Tag Archives: Ashley Prost

Heartbreak central

Photo: Emma Bradford (32) gets ready to launch a shot in the third quarter against Plano on Feb. 13. The varsity girls reached the second round of regionals but came up just short, losing 52-51. Photo by John DiDonna

Fast, furious comeback falls 1 point short to Plano in Regional
by Mike Slodki
BURLINGTON—It was almost a comeback for the ages.

Instead, it’s a feeling of sadness that will last the offseason.

On Feb. 13, at the Class 3A Burlington Central Regional, the Lady Knights’ 20-point comeback attempt was almost complete, but Aly O’Herron’s three-point try off an inbounds pass with 1.5 seconds remaining clanked off the side of the rim, leaving KHS on the short end of a 52-51 loss to the Plano Lady Reapers (22-7).

Burlington Central upended Plano in the regional final on Friday by a final of 38-34.

Kaneland’s journey fell short at 16-11, a year after advancing to the Sycamore Sectional final against Belvidere North.

Ashley Prost paced all scorers with 22 points off 11-of-15 shooting. Kaneland was 21-of-51 from the line.

Albana Hoti of Plano led the Lady Reapers with 12 points.

KHS had the ball with 9.5 seconds left, but an Emma Bradford layup attempt was blocked out of bounds with 1.5, setting up the final play.

“We had two options: an inside look and an outside look,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “(O’Herron) was our outside look; we got a shot and that’s all you can ask for.”

Plano ambushed Kaneland in the first quarter thanks to five treys, including three from Hoti, and went on a 13-0 run to lead 22-6 after one, and kept the lead to 30-14 at halftime.

Kaneland was down 42-27 after three quarters, but turned on the juice for a 24-10 run spanning the entire fourth frame.

“It was no one adjustment we made, we just starting getting a bit more composure,” Colombe said.

KHS scored the first eight points of the quarter to cut the lead to seven, then Brooke Harner, Grams and Prost hit baskets.

Down 48-42, Caroline Heimerdinger hit a rainbow three, followed by another basket 48 seconds later to make it 50-47. Prost’s shot with 1:45 to go cut it to 50-49, and marked the end of five consecutive shots made.

Heimerdinger and O’Herron had chances for a go-ahead shot but couldn’t connect.

Prost’s shot with 35.6 to go made the final one-point margin after two Lady Reaper free throws with 48.6 left.

Kaneland says goodbye to Grams, Prost, Ashley Castellanos, Harner, O’Herron and Bradford due to graduation.

“They’re leaders,” Colombe said. “They’re six kids who play with heart, and they’re leaders who will do well whatever they do in life.”

The scoreboard says it all as Kaneland varsity girls dropped a hearbreaker to Plano in the second round of regional action at Burlington on Wednesday, February 13. Photo by John DiDonna
The scoreboard says it all as Kaneland varsity girls dropped a hearbreaker to Plano in the second round of regional action at Burlington on Wednesday, February 13.
Photo by John DiDonna
Brooke Harner goes up for a shot to bring Kaneland closer in the fourth quarter against Plano in the second round of regional action at Burlington on Wednesday, February 13. Photo by John DiDonna
Brooke Harner goes up for a shot to bring Kaneland closer in the fourth quarter against Plano in the second round of regional action at Burlington on Wednesday, February 13.
Photo by John DiDonna
Caroline Heimerdinger drives down the court in the first quarter during Kaneland's regional game against Plano. Photo by John DiDonna
Caroline Heimerdinger drives down the court in the first quarter during Kaneland’s regional game against Plano.
Photo by John DiDonna
Sarah Grams looks to pass in the second quarter of Kaneland's close regional game against Plano at Burlington on Wednesday, February 13. Photo by John DiDonna
Sarah Grams looks to pass in the second quarter of Kaneland’s close regional game against Plano at Burlington on Wednesday, February 13.
Photo by John DiDonna
Emma Bradford (32) gets ready to launch a shot in the third quarter against Plano on Feb. 13. The  varsity girls reached the  second round of regionals but came up just short,  losing  52-51. Photo by  John DiDonna
Emma Bradford (32) gets ready to launch a shot in the third quarter against Plano on Feb. 13. The
varsity girls reached the
second round of regionals but came up just short,
losing
52-51.
Photo by
John DiDonna
Brooke Harner looses track of the ball in the second quarter of the Lady Knight's hard fought regional game against Plano at Burlington on Wednesday, February 13. Photo by John DiDonna
Brooke Harner looses track of the ball in the second quarter of the Lady Knight’s hard fought regional game against Plano at Burlington on Wednesday, February 13.
Photo by John DiDonna

KHS stifles Sandwich in first-round action

Photo: Emma Bradford keeps the ball away from Sandwich defenders during Kaneland’s 50-14 Regional win at Burlington on Tuesday. Photo by John DiDonna

O’Herron outscores Indians by lonesome in 50-14 result
by Mike Slodki
BURLINGTON—You wouldn’t know the Kaneland Lady Knights had a week-long layoff by Tuesday night’s regional performance.

It turns out Sandwich High School didn’t know what hit it after Tuesday night.

After a regular season finale at Rochelle was cancelled last Thursday, Kaneland went to work in a No. 3 vs. No. 6 Class 3A Burlington Central Regional first-round game and allowed a season-low in points for a 50-14 win.

Kaneland improved to 16-10 and has won four in a row after a three-game skid. Sandwich ended 2012-13 play at 4-23.

Aly O’Herron outscored the Lady Indians by herself with 20 points on six three-pointers.

“Anytime I can get into the zone, I’ll get some open looks,” O’Herron said. “When I feel it, I feel it. Any shooter will say that.”

The defensive output marks the lowest point total allowed since a 52-19 win over Illinois Math and Science Academy back on Feb. 2.

O’Herron’s trifecta, Kelly Wallner’s basket, Sarah Grams’ trey and Caroline Heimerdinger’s (eight points) three made it 11-2 with 3:01 to go to in the first quarter, closing the frame’s scoring.

Kaneland outscored Sandwich 11-2 in the second quarter, as well, with an O’Herron bomb and two Emma Bradford foul shots setting the eventual halftime score at 22-4 with 1:36 remaining.

With Sandwich struggling to finish possessions thanks to three KHS steals, the Lady Knights converted those gifts into a pair of free throws and a three-pointer by Heimerdinger and a shot by Ashley Prost to make it 36-8 with 1:21 left in the third quarter to close the frame’s scoring.

O’Herron’s two threes and an offensive putback by Heimerdinger with 4:10 to go made it 44-10, allowing the second-string rotation to get floor time.

“The defense was solid, and it has been pretty solid,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “Our conference is strong in girls hoops and people forget that sometimes. We’ve played pretty solid defensively all year.”

Kaneland was scheduled to face two-seed Plano on Wednesday in the regional semifinal, with results unavailable before press time.

The winner of Plano/Kaneland was set to face No. 1 Burlington Central or No. 5 Hampshire on Friday, Feb. 15, in Burlington.

Brooke Harner (22) leads the defensive wall with help from Ally VanBogaert (34) in the third quarter against Sandwich on Tuesday, February 12 at Burlington. Photo by John DiDonna
Brooke Harner (22) leads the defensive wall with help from Ally VanBogaert (34) in the third quarter against Sandwich on Tuesday, February 12 at Burlington.
Photo by John DiDonna
Emma Bradford keeps the ball away from Sandwich defenders during Kaneland's 50-14 Regional win at Burlington on Tuesday.     Photo by John DiDonna
Emma Bradford keeps the ball away from Sandwich defenders during Kaneland’s 50-14 Regional win at Burlington on Tuesday. Photo by John DiDonna
Kaneland's Sarah Grams knocks the ball loose in the second quarter at the Burlington regional on Tuesday, February 12. Kaneland led the whole game, winning 50-14. Photo by John DiDonna
Kaneland’s Sarah Grams knocks the ball loose in the second quarter at the Burlington regional on Tuesday, February 12. Kaneland led the whole game, winning 50-14.
Photo by John DiDonna
Ashley Prost goes up for two points in the third quarter of Kaneland's Regional victory over Sandwich on Tuesday, February 12. Photo by John DiDonna
Ashley Prost goes up for two points in the third quarter of Kaneland’s Regional victory over Sandwich on Tuesday, February 12.
Photo by John DiDonna
Brooke Harner (left) and Ashley Prost grapple for the ball against Sandwich during their regional game at Burlington on Tuesday, February 12. Kaneland won the contest easily with a 50-14 romp. Photo by John DiDonna
Brooke Harner (left) and Ashley Prost grapple for the ball against Sandwich during their regional game at Burlington on Tuesday, February 12. Kaneland won the contest easily with a 50-14 romp.
Photo by John DiDonna
Caroline Heimerdinger goes up for a shot in thefirst quarter of Kaneland's 50-14 regional win against Sandwich on Tuesday, February 12. Photo by John DiDonna
Caroline Heimerdinger goes up for a shot in thefirst quarter of Kaneland’s 50-14 regional win against Sandwich on Tuesday, February 12.
Photo by John DiDonna

Back on track

Photo: Brittany Kemp moves the ball around an IMSA defender during Kaneland’s 52-19 romp on Saturday. Photo by Patti Wilk

Girls secure NIB12 win in Yorkville, smash IMSA
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—At the very least, Kaneland girls basketball won’t be headed into the season’s homestretch on the way down.

After a 7-0 beginning to the season, KHS had been mired in a stretch that saw them go 5-10.

