Tag Archives: Nicki Ott

Girls basketball ride stopped by group of Warriors

Photo: Kaneland’s Emma Bradford shows maximum effort toward the hoop during the 30-27 loss to Wheaton Academy on Monday. Photo by Ben Draper

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—The Lady Knights saw their regular season end on Thursday in Rochelle by a final of 61-52, and then with a 30-27 loss on Monday at St. Francis High School in Wheaton, Ill., saw their playoff quest come to an end.

With the 30-27 loss to Wheaton Academy in the St. Francis Regional, Kaneland’s season ended at 13-16, its best end mark since 2007. Wheaton Academy was set to face Montini Catholic on Wednesday at St. Francis High School as of press time.

But the opportunities seemed to be there for the taking. The problem was finishing those opportunities.

The Lady Knights, who also were eliminated by the Warriors four years ago, were just 10-for-50 from the field, and six-for-25 from the charity stripe.

Notwithstanding, the Lady Knights were still leading the hotly contested game in the fourth quarter, and led as late as two minutes, one second left in regulation.

“We were right there,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We’ve been shooting like 63 percent on the season for free throws, and we come in and go (six-for-25), it just seemed like the whole team was tense on their shots today. First half, I just thought it’s the jitters and we’ll get over it.”

The Lady Knights’ largest lead in the game was just four points, but took the lead late on an Evers foul shot, 26-25, with 121 ticks left to play.

Wheaton Academy then proceeded to make four consecutive free throws to take a 29-26 lead with 1:27 left. Two attempts at three-pointers went unsuccessful, but Emma Bradford eventually hit the back end of two foul shot attempts with 16.8 seconds left to cut the lead to two.

When Allyson Witt (15 points) hit the first of two shots with 13.1 ticks left to make it 30-27, KHS set the final possession in motion with a chance to tie to no avail.

In the early outset of the contest, Andie Strang’s three-pointer and an Alderman bucket gave Kaneland an early 8-4 lead before Wheaton Academy tied it at 8 before the end of the quarter. Bradford’s offensive putback with 2:49 left in the half gave KHS a 14-13 lead. However, Bradford’s shot would be the only one made out of 21 attempts from the second to third frames. Alderman’s basket with 2:30 left in the third broke the drought and brought KHS to within 17-16. A Strang foul shot tied the score before the end of the third at 19-all. The largest lead for the Lady Knights was 25-21 with 4:43 left, thanks to an Evers free throw.

Against Rochelle, KHS was paced by Kelly Evers’ 15 points and 10 from Emily Heimerdinger.

The sophomores concluded a remarkable campaign with a 48-43 win at Rochelle to finish at 25-1 and 10-0 in NIB-12 play. A balanced attack was led by Sarah Grams’ 10 points.

With the conclusion of the 2010-11 season, the best for KHS girls basketball in five years, the Kaneland program bids adieu to seniors Andie Strang, Kris Bowen, Emily Heimerdinger, Nicki Ott and Trinae Coachman.

“They were outstanding. A lot of kids wouldn’t have put the time in after winning five games a year ago. They not only put time in but they got better and made sure our younger kids did, as well,” Colombe said.

Lady Knights finishing regular season strong

Photo: Marina Schaefer is seeing valuable minutes, as a freshman, for an improving Kaneland girls basketball squad that beat Yorkville and Marengo in road excursions this week. File Photo

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Monday featured a textbook case of learning from your mistakes.

After dropping a home matchup with Yorkville back on Jan. 7, the Lady Knights hoops unit traveled along Game Farm Road and secured a hard-fought 45-39 victory.

The Lady Knights then followed that up with a double-overtime victory at Marengo on Tuesday night, 63-56.

With the victory (rescheduled from Friday) and the decision over the Lady Indians, the Lady Knights improved to 13-14 (3-6 Northern Illinois Big XII Conference).

Kaneland went 13-for-35 from the field and a clutch 15-for-19 from the free throw line.

Emily Heimerdinger had 12 points and four steals in the winning effort, while post weapon Kelly Evers contributed 12 points and five boards.

Andie Strang had 10 points, including two key three-pointers, and five boards.

“I think the third quarter helped a lot,” Strang said. “I felt like we had really good effort all the way through, and we kept focus the whole time.”

Baskets by Evers, Heimerdinger and Strang produced an 11-6 lead for KHS after one quarter of play.

A second-quarter struggle ensued as points were at a premium. Evers landed the only shot from the field for KHS, and two foul shots by Strang increased the lead to 15-6 with 4:40 remaining in the half, before the Lady Foxes closed to within 15-12 going into the locker room.

Yorkville powered back to take an 18-17 lead with 4:02 to go, but Strang’s perimeter prowess yielded a trey for a 20-18 lead with 3:34 remaining. Strang’s second three-pointer with 1:26 to go gave KHS a 27-22 lead. Yorkville returned with a three-pointer 26 seconds later, before Trinae Coachman’s basket made it 29-25 with 38.1 left. A long two-point shot closed the game to 29-27 before the third-quarter buzzer.

