophomore action had Kaneland trounce Marengo 39-10 on Nov. 21 at Kaneland’s Thanksgiving tournament to finish 2-1. Shay Goldwaite and Bailey Crimmins had 11 points each.

The varsity crew enters Grundy County to face Morris on Friday, Nov. 30.

Knight boys have early uphill climb

Photo: Tyler Carlson goes up for a shot to close up the score against Crystal Lake South on Friday at Batavia. Photo by John DiDonna

KHS drops first 3 contests as part of Windmill Invite
KANELAND—Good news for Kaneland boys basketball is that it’s still November.

The bad news is there will be time spent negating the rough start in November.

With the season beginning in Batavia as part of the popular Windmill City Basketball Classic, Kaneland dropped a 47-45 game to the host Bulldogs on Nov. 21, a loss to Crystal Lake South, 63-55 on Friday, and a 63-50 loss to St. Francis on Saturday to set its mark at 0-3.

Against Batavia, Tyler Carlson led KHS with 13 points, followed by nine from Connor Fedderly.

Batavia was enjoying a 9-2 lead after one quarter before the Knights stormed back to 21-21 at the halftime buzzer. Hoops matters were deadlocked at 34 apiece going into the final frame.

KHS was 12-for-16 from the foul line on the evening.

The Knights couldn’t solve the Gators of Crystal Lake South despite the best intentions of Matt Limbrunner, who had 26 points, leading to the encounter with the Wheaton-based Spartans.

In the 13-point setback, John Pruett had 20, while Limbrunner added 11, including two three-pointers. The Knights were 17-of-25 from the charity stripe.

Kaneland and St. Francis were tied at 15 after one quarter of play, but the Spartans took a 33-26 lead at the end of the second quarter. The Knights saw the lead balloon after three to 57-38 before the final shrinking margin.

KHS coach Brian Johnson isn’t dismayed with the effort put forth, and the prospect still exists in the young 2012-13 campaign to turn the team’s fortunes.

“At this point in the season we are still trying to mix and match and see what line-ups have success during different times of each game,” Johnson said. “The boys have done a nice job of staying focused and putting forth their best effort thus far.”

Up next for Kaneland: a home matchup with Grundy County rival Morris on Friday, Nov. 30.

Bowlers stopped by Marengo

Photos: Senior Amanda Strayve stays calm under pressure during Kaneland’s home match against Marengo on Monday. Photo by John DiDonna

KANELAND—The Kaneland High School bowling team dropped a pair of meets this week, starting out the season 0-3.

Looking to get its first win in its second meet, Kaneland bowling instead fell victim to a high-powered Marengo unit.

The Indians took a 3,099-2,524 win at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb on Monday. Their high game was 1,048, compared to 868 for KHS.

Marengo’s Dominique Bailey’s total knockdown of pins was 607 to lead the winners. Kaneland was paced by junior Christie Crews with a 480 series and senior Angela Charhut with 458.

Kaneland dropped Tuesday’s meet against visiting Sterling, with the Knights hosting at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb.

Sterling won all three games by a combined total of 3,267-2,795.

Christie Crews led the Lady Knights with a high game of 192 in game three, as well as with high series with 537.

Kaneland travels to Dixon on Thursday, Nov. 29, for Northern Illinois Big XII crossover action.

Photos: Preseason warm ups


The Kaneland Knights high school and middle school wrestling teams spent the day at Johnson’s Mound on Nov. 17. The goal was to help get in shape for the upcoming season. They carried weights, ran up and down hills and performed a series of exercises. The event was organized and run by coach Bob McCaffrey and varsity head coach Monty Jahns. Doing pushups after carrying the weights was just part of the fun. Photos by Patti Wilk

Winter Sports Preview: Lady Knights look for more

With a large group of returning players, Kaneland looks to exceed last year’s stellar season
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Could this be a lucky seven for coach Ernie Colombe and crew?

Last year, the Kaneland Lady Knights basketball program brought its skills to the floor in a way not seen in quite awhile, ending with a berth in the Sycamore Sectional final and a 20-10 overall record.

Now in his seventh year at the helm and with a glut of returning talent, Colombe and the Lady Knights are looking to put their plans into execution again for an even better year.

Despite the loss of post presence Kelly Evers, Kaneland returns several assets like seniors Ashley Prost, Emma Bradford, Allyson O’Herron and Sarah Grams.

With four projected starters returning, it’s time to hold court.

“It’s a change in terms of having this many kids back,” Colombe said. “It’s also a challenge to make sure we don’t get complacent. We’ve got a great group of kids that work really hard in practice.”

Also returning to help the KHS cause are returning personnel like senior guard Ashley Castellanos, senior forward Brooke Harner and junior forward Marina Schaefer.

“Things look pretty good early on, but that doesn’t always translate on the court. You’ve got to get stuff done on the court and this team’s very capable of doing that,” Colombe said.

New varsity additions take the form of junior guards Caroline Heimerdinger, Sydney Strang, Katherine Brinkman, junior forwards Jessica Jablonski, Amber Winquist-Bailey and Brittany Kemp, and junior center Kelly Wallner.

Two underclassmen fill the roster out: sophomore center Ally VanBogaert and freshman guard Vanessa Gould.

“We have a bunch of kids that can play coming off the bench.We think the younger players are going to help us, and this is a good group of seniors to bring up a young kid with,” Colombe said.

Kaneland looks to be right in the thick of things when it comes to the Northern Illinois Big XII layout.

“I think our conference is really good and improved,” Colombe said. “DeKalb had a great run and we had a nice run; Rochelle’s returning a co-conference player of the year. Sycamore’s improved, and the competition should be good. Morris is improved and we had a nice rivalry with Yorkville, and it’s a shame they got moved up to 4A, but our whole conference is pretty strong.”

Kaneland already got past Wilmette’s Regina Dominican on Saturday by a 47-38 clip at the pre-Thanksgiving Immaculate Conception stop.

After tournament play, the NIB-12 slate begins at Morris on Friday, Nov. 30, with the first home conference matchup against Sycamore on Thursday, Dec. 6. Kaneland also hits the Ottawa Tournament for holiday play after spending that week at Oswego East High School the past six years.