This weekend brought a much-needed refuge from that slide, as the Lady Knights took it to Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora on Saturday by a final of 52-19, and also involved a bit of revenge on Yorkville in a 42-35 Friday win.

Kaneland also travelled to Marengo on Tuesday night, where the Lady Knights dominated in a 50-34 win.

The Lady Knights are 15-10 and 5-4 in Northern Illinois Big XII action, with just one regular season game left.

Against the Lady Titans, the Kaneland crew was down 6-2 early in the first quarter before tying the score at 6-6 by the end of the frame and going on a 35-2 run to cinch it. The run included a 19-0 third frame in favor of Kaneland.

KHS went 19-of-54 from the field and 11 players found the scoring column, with Aly O’Herron and Sarah Grams putting up eight points each.

Facing Yorkville, which earned a Jan. 4 victory in Maple Park, the Lady Knights began matching shot for shot against the Lady Foxes and were tied at eight after the first quarter.

In the second, Ashley Prost’s long two-pointer with 4:43 to go in the half made it 15-12. Vanessa Gould’s conversion off an Emma Bradford feed with 3:09 left made it 17-14, and Brooke Harner’s steal and basket with 1:39 closed out the second quarter scoring at 19-14.

KHS maintained the lead and got two key baskets from Bradford to up the lead to six with 50.1 ticks left, and Kaneland saw itself up 28-22 after three.

The Lady Knights helped themselves with three-pointers from Grams and O’Herron in the fourth, and went 8-of-10 from the foul line to put it out of reach. KHS saw as big as an eight-point lead in the close affair.

“We played together today,” Bradford said. “One of the girls said ‘we played as a fist today and not a hand.’ We were on the same page today and it really worked out.”

KHS coach Ernie Colombe saw the win as welcome, especially after stifling personnel like Mackenzie Bollinger to 10 points.

“The team rose to the challenge. We talked about rebounding, and we rebounded well. We still had a few too many turnovers, but we got better in that area and stepped up,” Colombe said.

Tuesday saw another solid effort from the Lady Knights, as they turned a two-point first-quarter advantage into a 19-point lead after three. Kaneland’s defense held Marengo to just four points in the second period, and they added to the lead with a 10-point third-period advantage.

Bradford led the way with 14 points and seven rebounds. Post also reached double figures, with 10 points to go with eight rebounds. O’Herron added seven and Harner put up six. Grams scored five and contributed a season-high seven assists. Kelly Wallner chipped in four points, and Ally VanBogaert and Marina Schaeffer each put in two.

Kaneland goes to Rochelle on Thursday, Feb. 7, before playing Sandwich on Tuesday, Feb. 12, as part of the Class 3A Burlington Central Regional.

Brittany Kemp moves the ball around an IMSA defender during Kaneland's 52-19 romp on Saturday, February 2. Photo by Patti Wilk
Brittany Kemp moves the ball around an IMSA defender during Kaneland’s 52-19 romp on Saturday, February 2.
Photo by Patti Wilk
Ashley Castellanos (12) , Brittany Kemp (35) and Katherine Brinkman (10) run a tight defense against IMSA on Saturday, February 2. The Lady Knights dominated, winning 52-19. Photo by Patti Wilk
Ashley Castellanos (12) , Brittany Kemp (35) and Katherine Brinkman (10) run a tight defense against IMSA on Saturday, February 2. The Lady Knights dominated, winning 52-19.
Photo by Patti Wilk
An IMSA defender hits the deck while Jessica Jablonski (43) takes off and Ashley Castellanos (12) grabs the ball in the fouth quarter of Kaneland's 52-19 win Saturday, February 2. Photo by Patti Wilk
An IMSA defender hits the deck while Jessica Jablonski (43) takes off and Ashley Castellanos (12) grabs the ball in the fouth quarter of Kaneland’s 52-19 win Saturday, February 2.
Photo by Patti Wilk
Ashley Prost drives to the hoop on the way to a score in the third quarter of Kaneland's 52-19 win at IMSA on Saturday, February 2. Photo by Patti Wilk
Ashley Prost drives to the hoop on the way to a score in the third quarter of Kaneland’s 52-19 win at IMSA on Saturday, February 2.
Photo by Patti Wilk
Kelly Wallner shrugs off an IMSA defender and goes to the hoop in the fourth quarter at IMSA on Saturday. Photo by Patti Wilk
Kelly Wallner shrugs off an IMSA defender and goes to the hoop in the fourth quarter at IMSA on Saturday.
Photo by Patti Wilk
The scoreboard says it all late in the game as Katherine Brinkman (10) drives to the basket in the fourth quarter of Kaneland's 52-19 win at IMSA. Photo by Patti Wilk
The scoreboard says it all late in the game as Katherine Brinkman (10) drives to the basket in the fourth quarter of Kaneland’s 52-19 win at IMSA.
Photo by Patti Wilk

Crossed over

Photo: Vanessa Gould tries to get by a Sterling defender on Saturday evening. The Lady Knights came back, but lost the home contest, 52-40. Photo by John DiDonna

Lady Knights drop tussle to Sterling
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It wouldn’t be a nice way to end the season, but for KHS girls basketball, the beginning of the end won’t even start for another two weeks.

Facing conference mate Sterling on Saturday afternoon, the visiting Lady Warriors took it to the Lady Knights by a final of 52-40.

Kaneland fell to 12-10 in its only competition of the week, and remains 4-4 in Northern Illinois Big XII East division play.

Kaneland has lost three skirmishes in a row, and is now 4-6 in its last 10 outings.

On an afternoon that saw KHS shoot 14-for-47 from the field, perimeter threat Aly O’Herron tallied a game-high 18 points, while teammate and post presence Ashley Prost put up 10. O’Herron also put up four-three pointers and three steals on a six-for-12 day from the field.

Sterling got the jump early with a 12-3 lead after the first eight minutes. The Lady Warriors maintained a lead going into halftime with a 24-12 advantage.

Kaneland countered somewhat and closed the deficit to 34-24 after three before Sterling outscored the hosts 18-16 in the final frame.

In additional news, Kaneland was informed of postseason details last week.

The Lady Knights, sectional finalists of a year ago, are part of the Class 3A Burlington Central Regional as a third seed.

Kaneland is set to play No. 6 Sandwich on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 8 p.m. That contest follows the matchup between (4) Sycamore and (5) Hampshire at 6 p.m.

“We have been scouting and game planning for each upcoming opponent and also for each potential regional opponent since the sites were announced awhile ago,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We are trying to keep the team focused on the upcoming game and taking things one game at a time. As a staff, we are preparing for the regionals by scouting and putting some films together, etc. We are also working on a few changes that we feel may help us gain an edge at the end of the season.”

The Kaneland-Sandwich victor plays No. 2 Plano of the Interstate Eight Conference on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 8 p.m. The Spartans-Whip-purs winner will match up with top-seed Burlington Central that same evening at 6 p.m.

The regional title game is Friday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m., with the winner headed to the Genoa-Kingston Sectional and joining winners from Stillman Valley, Sterling and Woodstock.

KHS travels to Yorkville on Friday, Feb. 1. The Lady Foxes bested Kaneland back on Jan. 4 in a 39-26 encounter in Maple Park.

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Lost weekend

Photo: Kaneland Senior Emma Bradford goes up for a bucket in the first half at Sycamore on Friday. Photo by John DiDonna
KHS girls drop pair at Sycamore, L-P
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—Kaneland girls basketball went through a weekend they’d like to have back, or not go through again.

Friday had another hotly contested matchup with Sycamore, this time along Spartan Trail and going down to the final seconds, when Sycamore handed Kaneland a 49-48 OT loss.

Saturday saw a trip south to LaSalle-Peru High School and a slim 49-47 setback.

The twinbill of losses dropped Kaneland down to 12-9 (4-4 Northern Illinois Big XII Conference).

Against the Spartans, which Kaneland defeated in extra time last month, Aly O’Herron’s four three-pointers paced the team with 12 points, followed by Brooke Harner with 11.

Bailey Gilbert of Sycamore had a game-high 14.

Sycamore had a decided advantage in the charity stripe game, going 23-for-36, compared to 7-for-12 for the Lady Knights.

KHS had an 11-8 lead after one and a 24-18 lead at the break.

A three-point play 37 seconds into the third quarter by Marina Schaefer gave KHS a 27-18 lead. Sycamore powered their way back to close within 32-31 on a foul shot, but an offensive putback by Ashley Prost with 20.8 seconds left extended the edge to 34-31 before the quarter expired.

Sycamore kept at it in the fourth, and took a 39-37 lead with 4:43 remaining before a Harner basket with 3:26 to go tied the score.

A Gilbert trey with 1:04 to go put the Lady Spartans ahead 42-39 before Harner’s three-point play with 39.4 to go knotted it up at 42.

Sycamore had a chance for a lead, but a Julia Moll three-pointer was waved off due to a called timeout on Sycamore’s sideline with two seconds left.

Sycamore saw all seven of its points in OT come from the foul line, with the only lead coming on Kaneland’s side from a Harner lay-in with :31 to go to make it 46-45. Two Gilbert free throws with 1:09 cemented the home edge.

O’Herron’s three try was off, with a Sarah Grams putback able to close the margin to one with 1.9 remaining.

“I thought it was a good game,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We played real well tonight, and I thought it came down to the line. When the other team goes to the line 37 times, we probably shouldn’t have even been in this game, so I thought we played well. We executed for the most part; we had shots and looks at the end of the game but didn’t hit them.”