Yorkville eventually fought back to tie matters at 31-31 with 5:20 remaining in regulation. Kaneland would take the lead for good when Emma Bradford made the second of two shots from the line for a 32-31 lead with 5:03 left. Heimerdinger, Tesa Alderman, Evers and Bradford would all connect on baskets from the charity stripe, and coupled with an Alderman trifecta, saw the lead balloon to 10 points with under a minute to go.

“Rebounding and defense really came through tonight (22 for Kaneland),” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We shot the ball well in the fourth quarter from the free throw line. Overall, there’s a lot of bright spots. There’s a few things we’ve got to work on with a couple games to go here.”

Against host Marengo, Kaneland saw 17 points from Nicki Ott and 12 from Evers. Evers also gathered 12 boards.

Kaneland trailed 29-25 at halftime before, and 39-35 after three frames before tying the game at 50 by regulation’s end. After the first OT ended at 52-all, KHS pulled away with an 11-6 second overtime.

In sophomore action throughout the week, Kaneland (23-1) needed double overtime to bump Yorkville, 39-34, and the freshmen vanquished Ottawa on Monday by a 37-31 margin and improved to 22-0.

Kaneland has a lone regular-season contest remaining: a road trip to Rochelle on Thursday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m., before heading to the IHSA Class 3A regional at St. Francis High School in Wheaton. The Lady Knights are set to battle Wheaton Academy on Monday, Feb. 14, at 7:30 p.m. As of press time, the Warriors are 9-15.

Lady Knights split decisions

KANELAND—Streator girls basketball must have felt like Saturday’s game with Kaneland was more of a trampling than a crossover.

A weekend excursion to the home of the Lady Bulldogs yielded a 60-32 win for KHS, while Tuesday’s home matchup with Morris High School ended in a 45-38 overtime loss

Kaneland has now doubled its win total from a year ago and sits at 10-13 (1-6 NIB-12).

Against Streator, Nicki Ott led the Lady Knights with 13 points, as 11 different Kaneland girls entered the scoring column. As a team, the Lady Knights were 23-for-63 from the field.

Tesa Alderman and Emily Heimerdinger had nine points each, and Alderman’s long-range prowess saw her sink three trifectas.

Kaneland held a slim 7-5 edge after one quarter, while running roughshod over the hosts in the second quarter en route to a 26-10 halftime lead.

Kaneland increased its advantage to 42-18 after three before closing out the contest.

Facing the Redskins, Andie Strang’s 13 points and eight boards keyed the KHS attack. Heimerdinger had nine points and five steals.

The Lady Knights were 16-for-51 from the field, and just four-of-13 from the charity stripe.

KHS and Morris found themselves tied at 10 after the first eight minutes, and Morris led 17-15 at halftime before expanding its lead to 31-27 after three. Kaneland tied it in the fourth, but a game-winning shot attempt missed the mark and it was on to OT at 36 all.

Morris outscored Kaneland 9-2 in OT to win.

Coming up for varsity is a Friday, Jan. 21, contest against visting Sycamore.

Lady Knights take 4th at Oswego East

Photo: Nicki Ott, shown here in action in November, was key in helping the Lady Knights nab their best-ever finish at the Oswego East Holiday Tournament. File Photo

by Mike Slodki
OSWEGO—It wasn’t the ideal end, but Kaneland girls hoops earned its best finish ever at the Oswego East Holiday Classic.

While a third-round contest against the Andrew Thunderbolts wasn’t pretty on Dec. 29, the Lady Knights (8-9, 1-2 NIB-12) were assured at least a fourth-place nod in the Winter Classic Tournament at Oswego East High School. KHS fell to Downers Grove South on Thursday, 36-22.

Andrew played West Chicago on Thursday night for the championship and won the tournament final, 66-53.

In the 50-30 loss to Andrew, Kaneland was outscored 14-1 in the first frame and fell behind 28-11 at halftime before trailing 47-20 after the third quarter.

KHS was 11-for-41 from the field and 7-for-12 from the foul line. Freshman Marina Schaefer led the charge with six points and six boards. Emily Heimerdinger had four steals.

Against DGS, the Lady Knights got a three-pointer and another bucket from Andie Strang, a basket from Kelly Evers (eight points) and a shot from Tesa Alderman to go up 9-0 with 2:26 remaining in the first quarter. DGS scored the last four points of the first quarter, followed by the Lady Knights missing their next 14 shot attempts extending into the third frame. Kaneland’s 14:26 scoreless drought, coupled with DHS completing a 20-0 run, sent KHS reeling.

The scoring famine finally ended with a three-point play from Nicki Ott halfway through the third to make it 20-12.

In the fourth, Ott’s bucket with 3:56 to go cut the difficult lead to 24-20, but KHS could get no closer.

Also noteworthy was Downers Grove South‘s having 26 attempts at the foul line, compared with two for KHS.

