Seventh-place finish in Ottawa, 2-2 finish at Dixon
KANELAND—It took a while to get going on the final day of the Ottawa Christmas Tournament on Dec. 23, but it did end on a winning note for KHS girls basketball.
Placed in the silver (second place) pool after the first day of competition, Kaneland two Mondays ago began with a 45-38 loss to Northern Illinois Big XII crossover foe Geneseo before coming from behind to beat the Rockford East E-Rabs 59-47 to clinch seventh place.
Kaneland finished the tournament 2-2. It then went on to the KSB Dixon Holiday Classic for the first time and lost to Stillman Valley last Thursday 46-39, beat Freeport’s Aquin 45-28 on Friday, and lost to Aurora Christian 37-32 before finishing with a double overtime win over Pekin, 66-63, in a Saturday twinbill.
Kaneland is now 8-8 after a .500 tournament tour and after its first 16 contests, closing out the 2013 portion of the calendar.
Against Geneseo, Ally VanBogaert had a team-high 11 points, but the Lady Knights were plagued by a scant four points in the fourth quarter in the loss. With Kaneland just 16-for-52 from the field, the Lady Knights were down 10-7 before taking a 23-22 lead at the break. In the second half, Kaneland and Geneseo were tied at 34 after the third before the contest turned.
In the win over RE, Van Bogaert had 21 points, a career-high, and eight boards. Post players Kelly Wallner and Brittany Kemp had 11 points each.
Looking to end the afternoon in Ottawa on a winning note, The E-Rabs slammed the Lady Knights with six of seven late shots made in the first quarter to go on a 13-0 run in the last 3:51 of the quarter, leaving KHS in a 15-9 hole.
After missing their first seven shots of the second quarter, the Lady Knights solidified and got a putback from Wallner, a shot and free throw from Caroline Heimerdinger, two foul shots by Kemp and a bucket by Van Bogaert to close within 26-19 after being down 16 points.
Heimerdinger hit two foul shots, followed by a Van Bogaert three and a Katie Brinkman, to tie the game at 27-27 with 1:09 left in the half. Morgan Weber’s bucket with 40.2 to go gave Kaneland a 29-27 lead going into the half.
Tied at 35 in the third, Wallner made a basket sandwiched by two Van Bogaert conversions to go up 41-35 with 1:27 left in the frame. A Van Bogaert three with three ticks left upped the lead to 44-37 before the buzzer.
“We knew it was time to pick it up and time to get going, and not to get too confused in what we were doing,” Wallner said. “Especially with our offense, we practice it a lot and work it, inside and out, and are more patient.”
Rockford East’s shooting luck ran out and Kaneland ran its lead to 15 at 56-41 with 1:04 to go in the game before the end.
“Their team has a couple players that are tough to guard, and we had some girls in foul trouble,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We could have gotten out of sync for a few minutes. Our staff is real happy with how they bounced back. Obviously, as a team we try to win every game, but we’re also growing in the process.”
In Dixon, the seven-point loss to the Cardinals of Stillman Valley was highlighted by nine points each from Brinkman and Camri Conley. The Lady Knights committed 23 turnovers and were just 16-for-55 from the field.
In the win over Aquin, Wallner, Conley and Amber Winquist-Bailey each had nine points to lead the charge. Wallner also had 10 boards. KHS stifled the Bulldogs to the tune of a 21-8 second half that saw Kaneland hold the opponent to just two second-half field goals.
Against the Lady Eagles, Wallner submitted a double double with 11 points and 11 boards in the loss and Conley had five steals.
Aurora Christian led 23-13 after the first two frames. Down 27-18 after three, the Lady Knights cut the deficit to three but could get no closer.
In the extra-time win over Pekin, Kaneland went to court without five players due to illness and injury, but were led by Weber’s 16, Bailey Crimmins’ 13 and Rachel Miller’s 12.
Down 19-16 after one and 36-32 at the half, KHS closed within 45-43 before tying it up going into the first OT at 56 all. Kaneland and Pekin were tied at 62 after the first extra session before KHS pulled away.
Kaneland tips off 2014 with a Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, outing vs. visiting Yorkville.