In the loss to the Lady Cavs, the Lady Knights had Prost’s 19 and O’Herron’s 12 in the effort.

L-P had a 13-11 lead after one and 23-22 at the half before KHS took a 33-30 lead after three. The hosts outscored Kaneland 19-14 to cinch the matter.

KHS looks forward to hosting the Sterling Golden Warriors on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 4 p.m. in crossover action.

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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.

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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:
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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.

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.

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.

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.

KHS fall athletes earn accolades

Kaneland—A number of Kaneland High School fall athletes were recognized for their performance from throughout the 2012 season.

Leading the way for Kaneland’s post-season honors was senior offensive lineman Zach Theis. He was named to the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association All-State Team, was the NIB-12 East Division Offensive MVP and All-Conference.

Joining Theis as Kaneland football All-Conference Team members were senior offensive lineman Nick Sharp, junior offensive lineman Alex Snyder, senior wide receiver Zack Martinelli, junior running back Jesse Balluff, junior quarterback Drew David, junior defensive lineman Justin Diddell, junior defensive lineman Jaumaureo Phillips, senior defensive back Blake Bradford, senior defensive back Kory Harner, junior linebacker Gary Koehring, senior linebacker Ryan Lawrence, and junior kicker Matt Rodriguez. Balluff was also an All-State Honorable Mention. Balluff, David, Snyder and Koehring were each named to the All State Academic Team.

Earning All-Conference honors from the Kaneland High School volleyball team were sophomore Ellie Dunn, senior Lauren Banbury and senior Ashley Prost.

Girls cross country All-Conference honors went to sophomore Victoria Clinton, freshman Brianna Bower, senior Abby Dodis, junior Sydney Strang, and senior Amanda Lesak.

Junior Kyle Carter earned All-Conference distinction for boys cross country.

All-Conference golf team members were juniors Matt Yonkovick and Brody Kuhar, and seniors Luke Kreiter and Connor Williams.

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.

Back in the hunt

Photo: Kaneland’s Ellie Dunn (3) gets a spike past Morris defenders during Kaneland’s home match on Oct. 4. Photo by Patti Wilk

Lady Knights stifle Morris, take down DeKalb
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—KHS volleyball earned another conference win against a rival, then faced neighbors even further west before accomplishing a first-ever task against DeKalb in a busy week.

Thursday saw a three-game win over visiting Morris, while Saturday saw the usual early-October trip to the Bettendorf Tournament in Iowa. They then earned their first win at the new DeKalb High School. In fact, all levels won at DeKalb on Tuesday, a feat that has head coach Todd Weimer excited.

“All levels won, so (it was a) big program sweep,” Weimer said.

Tuesday’s back-and-forth win over DeKalb saw Kaneland run out to a 25-20 win in game one. Game two turned into a marathon as both teams battled back and forth before DeKalb took the 31-29 victory. Kaneland held firm in game three, earning the match victory with a 25-20 win.

Weimer said the win was especially sweet since his team’s roster had to be juggled. One player was not available, while several others were just returning after long illnesses and injuries.

“(The) varsity did a phenomenal job … just all about teamwork,” Weimer said. “What more do you want?”

The Lady Knights now stand at 16-9 overall, 4-3 in the conference.

“We’re back in the hunt for the conference race,” Weimer said.

The matchup opposite the Lady Redskins of Morris went 23-25, 25-18, 25-22 in favor of KHS despite early difficulties.

Ellie Dunn had 12 kills, two aces and five blocks. Emily Laudont added seven kills and nine digs, while teammate Lauren Banbury contributed seven kills and two blocks.

Weapon Lyndi Scholl put in four kills and five digs of her own.

Additional Kaneland-Morris action saw the sophomores take a 25-23, 25-16 win, the freshman “A” team win a 25-12, 25-19 affair, while the freshman “B” team emerged with a 22-25, 25-11, 25-23 win of its own.

With their hands full against three teams from the host state, Kaneland went to work against No. 2 ranked Ankeny, but fell 21-10, 21-19.

Against host Bettendorf, KHS lost again by a final of 21-13, 21-17, before righting the ship against Waukee 15-21, 21-17, 19-17 in the modified tourney scoring.

Ellie Dunn set the tone with 16 kills and 10 digs in the three matches. Ashley Prost had 36 assists in her name, while Tucek put together 21 digs.

“It was great to see our girls be the most competitive ever at this very difficult and competitive invite,” Weimer said. “We’re very fortunate that we’re able to go out there and compete fairly well. Even Waukee was very good. There is no weak team out there.”

The Lady Knights take on host Sycamore on Thursday, Oct. 11.

Lady Knights drop tight match to Geneva, beat Ottawa

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Lady Knights volleyball could have rolled through this week with two victories as they enter the final third of the 2012 regular season.

It’ll have to be happy with one.

On Sept. 26, the Lady Knights (13-7, 2-3 Northern Illinois Big XII) went to old standby rival Geneva, where they lost a tough 25-20, 19-25, 25-22 matchup to the Upstate Eight school.

Kaneland beat Geneva for the first time since 1993 last year, but couldn’t make magic happen again in 2012.

KHS came back with a sound two-game win against the Northern Illinois Big XII West division foe Ottawa on Thursday, by a final of 25-11, 27-25.

Against the Lady Vikings, it was sophomore Ellie Dunn leading the way with 12 kills, three blocks and five digs, while Shayna Tucek had 22 digs and two aces to her credit.

Lyndi Scholl had 20 digs, and fellow Lady Knight Ashley Prost added 29 assists with nine digs.

Facing off against the Lady Pirates, Prost had 22 more assists, and Tucek had 11 digs.

“I’m always happy when we can bounce back after a tough loss. We’ve had some real close ones, and we’re improving by the day as a team. Still working on the small things that can make a big difference,” KHS head coach Todd Weimer said.

Kaneland swept Ottawa on all levels of action.

Kaneland has more NIB-12 on the horizon, with a matchup against the visiting Lady Redskins of Morris on Thursday, Oct. 4.

Lady Knights stump Hub rivals

Casey Jacobson (8) makes a dig with support from Shayna Tucek (5) on Tuesday. Yorkville traveled to Kaneland to take on the varsity girls. Photo by Patti Wilk

by Mike Slodki
ROCHELLE—That’s how you get back on an even keel.

The Lady Knight volleyball outfit needed a way to solidify its Northern Illinois Big XII standing at the early outset of the conference slate.

After last week’s loss to DeKalb, the Lady Knights figured the best way to even up their NIB-12 record was a convincing two-game win in Ogle County, 25-15, 25-19, over Rochelle.

Kaneland’s overall record is 12-6 following Tuesday’s loss to Yorkville.

Ellie Dunn had 13 kills, plus two aces by the net for the Lady Knights, and Lyndi Scholl had nine kills and 10 digs in the winning effort. Ashley Prost had 32 assists and eight digs.

Shayna Tucek had 22 digs.

KHS maintained a lead from wire-to-wire, with the exception of a 14-14 tie in game two.

Consistent front-line play and execution allowed Kaneland to enjoy a lead as wide as 17-9 in game one before Rochelle cut it to 18-15.

The Lady Knights went on a seven-point game-ending tear, thanks to sloppy play by Rochelle and a couple of digs by Scholl.

Scholl’s kill gave Kaneland a 10-point edge and a game one win.

In game two, Kaneland enjoyed a 9-1 lead early before Rochelle closed within 10-9.

After Rochelle’s serving ace, Dunn and Scholl took charge and aggressively pursued the ball to success with tips and kills. Their flurry made it 23-16. With the score 24-19, Dunn hit the ball for a point, and Scholl killed it on the next exchange to cinch victory.

“I think it helped that we had a variety of everyone up there,” Scholl said. “Ashley and Ellie really stepped it up, and everything played out where it needed to be.”

Tucek saved many a ball that made it past the front line, and helped dig the Lady Knights to victory.

“I think it was really important that we stepped it up on defense, and serve-receive was important, too,” Tucek said.

KHS coach Todd Weimer was happy with the conference win and the level of play.

“I think we were trying to find the matchups and reading blocks. We’re going to continue to work on that, and it helps us in the long run,” Weimer said. “We really did a nice job the whole match tonight, and it was nice to see that.”

Yorkville visited Kaneland and defeated the Lady Knights in a back-and-forth three-game match. Kaneland’s 22-25, 25-22, 17-25 loss put the Lady Knights below .500 in conference play, as their NIB-12 record fell to 2-3.

Dunn led the way with 10 kills, one ace and five blocks. Scholl added eight kills and five digs. Emily Loudant contributed six kills, six digs and one ace, and Prost spread out 25 assists to go along with her six digs.

The sophomore squad easily handled game one in their match with Yorkville, 25-7, and then battled through a tough game two to win 26-24. Both the Freshman A and Freshman B teams also added wins over their Lady Foxes opponents.

KHS attempts to handle the visiting Ottawa Lady Pirates on Thursday, Sept. 27, in NIB-12 crossover action.

Movin’ right along

Kaneland serves up sweep to Streator
KANELAND—Kaneland High School volleyball can’t play Streator every week, so it was best to make the most of its battle with the Lady Bulldogs on Thursday.

Make the best of it they did, with a sweep of the Northern Illinois Big XII West Division rival, 25-9, 27-25.

The sweep in Streator, in addition to a second-place showing at the usual Bartlett Tournament stop this past Saturday and a win at Morris on Tuesday, sets the Lady Knights’ early-season mark at a proficient 10-4.

Contributions were plenty for Kaneland last Thursday, notable by Ellie Dunn with nine kills, Lyndi Scholl with seven kills and Lauren Banbury with two kills and two blocks.

Teammates Jenny Lubic had 20 assists and two aces, while Ashley Prost and Shayna Tucek combined for 15 digs.

Adding to the sweep-fest were the sophomores that won 25-10, 25-5, the freshman “A” team that won 25-15, 25-12, and the “B” squad in a 25-12, 25-14 win.

In Bartlett, the Lady Knights took four wins on the afternoon, with the only loss coming to the only team better than them on that day: West Chicago.

KHS handed the Fenton Lady Bison a three-game loss by a final of 25-14, 23-25, 15-8, and the hosts a 25-20, 25-9 setback.

The next batch of wins occurred against Dundee-Crown High School in a 25-12, 25-4 turn of events, before the Lady Knights took care of Rockford Lutheran, 25-18, 25-21.

The invite championship went the Wildcats’ way at the end of the line, with the Lady Knights dropping a 25-18, 25-17 matchup.

Noteworthy performances tournament-wide were had in the form of Dunn’s 26 kills and 15 digs, Scholl’s 28 kills and 25 digs, and Prost’s 16 kills and eight aces.

Tuesday saw Kaneland’s return to the win column as they battled through a straight-game victory at Morris 26-24, 25-22.

Lubic led the way with 13 assists and four digs. Shayna Tucek contributed 18 digs. Dunn had seven kills and four blocks, Lyndi Scholl put up five kills and two aces, Lauren Banbury added four kills and two blocks, and Keri Green tallied two kills and four blocks.

The Lady Knights battle the incoming DeKalb Barbs program on Thursday, Sept. 13.

KHS tops H-BR

Kaneland—The Lady Knights volleyball team improved its record to 5-2 with a Tuesday win over Hinckley-Big Rock.

Kaneland won in straight games, 25-13, 25-11, and set a season record with nine aces.

“We did a great job of being aggressive at the net, along with solid D from the whole team,” head coach Todd Weimer said.

Elize Dunn led the team in kills with 11, to go along with one ace and four digs. Jenny Lubic collected 22 assists to lead the team by far, in addition to two aces and five digs. Lyndi Scholl added four kills and an ace, Lauren Banbury tallied six kills and two aces, Ashley Prost contributed with three kills, one ace and nine digs, and Rachel Clinton and Shayna Tucek combined for 11 digs to help lead the way.

The Lady Knights next travel to Streator for a Thursday, Sept. 6, contest.

Lady Knights find top-half finish in Wheaton

Photo: Co-captain Lauren Banbury gets a shot through the block in their first match versus Montini, which Kaneland won 25-14 and 25-21. Photo by Patti Wilk

Banbury makes All-Tourney team
KANELAND—”Two out of three ain’t bad,” and in the case of Kaneland volleyball, it nets a fifth-place finish.

Setting off for more action after an initial split of two encounters last week, Kaneland finished with a respectable two out of three wins on Saturday at the Wheaton North Invite.

The Lady Knights record is 4-2 overall after a loss to Stagg, but wins over St. Viator, Wheaton North and Burlington Central.

Against the Palos Hills, Ill. outfit, Kaneland fell 25-22, 18-25, 25-20.

KHS won the next two battles, beating Arlington Heights, Ill. team St. Viator by a final of 25-12, 20-25, 25-22, and mastering the hosts 25-11, 25-19.

Accumulated statistics featured Lauren Banbury getting an All-Tournament team nod with 15 kills. Teammate Ashley Prost had 26 kills and 21 digs.

Ellie Dunn of Kaneland added 11 kills, while fellow Lady Knight Lyndi Scholl had 17 kills.

Kaneland weapon Jenny Lubic had 62 assists and 16 digs, and Metea Valley transfer Shayna Tucek had 51 digs.

Tuesday saw the Lady Knights defeat visiting Burlington Central High School in two games by identical 25-17 scores.

Lubic led the way with 21 assists and 13 digs.

The Lady Knights move on to Hinckley-Big Rock for a match on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Volleyball Preview: V-ball hungry for more

Photo: If they play with the same intensity, The Lady Knights volleyball girls can improve even more over the last two seasons’ combined 38 wins. In coach Todd Weimer’s (right, center) regime, the fact that Kaneland was one point away from a regional match victory shows the significant progress KHS has made on the court. File Photo

Lady Knights use last year’s semifinal loss as motivation
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND-—Last year’s Class 3A regional semifinal against Glenbard South had a little bit of everything.

If you were a Kaneland volleyball fan, it had everything except a win.

Just one point away from getting to the regional final, it leaves the remaining players from the 2011 squad and returning coach Todd Weimer hungry.

“We want to win. No one is happy and we’re making sure we work hard on overcoming that tough loss versus Glenbard South,” Weimer said.

Weimer has seen much improvement in the program since he took over seven years ago, and the Lady Knights have put together back-to-back 19-win seasons.

They’re looking for more from the returnees.

“The qualities and skills are there from all of the girls. While we graduated some great kids, we have a lot of awesome newcomers. Our veterans are doing terrific so far,” Weimer said.

The great kids Weimer refers to are players like Northern Illinois Big XII player of the year Kylie Siebert, current Wichita State University Shocker Katy Dudzinski, Kourtni Bingley and Malory Groen.

While that group of players lost to graduation is significant, a solid core returns to the Kaneland roster.

The Lady Knights are lifted by senior captains Ashley Prost and Lauren Banbury, and junior captain Jenny Lubic.

Senior returnees also include Keri Groen, Lyndi Scholl and Rachael Clinton.

Varsity newcomers include juniors Ellie Strang, Meredith McCaffrey, Casey Jacobsen, Brin Wilk and Emily Laudont.

Two other newcomers to the Kaneland ranks are expected to produce big things in the form of senior Metea Valley transfer Shayna Tucek and sophomore Ellie Dunn, sister of volleyball alum Ashley Dunn.

“We just need to play great defense and work together. The stronger we work together, the more we can accomplish,” Weimer said.

The Lady Knights wish to get things going right away in regular season and conference play, and improve on their third-place finish a year ago.

“We lost four conference matches last year, two to DeKalb, one to Morris and one to Yorkville. It’s wide open and anybody’s conference. We have the tools and weapons to bring it. It’s a matter of finishing it and getting the end result in our corner,” Weimer said.

The Lady Knights opened their season at the Wheaton North Tournament this week, which concludes on Saturday, Aug. 25. Their home opener is against Burlington Central on Tuesday, Aug. 28.

Varsity Roster
Seniors
Shayna Tucek
Rachael Clinton
Lyndi Scholl
Keri Groen
Lauren Banbury
Ashley Prost
Juniors
Emily Laudont
Brin Wilk
Casey Jacobsen
Lenny Lubic
Meredith McCaffrey
Ellie Strang
Sophomores
Ellie Dunn

Head coach
Todd Weimer

Varsity Volleyball Schedule
• Wednesday, Aug. 22; 4:30 p.m.
At Wheaton North Tourney
• Saturday, Aug. 25; 8 a.m.
At Wheaton North Tourney
• Tuesday, Aug. 28; 6 p.m.
Home vs. Burlington-Central HS
• Tuesday, Sept. 4; 7 p.m.
At Hinckley-Big Rock HS
• Thursday, Sept. 6; 6 p.m.
At Streator High School
• Saturday, Sept. 8; 8 a.m.
At Bartlett Invite
• Tuesday, Sept. 11; 6 p.m.
At Morris High School
• Thursday, Sept. 13; 6 p.m.
Home vs. DeKalb High School
• Tuesday, Sept. 18; 6 p.m.
Home vs. Sycamore High School
• Wednesday, Sept. 19; 6 p.m.
At Rochelle Twp HS
• Tuesday, Sept. 25; 6 p.m.
Home vs. Yorkville High School
• Wednesday, Sept. 26; 5:30 p.m.
At Geneva High School
• Thursday, Sept. 27; 6 p.m.
Home vs. Ottawa Twp HS
• Thursday, Oct. 4; 6 p.m.
Home vs. Morris High School
• Saturday, Oct. 6; 8 a.m.
At Bettendorf Invite
• Tuesday, Oct. 9; 6 p.m.
At DeKalb High School
• Thursday, Oct. 11; 6 p.m.
At Sycamore High School
• Tuesday, Oct. 16; 6 p.m.
Home vs. Rochelle Twp HS
• Thursday Oct. 18; 6 p.m.
At Yorkville High School
• Saturday, Oct. 20; 8 a.m.
Home—Spikefest

KHS hoops squads can brandish honors

Photo: Ashley Prost (right), Thomas Williams (left) and Marcel Neil (middle) took home first-team All-Conference honors as named by the Northern Illinois Big XII on Thursday. Both girls and boys outfits for Kaneland advanced to their sectionals in 2011-12. File Photos

Two first-team All NIB-12 picks for boys, one for girls
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It’s as easy as a lay-up to deduce that both KHS basketball programs would get postseason honors to recognize exceptional play and postseason runs.

The boys basketball team, which saw its season conclude with a 12-point loss nine days ago to State-bound Rockford East, saw two of its assets named to the Northern Illinois Big XII All-Conference team.

Unanimously selected to the first team were senior Marcel Neil and sophomore Thomas Williams, both pivotal to the sectional run made by the Knights.

“Marcel was the ultimate team leader and player,” boys coach Brian Johnson said. “He was very unselfish on the court. Throughout the year, Thomas continued to improve and really came into his own the last month of the season.”

Meanwhile, KHS senior Ashley Prost was a unanimous selection to the All-NIB-12 girls roster.

For the boys side, other unanimous selections were Rochelle’s Grant Prusator and David Newton, Morris’ Jake Olson, and Dekalb’s Andre Harris and East Division MVP Brian Sisler.

Yorkville’s Josh Williams was also a first-teamer.

Kaneland’s Tyler Heinle led the pack for the honorable mention as a senior.

Other members included Sycamore’s Devin Mottet and Brandon Spartz, Yorkville’s Stephen Jones and Brandon Holmes, DeKalb’s Danny Matya and Kyle Berg, Rochelle’s Matt Rosenwinkel and Morris’ Danny Friend.

Streator’s JJ Cravata was named West MVP.

Lady Knight Prost was the lone selection on the first team for Kaneland, while Rachel Torres, Taylor White and Courtney Patrick of DeKalb also earned first-team honors as did Yorkville’s Jordann Dhuse and Alicyn Hester. Sycamore’s Lake Kwaza and Rochelle’s Michelle Dobbs filled out the elite selections.

Dobbs and Torres were named co-MVP’s of the East Division.

Sharpshooter Allyson O’Herron and Emma Bradford’s contribution as juniors yielded an honorable mention tag in the NIB-12 East Division scheme.

“All three players were a pleasure to coach as people, first and foremost,” KHS girls coach Ernie Colombe said. “In terms of their skills, Ashley brought a lot of toughness to our team. She has a lot of ways she can beat her defenders. Allyson O’Herron is the best long range shooter we have had during my time at KHS. Emma Bradford was kind of our Scottie Pippen,she was asked to do a little bit of everything for us.”

Other honorable mentions were Lady Redskins Julie Jurasits and Laney Torkelson, Sycamore’s Bailey Gilbert, Rochelle’s Christina Williams and DeKalb’s Courtney Williams.

In the West Division, Geneseo’s Devan Griffin took MVP honors.

Kaneland High School Honor Roll

High Honor Roll
Freshman: Omar Aguilar, Megan Bartholet, Anissa Becker, Rabina Beepath, Jacob Brown, Bryan Bulger, Jason Carlquist, Victoria Clinton, Jaemee Cordero, Mallory Dugan, River Dunne, Jarod Erlandson, Gemma Esposito, Connor Fedderly, James Fell, Robert Foy, Murphy Garcia, Andrew Garland, Breanna Geller, Emily Grams, Brittany Grider, Daniel Hammermeister, Riley Hannula, Anna Hayman, Shannon Herra, Kylee Hill, Olivia Hutar, Brooke Jablonski, Madison Jurcenko, Allison Kadampelil, Stephanie Karolewicz, Madison Keith, Ryan Koeppen, Rachel Kowalski, Matthew Krajewski, Kendall Krawczyk, Colleen Landers, Ashley Larsen, Axel Larsen, Julia Lennon, Andrew Lesak, Steven Limbrunner, Kristin Lipinis, Aislinn Lodwig, Alexis Lund, Alejandra Martinez-Aviles, Alyssa McCannon, Nicole McClellan, Michelle McCracken, Brianna McElroy, Rachel Miller, Jonathan Mills, Marissa Mulligan, Alexia Orosco, Samantha Payton, Marisa Peters, Gina Pettenon, Sabrina Pilkington, Cody Pitstick, Regan Prost, Kassidy Reever, Mitchell Reger, Anna Senese, Morgan Sikon, Amber Spaetzel, Michael Stanley, Nicholas Steers, Caitlyn Strasser, Elle Tattoni, Hannah Theis, Kyra Trynoski, Allison Van Bogaert, Emma Wallace, Hannah Wallace, Taylor Washlow, Anna Wendling, Austin Wheatley, Morgan Withey, Sarah Wolfe

Sophomore: Theresa Alef, Mitchell Bateman, Alexander Beck, Steven Becker, Brandon Bishop, Lauren Black, Morgan Buerke, Molly Campbell, Erika Carlson, Melissa Cherry, Hayley Contorno, Riley Coyle, Christine Crews, Andrew David, Kyle DiSandro, Megan Franklin, Spencer Good, Kyla Goodine, Kelsy Goodwin, Tatiana Guerrero, Kayla Hedgren, Caroline Heimerdinger, Madeline Heinzer, Mara Hernandez Gonzalez, Madison Hester, Tyler Hill, Tyler Holan, Michael Howard, Casey Jacobson, Shane Jorgensen, Koehring, Gary Koehring, Nathaniel Kucera, Emily Laudont, Eun Woo Lim, Jennifer Lubic, Kaley Martens, Rachel Mathys, Meredith McCaffrey, Carissa Miller, Abigail Needham, Brittany Olson, Julie Panasik, Mary Piazza, Eileen Ruppel, Alexandria Russell, Katelyn Schmidt, Tyler Slamans, Rachel Steinmiller, Nicholas Stollard, Elizabeth Strang, Delaney Stryczek, Jordan Thelander, Curtis Thorson, Thomas Van Bogaert, Christian VanDinther, Sophie Wallace, Brin Wilk, Azalia Wilkerson, Michael Williams, Amber Winquist-Bailey, Zachary Winthers, Ethan Witt, Lucas Wolski, Lauren Zick, Nathan Zitko

Junior: Gabriella Aguirre, Lauren Banbury, Kami Bauer, Erica Brettman, Myles Chick, Rachael Clinton, Joshua Cohrs, Vanessa Cook, Kelsey Cotton, Robert Debolt, Abigail Dodis, Austin Doyle, Katelyn Dray, Brendan Dunphy, Zachary Eckhardt, Caroline Eichelberger, Christopher Farrell, Sean Flamand, Dominique Galloway, Sarah Grams, Keriann Groen, Nicole Grossman, Emily Gulanczyk, Nicole Hanlon, Alyson Harner, Brooke Harner, David Hernandez, Jenice Heyob, Conor Johnson, Erin Kettelkamp, Alec Koczka, Jessica Kolzow, Alexander Kovach, Taylor Krawczyk, Joseph Kuipers, Brittany Larsen, Cara Lenhardt, Matthew Limbrunner, Benjamin Longson, Stephanie Maras, Jay Markuson, Madeline McMullen, Daniel Miller, Alyssa Nolte, Allyson O’Herron, Beau Ott, Nicholas Philips, Joseph Pollastrini, Ashley Prost, Maxim Reger, Lauren Rusnok, Michael Saucedo, Jessica Smith, Nathaniel Snyder, Karizza Sotelo, Samantha Sparks, Savannah Stasik, Morgan Stewart, Ryan Straughn, Brianne Strobel, Maria Tapia Escobedo, Alexandra Vickery, Abby West, Jessica Woodward

Senior: Lauren Allen, Rebecca Arnold, Lilly Berrend, Madison Bluml, Brianna Brehm, Taylor Buri, Jocelyn Cabral, Lauren Companiott, Ashley Diddell, Katelyn Dudzinski, Brian Edwards, Eric Eichelberger, Kelly Evers, Grace Fabrizius, Ariel Geraghty, Noelle Goodine, Kelsey Gould, Adam Grams, Malory Groen, Elizabeth Howie, Christina Janes, Nicole Ketza, Denitza Koleva, Kaitlyn Kolzow, Benjamin Kovalick, Stelios Lekkas, McKinzie Mangers, Jacob Mazuc, Austin McElderry, Kayley McPhee, Anna Novotny, William Osborne, Athanasios Pesmajoglou, Drew Peters, Jordan Phillips, Alexa Reger, Karyn Ribbens, Josias Rodriguez, Stephanie Rosenwinkel, Maria Rossi, Alejandra Salinas, Connor Sandquist, Melissa Schmidt, Veronica Seawall, Ashley Shearer, Kylie Siebert, Ashlyn Slamans, Molly Speckman, Anthony Sperando, Brandon Stahl, Trevor Storck, Katherine Taylor, Valerie Tockstein, Catherine Tolan, Amber Urich, Marissa Villafuerte, Savannah Webb, Kathleen Werrline, Anders Winquist-Bailey, Elliot Witt, John Wooten

Regular Honor Roll
Freshman: Karina Alcantara-Camargo, Mariah Ausbury, Jacob Bachio, Melanie Bateman, Ivan Bohorquez, Nicholas Boose, Amy Burgholzer, Briel Castellese, Hannah Conley, Amy Croft, Gabriel David, Destiny Diaz, Courtney Diddell, Zachary Douglas, Sarah Dratnol, Alyssa Evans, Jeremy Faletto, Colton Fellows, Elise Fichtel, Sam Ford, Kevin Fuchs, Justin Garcia, Julia Golbeck, Victoria Guyton, McKayla Helm, Zachary Justus, Joshua Kasap, Rachel Keske, Joshua Kohler, Alyson Kowalczyk, Jessica Kucera, Shannon Limbrick, Matthew Lyons, Raymond McGarvey, Caitrin Mills, Lenora Murphy, Meghen Nance, Kayla Norell, Taylor Opperman, Nicole Partipilo, Katrina Paulick, Lauren Pence, Kellsie Pepponi, Noah Perez, Blaine Rivas, Vanessa Saltijeral, Colleen Schrems, Samantha Schrepferman, Deanna Scialabba, Jacob Sheehan, Christine Shelton, Aaron Steenwyk, Evan Thompson, Taylor Tindall, James Tockstein, Rachel Urich, Paige Wagner, Charles Wehrmann, Samantha White, Nicholas Winthers, John Wolf, Joshua Yeggy

Sophomore: Johnathan Bahena Diaz, Jesse Balluff, James Bartholomew, Anna Bateman, Dzenan Bogaljevic, Michelle Bohanek, Ryan Bower, Alexandra Brenwall, Johnathan Briggs, Lanie Callaghan, Gina Campobasso Jarvis, Andrew Carroll, Ryan Caul, Lesly Chavez, Jacob Cinkus, Taylor Corbett, Michael Deja, Christina Delach, Justin Diddell, Dakota Drefke, Emily Eckert, Daniel Evers, Alyssa Faulkner, Angelique Franks, Brittany Giannini, Denise Gombar, Christopher Hernandez, Jessica Jablonski, Matthew Kalinowski, Brittany Kemp, Samuel Kitz, Lydia Krauz, Broderick Kuhar, Sara Laurie, Thung Lee, Stefanos Lekkas, Nicolas Likeum, Ryan Longson, Trevor Malatek, Kellyn McMullan, Mikaela Messick, Shannon O’Shea, Joshua Opp, Andre Palpant, Anthony Parillo, Alexa Parrenas, Mason Pieczynski, Alec Pope, Shannon Ransford, Muhammad Rehman, Taylor Robertson, Paige Robinson, Joshua Rodriguez, Kyle Romas, Teri Ruffolo, Zackery Russell, Kaprice Sanchez, Blake Schultz, Kaleb Schuppner, Alexander Speckman, Allison Steininger, Sydney Strang, Ashlee Tennant, Cameron Thomas, Katelyn Treinen, Alyson Utterback, Matthew Vander Sande, Cynthia Vasquez, John Venneri, Jessica Villafuerte, Noelia Villanueva, Kelly Wallner, Lucas Welz, Nicholas Welz, Zachary Wielgos, Thomas Williams, Grant Wooten

Junior: Julia Angelotti, Olubukola Ayegbusi, Joanna Barragan, Alex Baumgartner, Jennifer Bicos, Jason Biddle, Emma Bradford, Margaret Brundige, Bailey Burns, Romina Carrano, Ashley Castellanos, Jacob Childress, Madeline Cole, Nicholas Crawford, Anna Croft, Austen Davis, Laken Delahanty, Claiborne Denlinger, Hannah Dewar, Natalie Dietrich, Alonzo Dominguez, Miricle Dominguez, Breanna Evola, Marshall Farthing, Kristin Gabrielson, Jordan Ginther, Sean Glennon, Jack Grimes, Stephen Gust, Nikolas Hale, Kory Harner, Tyler Hawbecker, Alexander Held, Kirstin Hinds, Meagan Holloman, Kushtrim Ismaili, Lisa Jennings, Johnson, Bradley Johnson, Brandon Johnson, Nicholas Katsigiannis, Brad Kigyos , Samuel Kilgore, Esther Kong, Luke Kreiter,, Baylee Lancaster,, Tanisha Lee,, Kara Leyden, Katherine Lucarelli, Sydney Luse, Alexandra Lyons, Zachary Martinelli, Jacqueline McClellan, Stephen McCracken, Joshua McHenry, James Merletti, Eric Meuer, Savanah Miles, Brayden Miller, Paige Nachreiner, Alyssa Nahley, Morgan Newhouse, Cory Nordine, Sarah Norman, Adam Poczekaj, Kyle Pollastrini, MacKenzie Powell, Lyndi Scholl, Collin Seidelman, Benjamin Sommers, Manuel Tapia- Zachary Theis, Kalani Tovar, Jack Van Gemert, Taylor Velazquez, Jemma Waldrop, Caitlin Wallace, Kaitlyn Wendling, Abbie Wilhelm, Connor Williams, Alexander Willis, Morgan Wojciechowski, Danielle Wylie

Senior: Kourtni Bingley, Melissa Bohorquez, Zachary Brown, Emily Carr, Colton Carter, Sean Carter, Jacob Chevalier, Acalia Cleaver, Zachary Douglas, Megan Dressel, , Tyler Fabrizius, John Goodrich, Joseph Gorenz, Casey Haffner, Bridget Hankes, Daniel Hansen, Samantha Hansen, David Heine, Austin Henkelman, Phoojywg Her, Heather Hochsprung, Alexandria Hornback, Seleana Isaacs, Sarah Kitz, Kelly Kovacic, Alec Krueger, Troy Krueger, Kathryn Lanute, Kayley Larsen, Cesar Lazcano, Nicholette LeBlanc, Victoria Likeum, Madison Limbrick, Madeline Meredith, Amelia Napiorkowski, Diana Nuno, Konstantin Paraskevov, Jari Ramos-Orbe, Sawyer Rego, Courtney Reiss, Jake Rosko, Margaret Ruppel, Alejandro Salinas, Max Sanko, Demi Schlehofer, Dana Schultz, Matthew Simmons, Grace Snyder, Erica Sorensen, Michael Tattoni, Mackenzie Theisen, Carolina Tovar, Shannon Wallace, Nicholas Wielgos, Joshua Williams, Jordyn Withey, Michael Withey, Maverick Wojciechowski

Rolling Thunder: Lady Knights’ season ends in 43-31 sectional final

Photo: Sarah Grams looks for someone to pass to in the third period of Kaneland’s Class 3A sectional title game against Belvidere North on Feb. 23 at Sycamore High School. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
SYCAMORE—Emotions on the faces of the Lady Knights as they came out of the game, one-by-one, told the story. It would prove to be a sad ending.

However, the Lady Knights basketball squad can be proud of the memories they forged in the most prolific season for the program since 2005-06, which came to an end on Thursday with a 43-31 loss to the Belvidere North Blue Thunder.

The Sycamore Sectional final concluded the season at 20-10, while Belvidere North’s season finally concluded at 23-10 with a 53-46 loss to Vernon Hills High School during Monday’s Elgin High School Super-Sectional.

Kaneland was buoyed by Ashley Prost and Kelly Evers, each with 11 points. Center Katie Dovenuehle had 12 points for the winners.

KHS was also nicked by a 5-for-12 night at the foul line, compared to 14-for-20 for BN.

“Belvidere North’s a good team,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “Defensively, we did some good things, but we had to start fouling at the end. I thought free throws hurt us tonight.”

Kaneland and the Blue Thunder were deadlocked at 7-7 after one frame. With a basket by Evers and a steal from Alli Liss leading to a lay-in by Allyson O’Herron, the Lady Knights were up 11-7 with 7:21 remaining in the second quarter.

However, BN’s offense and board attack showed dividends, and KHS found itself on the wrong end of an 8-0 run.

Down 18-12, Prost’s bucket with 28.4 remaining brought the halftime score to 18-14.

In the third, KHS enjoyed foul shots from Prost and a putback from Evers to tie the game at 22-22 with 2:59 to go, but that would be the last time Kaneland would sniff a lead.

Belvidere North went on a 9-0 run that went into the fourth quarter. The Blue Thunder were able to get to the foul line with frequency as the seconds ticked away. Sarah Grams and Prost found the net to close within 36-31 with 1:39 remaining, but the Blue Thunder hit seven-of-eight foul shots to close it out.

“Free throws sometimes deflate you, they hit a bunch at the end and their kids stepped up and that’s why they’re moving on,” Colombe said.

With a team that loses just two seniors, Kelly Evers and Liz Barnette, Kaneland has laid a winning foundation.

“The girls gave us everything they had all year. They enjoyed the atmosphere of the playoffs and got a lot of support from the school. They got a taste for it,” Colombe said.

Kaneland girls go into regionals on winning note

Photo: Kelly Evers carries Emma Bradford, who just made the winning free throw. Kaneland defeated Rochelle 52-51 on Friday to finish the regular season at 17-9 (7-3 NIB-12). Photo by Patti Wilk

Bradford’s late foul shots give KHS close win over Lady Hubs
KANELAND—Quite literally, that’s why they play the final 1.2 seconds.

In a game that saw Kaneland’s 14-point lead evaporate, it was two free throws by Emma Bradford that brought Kaneland into the winner’s circle on Friday night, in a 52-51 affair against Rochelle on Senior Night.

That end-of-game pull-through is something that might not have been pulled off by previous incarnations of this girls group, and shows strides just in time for the regional journey.

With the win, the Lady Knights finished their regular season at 17-9, with a 7-3 mark in Northern Illinois Big XII conference play.

It’s the highest win total since 2005-06 for the girls team, and the highest in coach Ernie Colombe’s tenure.

Kaneland was paced by Ashley Prost’s 13 and Allyson O’Herron’s 12, in a contest that took the sting out of a close loss to Yorkville the previous week.

KHS raced out to an 18-4 lead, only to see it dissipate to a 24-22 halftime edge. Rochelle closed to within 36-35 at the end of the third before the final quarter.

The sophomores closed their season with a 45-36 loss at the hands of Rochelle, but finished with an 18-7 mark (5-5 NIB-12).

The freshman defeated LaSalle-Peru on Feb. 8, to finish their season as NIB-12 tournament champs and with a 23-2 record (10-0 NIB-12).

Kaneland was scheduled to tip off against Illinois Math and Science Academy of Aurora on Wednesday as part of the 1-4 matchup at the Class 3A Yorkville Regional.

IMSA defeated the fifth-seed Sandwich Lady Indians on Monday by a 42-35 final.

The winner of Kaneland-IMSA battle faces either Yorkville or Rosary in the final on Thursday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m. The Lady Foxes were 19-6 headed into playoff action, while the Royals were 9-15.

Lady Knights rattle off two wins after hard-luck loss to Yorkville

Photo: Lauren Zick crashes into a Yorkville defender on the way to the basket during the third period of Kaneland’s 45-42 loss at home on Friday. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—When a team has to endure a three-game losing skid, the mentality of the next win being so far away can creep into the team.

Fortunately for Kaneland, the so-far-away win occurred Saturday against Sycamore, and then on Tuesdsay against Marengo.

The Lady Knights improved to 16-9 (6-3 NIB-12) after a 54-44 Tuesday solving of the visiting Indians, and a 52-37 win over the rival Lady Spartans. This happened after a loss on Friday in which the visiting Yorkville squad took a lead with 1:06 to go in a 45-42 setback.

Against Marengo, KHS came back from a 27-24 halftime deficit in a big way, going on a 17-6 run in the third quarter before outscoring the Indians 13-11 in the fourth.

Ashley Prost had 17 points and six rebounds, while Allyson O’Herron had 12 points and five boards.

Facing the Lady Spartans, KHS went 22-for-40 from the field, and increased a 23-13 halftime lead to a 41-23 third-quarter chasm. Leading the way was Emma Bradford with 13 points and seven boards, while Brooke Harner had five points and six boards.

Against Yorkville, the Lady Knights played catch-up the whole night until Prost’s bucket with 1:57 to go made it 42-40. But with 1:09 left, Corrine Rowe hit a foul shot and Alicyn Hester’s reeling putback put YHS ahead to stay three ticks later.

O’Herron and Prost missed three-point tries at the end.

“We missed a lot of easy shots on offense and capable of playing much better defense than we did tonight. It was a big game. We know what they do, they know what we do,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said.

Kaneland girls drill Bulldogs, Indians

Photo: Ernie Colombe gathers the troops during a timeout in the midst of Kaneland’s 41-27 win over Lemont on Tuesday. The Lady Knights are enjoying a 14-6 record through 20 games. Photo by Patti Wilk

Lady Knights secure first winning record since 05-06
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Looks like the KHS girls basketball crew can get used to this modified schedule.

Much like last week’s snowstorm forced the Lady Knights into an extra day of rest only to come back with a win in Morris, Kaneland’s scheduled contest on Friday was shelved and the action continued on Saturday afternoon vs. Streator.

KHS handed the crossover foe Bulldogs a 60-22 shellacking, and followed that win with a 41-27 win against visiting Lemont, and improved its record to 14-6, and 5-1 in the Northern Illinois Big XII.

With five games remaining in the 2011-12 regular season, the Lady Knights have eclipsed last year’s win total and clinched the program’s first winning record since 2005-06, and the first in coach Ernie Colombe’s six-season tenure.

On Saturday, the defense forced the visiting Lady Bulldogs into 40 turnovers and 27 percent shooting, while 23 steals supplanted the effort, as well. Allyson O’Herron and Brooke Harner led the squad with five each.

Despite shooting 21-of-61 from the field and 14-of-24 from the foul line, Kaneland was the recipient of a supremely balanced scoring attack. Alli Liss had a game-high 14 and Ashley Prost had 10 points and five boards.

Kaneland led 19-8 after a quarter of play and clamped down on the visitors once again to have a comfortable 34-11 lead at the half. The margin was upped to 46-17 after the third quarter.

Meanwhile, the sophomores (14-4) had an easy time against Streator with a 42-6 win. Sydney Strang had 15 points.

Freshmen girls beat Yorkville on Monday, 43-35, and handled DeKalb on Thursday, 33-19, to improve to 16-2 on the year.

On Tuesday, Prost contributed a double-double with 16 points and 10 boards.

Despite the Indians storming to a 7-0 lead, Kaneland closed to within 8-5 by the end of the quarter.

Kaneland’s 10 steals came in handy the rest of the contest, with plenty of breakaway opportunities and crisp passing producing success.

Down 13-11 in the second frame, Kaneland’s Marina Schaefer’s baseline jumper and Aly Harner’s three-pointer in the last 66 seconds gave Kaneland a 16-13 edge at the break.

In the third, Prost and Brooke Harner hit baskets to go up 27-15 with 1:48 to go, but Lemont closed to within 27-19 by the end of the half.

Cutting the lead to 29-23, Lemont had Kanreland reeling until a 9-0 run keyed by an Bradford pass to Prost made it 38-23 with 2:30 to go.

“We all just tried to put a lot of pressure on them,” Bradford said about the effort on both sides of the floor. “We wanted to force turnovers, and we were really getting into their guards’ heads.”

Ahead for the varsity group is a trip to Maple Leaf country to face Geneseo on Saturday, Jan. 28.

Lady Knights get kicks off Route 6

MORRIS, Ill.—Kaneland has shown no fear when it comes to the slate of games in the Northern Illinois Big XII conference, and that’s something other girls basketball outfits should be leery of.

The only element stopping the Lady Knights from more success this past week was snow, as the game against Streator scheduled for Thursday was shelved until Saturday, Jan. 21, at 1:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, KHS went down to Morris to face the Lady Redskins and came away with a 54-44 victory Tuesday, improving to 12-6 (5-1 Northern Illinois Big XII).

Kaneland is now just one win off last year’s season total.

Inside presence Ashley Prost had a game-high 20 points in the winning effort, while teammate Emma Bradford had 15.

KHS shot over 50 percent in the win, going 19-for-36, tempering the 15-for-28 night from the line.

The Lady Knights went up 13-4 after one quarter and emerged with a 31-14 halftime lead.

Morris caved the deficit slightly and trailed 40-24 after three before closing to within 10 in the final eight minutes, but Kaneland held on for the win.

In other levels of action, the sophomores fell to 13-4 with a 39-33 loss to Morris. Additionally, the KHS freshmen crew squashed Rochelle on Saturday by a final of 37-6, thanks to a balanced scoring output from 10 Lady Knights. Monday saw KHS beat Sycamore by a final of 37-23, thanks to 10 points from Katrina Paulick.

Besides the Streator makeup this weekend, KHS also hosts Sycamore on Friday, Jan. 23. The Lady Knights beat the Lady Spartans by four back on Dec. 9.

KHS emerges the victor over Yorkville, Rochelle

Photo: Brooke Harner (22) tries to control the ball in traffic on Friday, with teammates Marina Schaefer (33) and Ali Liss close by. Photo by Ben Draper

Girls’ wins take sting out of OT loss at BC
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—The girls basketball crew from Kaneland found what it liked in at Yorkville on Friday, and had what it liked, but lost it on Saturday.

A 20-point cruise was just the ticket over host Yorkville, 48-28, while a sizable halftime lead up in Burlington eventually slimmed up. An overtime and a late putback sent KHS packing with a 49-47 overtime loss. It was the second loss of that kind in three games, as the Lady Knights dropped a two-point result to Plainfield East on Dec. 30 in the finals of the Oswego East Wolves Winter Classic.

However, the Kaneland group still finds itself in good standing with an 11-6 record and a 4-1 Northern Illinois Big XII tally after a win in Rochelle on Tuesday, 38-30. That marked the first win on Rochelle’s home court in five years.

“Even though we didn’t have games go our way at the end recently, we’ve won a lot of close games earlier,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We just had to compose ourselves and play well at the end.”

Facing Rochelle, the Lady Knights were lifted by eight members in the scoring column, and led by Kelly Evers’ eight points.

The Lady Knights took advantage of accurate passing that usually found its targets in the forms of Evers, Ashley Prost and Emma Bradford.

“That just happens all the time in practice,” Evers said. “Not just with Emma, Ashley or I, but with the whole team. There’s open looks and magic happens.”

KHS went out to a 10-8 lead, and increased to the lead to 10 points in the second quarter, thanks to a down-low look by Evers and a bucket by Sarah Grams. Kaneland was ahead 22-12 at the break.

After ending the third frame up 30-20, the margin shrunk to 33-29 with three minutes to go.

A key steal by Ashley Castellanos stunted Rochelle’s game plan and Grams and Liss made it to the foul line for insurance free throws until game’s end.

Against Yorkville, Lady Knights basketball was paced by Prost’s 21 points, which included 12 in the first half. Prost also added a co-team-high six boards, matched by Evers.

KHS held the Lady Foxes to 11-for-48 from the field.

KHS went out to a slim 13-12 lead after the first eight minutes, and clamped on the pressure to go up 26-15 at the halftime break.

In the third quarter, Kaneland outscored YHS 14-5 to go up 40-20, setting the stage for the final result.

On Saturday afternoon at the home of the Lady Rockets, things looked to be going well for KHS as it went out to a 13-4 lead after one and maintained a 23-14 lead at the break.

BC closed within 34-29 after the third quarter before deadlocking KHS at 40 going into the extra frame.

With two seconds remaining in overtime, Burlington Central’s Camille De La Cruz put back a missed shot to give the hosts the close win.

KHS was 11-for-48 from the field on Saturday, and 15-for-23 from the charity stripe.

The loss for Kaneland was despite the best efforts of Evers, who scored 10 points and brought down 14 boards. Prost had a team-high 11 points.

Looming on the horizon for the varsity girls: a meeting with visiting Streator on Thursday, Jan. 12.

Buzzer-beater batters Kaneland girls in Winter Classic Finale

Photo: Emma Bradford (32) finds herself in a sea of Mustangs during competition last week at the Oswego East Wolves Winter Classic. Kaneland lost three of four contests in the gathering. File Photo

by Mike Slodki
OSWEGO, Ill.—This year, more so than most, the Lady Knights play up to tough competition and rarely get blown out.

That doesn’t provide much solace after a tournament-ending loss like the one on Friday.

A last-second bank shot by Plainfield East in the third-place consolation game ended the Kaneland troops’ winning hopes in a 47-45 result.

Kaneland also lost a 37-34 matchup with East Aurora on Thursday, and came away with a 47-33 win over Plainfield North in Oswego East Wolves Winter Classic action. The Lady Knights finished up 1-3 in the 2011 grouping, and finished the year with a 9-5 record (2-1 Northern Illinois Big XII) before leaping into 2012.

West Chicago edged South Elgin by one point in the final.

Allyson O’Herron had a game-high 17 points vs. the Bengals, and the Lady Knights were 17-of-41 from the field.

After leading 24-19 at halftime, a scoring drought felled Kaneland. Plainfield East went on a 15-0 run by being aggressive in the paint. Down 10, Brooke Harner converted a three-point play to close to 34-27, and thus started a 13-0 run on Kaneland’s end, extending into the fourth quarter.

Things looked to be going the way of KHS when O’Herron hit a basket to go up 43-38 at the halfway mark of the quarter.

Two ensuing baskets by the Bengals made it 43-42 with 2:32 remaining. Kaneland’s final bucket came on a putback by Ashley Prost with 1:22 remaining. Faith Suggs converted a three-pointer with 60 seconds remaining to tie the game. With 12.6 seconds to go, Kaneland was whistled for a traveling violation, giving the ball back to Plainfield East. After inbounding the ball, Faith Suggs banked a shot off the glass just before the clock hit zero for the 47-45 final margin.

KHS coach Ernie Colombe feels he got a better look at his team, despite the downer ending.

“I think we’ve gotten better,” Colombe said. “We talked about not getting too caught up in going 1-3 in this tournament. It wasn’t our goal, obviously. We just talked about closing out games. We set something up, we just never really got into it.”

Against East Aurora, a two-for-13 day from the perimeter spelled bad things ahead for the Lady Knights, despite holding the Tomcats to 37 points. Harner and Prost led the way with eight points apiece. KHS was down 16-8 at the half and 28-20 after three before a mini-rally.

Against Plainfield North, Prost had a game-high 17 points, and the Lady Knights stormed out to a 28-12 halftime lead that held until the end.

Kaneland freshmen won the Plainfield East tournament by virtue of a 41-25 win over Plainfield South on Dec. 28.

KHS heads into 2012 competition with a trip to Yorkville on Friday, Jan. 6.

Lady Knights basketball is now 9-11 all-time at the holiday tournament at Oswego East High School.

Lady Knights knocked to consolation side at Oswego E.

Photo: Brooke Harner (22) defends against a potent Metea Valley offense during the first round of the Oswego East Wolves Winter Classic Tuesday morning. Harner had four points and two steals, but the Lady Knights fell 62-46. Photo by Ben Draper

OSWEGO—It’s been a productive season thus far for your Kaneland Lady Knights hoops contingent. It’s been awhile since that label to a season could be touted. The Oswego East Wolves Winter Classic would serve as a good marker for how far KHS has grown this season.

Alas, thanks to new kid on the block Metea Valley, Kaneland will have to show what it has from the consolation side of the bracket.

Outside of a productive third quarter, Kaneland was held in check by second-seeded Metea Valley of Aurora in the opener of the seventh Oswego East Wolves Winter Classic on Tuesday, by a final of 62-46.

That meant Kaneland was set to battle Plainfield North at 9 a.m., on Wednesday

Kaneland’s record as 2011 winds down is 8-3 with a 2-1 mark in Northern Illinois Big XII conference action, and three more tournament clashes remaining.

A year ago, Kaneland began the tournament with wins over South Elgin and Addison Trail en route to a fourth-place finish at Oswego East—its best ever finish.

Against the Lady Wildcats, the Lady Knights were paced by Ashley Prost’s 14 points and Kelly Evers’ 10. KHS was forced to deal with a 19-for-43 day from the field and 14 turnovers.

Kaneland found itself down 18-10 after one quarter and 36-19 at the halftime break before getting a leg up on Metea Valley. KHS got to within five points before quarter number three ended with the Lady Knights down 46-39. Kaneland would be outscored 16-7 for the duration.

After Wednesday’s battle*, KHS will have Thursday against Aurora Christian or East Aurora and Friday in the consolation bracket in Kendall County, as well, completing their sixth trip to the Winter Classic.

*Update: The Lady Knights defeated Plainfield North 47-33 Wednesday morning. The results were not available at press time for the paper edition of the Elburn Herald.

Lady Knights win at Dixon in extra session

Photo by Patti Wilk

KANELAND—Lady Knights basketball was so chock-full with exceptional performances on Saturday afternoon, they needed an overtime session to fit them all.

With clutch free throws, long-range game and an improvement on foul shots, the Lady Knights came away with a 61-55 overtime win at the home of the Duchesses.

With the win, the Lady Knights enjoy a holiday break with an 8-2 (2-1 NIB-12) record to give to themselves before tournament action marks the end of the calendar year.

Kaneland was 20-for-46 from the field, and was lead by Allyson O’Herron, who sunk a team-high 21 points thanks to a school record-tying seven three-pointers. Ashley Prost finished with 14 points and made two clutch shots in OT.

Sarah Grams had 12 points, and also hit the game-tying foul shots with 1.4 seconds remaining in regulation to knot the contest at 50.

The Lady Knights were also 13-for-19 from the charity stripe, helping to offset an attack lead by Dixon’s Brooke Bailey, who had a game-high 24 points.

KHS got out to an ideal start, leading Dixon 13-9, before seeing the deficit shrink to 25-24 at halftime.

Dixon took a 38-36 lead after three, setting the stage for the fourth and extra session.

Meanwhile, the sophomores took care of business against Dixon by a 47-28 clip. Caroline Heimerdinger had 14 points in the winning effort.

Ahead for KHS girls hoops lies the usual Oswego East Wolves Winter Classic, which begins on Tuesday, Dec. 27, at 10:30 a.m. against Metea Valley. The Lady Knights are scheduled to face either Andrew or Plainfield North on Wednesday, Dec. 28.

Girls basketball maintains early-season roll in Sycamore

Photo: Kelly Evers (34) dives for the ball on Sycamore’s court during Friday’s tight 40-36 Kaneland victory. Evers was tied for the team lead with eight rebounds. Photo by John DiDonna

KANELAND—It was an important early-season battle in Sycamore between two squads that had gotten off to relatively hot starts in 2011-12.

With Kaneland and Sycamore girls basketball only having lost a combined three games heading into Friday night, the meeting would provide an early-season barometer to the progress made.

With a 40-36 comeback win in Spartan-land, the KHS barometer is still at a decent pressure.

Kaneland also hosted the Lady Barbs from DeKalb on Tuesday, only to fall in a 42-33 affair.

Still, Kaneland is still maintaining its best start since the 2005-06 season, at 7-2 (2-1 Northern Illinois Big XII).

Against the Lady Spartans, Ashley Prost led the way with 13 points and eight boards. Teammate Allyson O’Herron had eight points, including two key threes. Sycamore’s Lake Kwaza had a game-high 17 points. KHS was 15-for-44 from the field, and just 8-for-24 from the foul line.

Down 14-13 headed into the second half, Kaneland got off to a blazing start in quarter three. Prost had three buckets, and O’Herron and Emma Bradford hit Kaneland’s first five shot attempts, deadlocking the game at 24-24 with 4:54 remaining. O’Herron’s second-straight three off a steal gave KHS a 27-24 lead with 3:45 left. Brooke Harner’s two free throws and a Lauren Zick basket gave KHS its biggest lead at 31-24 with 46.7 left, and Sycamore hit two foul shots before the end of the frame to make it 31-26 at the buzzer.

Sycamore rallied once down seven, and tied the game in a 33-second span. The Lady Spartans took a 36-35 lead, but Lexee Guerra’s foul shot and an O’Herron basket gave KHS a two-point edge with 1:47 to go. Guerra hit two more free throws to cement the win.

“Offensively, we’re still a work in progress, and we’re still learning how to get the ball to people in the spots they want to get it,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “Tonight, we battled through some foul trouble, but we played tough D and moved the ball on offense.”

The sophomores lost to Sycamore 26-24.

On Tuesday, Prost paced the Lady Knights with 11 points, and Bradford added 10 in the losing cause. KHS was 13-for-34 from the field.

DeKalb led 15-12 after one frame, and 23-21 at the half before stifling the Lady Knights 33-23 after three.

In a 28-25 sophomore win, Caroline Heimerdinger had 11 points to help the Lady Knights improve to 6-1.

Meanwhile, the freshmen troops improved to 7-1 with a 36-10 victory over the host Lady Barbs. Katrina Paulick had 10 points.

KHS heads to Dixon on Saturday, Dec. 17, followed by a 10-day break leading up to the Oswego East Wolves Winter Classic beginning on Tuesday, Dec. 27.