“That didn’t really help,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “It was a nice start for us, and it looked like we were ready to play. Then they went to man (defense), they did a good job and were physical.”

The Lady Knights’ all-time mark at the Oswego East tourney is now 8-8.

KHS now hosts Yorkville on Friday, Jan. 7.

Lady KNIGHT LIFE
• The Kaneland High School sophomore girls are 14-1.
• KHS recently captured the Riverside-Brookfield Holiday Tourney,
winning the final on Dec. 30, against Rich Central, 37-23. Paced by
Brooke Harner’s 10 points, and seven each from Ashley Prost and
Alli Liss, Kaneland enjoyed its fourth and final win of the holidays.

KHS girls win first two at Oswego East

Photo: Emma Bradford deals with a Storm during Kaneland’s 59-55 opening win in Oswego East.
Photo by Ben Draper

OSWEGO—Throughout this 2010-11 season, Kaneland girls basketball has dropped hints that this was not the same team from last year.

As exhibited in the sixth annual Oswego East Winter Classic Tournament this holiday weekend, Kaneland dropped more than hints—it dropped the first two foes on the schedule.

With a 59-55 win on Monday over South Elgin, and a 64-52 upset win on Tuesday over Addison Trail (No. 2 seed), Kaneland was set to play either Andrew in the championship semifinal on Wednesday, Dec. 29, at 6:30 p.m.

The Lady Knights are now 8-7 with a 1-2 mark in Northern Illinois Big XII play.

Against the Storm, KHS and South Elgin were tied at 13 after one quarter, and the Lady Knights took a 28-22 lead at the halftime break. While the Storm closed within 41-37 after three, the Lady Knights were helped by a 10-for-10 fourth quarter at the foul line.

KHS was 16-for-21 from the charity stripe for the game and 20-for-52 from the field. Tesa Alderman had a team-high 12 points while Kelly Evers and Andie Strang had nine each. Emily Heimerdinger was six-for-six from the foul line in the final frame.

South Elgin’s Becca Smith had 26 in a losing effort.

Against Addison Trail on Tuesday morning, KHS shot an astounding 25-for-44 from the field and went 8-for-12 from the line. Strang scored 22 points, while Nicki Ott had 18. The fourth quarter, which began with Kaneland up 50-41, featured Strang with eight and Ott with 10 points.

The championship final is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 30, at 6:30 p.m.

6th OSWEGO EAST WINTER
WINTER Classic TOURNEY

1st-round matchups on Monday, Dec. 27
Addison Trail 46, Plainfield C. 23
Kaneland 59, S. Elgin 55
Andrew 52, Aurora Christian 25
Plainfield N. 40, Metea Valley 36
W. Chicago 58, Joliet Cent. 26
Lemont 55, Plainfield E. 45
Oswego E. 51, Aurora Central Catholic 41
Downers Grove S. 49, E. Aurora 47

2nd-round matchups on Tuesday, Dec. 28
Kaneland 64, Addison Trail 52
Andrew 70, Plainfield North 66 (2OT)
West Chicago 53, Lemont 28
Downers Grove South 44, Oswego East 39
South Elgin 74, Plainfield Central 38
Metea Valley 41, Aurora Christian 26
Plainfield East 41, Joliet Central 38
East Aurora 48, Aurora Central Catholic 45

KHS girls hold off Sycamore, lose to Barbs

Photo: Lexee Guerra battles for possession during Kaneland’s 43-36 win on Friday evening in Sycamore. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Call it Rivalry Week.

The Lady Knights unit from Kaneland took to the court against familiar opponents in a new Northern Illinois Big XII setting, and split their two contests.

On Friday, KHS traveled to Sycamore and came away with a 43-36 win over the Spartans, while visiting DeKalb on Tuesday and falling 45-36.

With a 6-6 record and a 1-2 slate in NIB-12 action, the Lady Knights have already eclipsed their win total from the 2009-10 campaign in just 12 games.

Against their Spartan Trail foes, Kaneland was paced by post player Kelly Evers’ 10 points and Tesa Alderman’s nine points. KHS pulled down 32 boards, helped out by nine each from Evers and Nicki Ott. KHS was 15-for-57 from the field and 11-for-18 from the foul line.

Ashley Berlinski led Sycamore with 16 points.

A 9-8 lead at the end of the first frame grew to a 21-16 lead at the break before Sycamore closed within 31-28 after three.

With the score at 40-34, Andie Strang made three of four foul shots to ice matters.

The sophomores handled Sycamore in a 49-18 affair.

Against the Lady Barbs, Kaneland was 11-for-30 from the field and 12-for-20 from the charity stripe. Alderman was leading scorer with nine points, and also added four steals.

It was anything but smooth sailing for the Lady Knights, trailing from wire to wire and falling behind 17-5 at the end of the first eight minutes to a Lady Barbs outfit that has won 10 of its first 11.

DeKalb missed its first 10 shots and missed three foul shots, but continued its aggressive and physical play. Lexee Guerra layed a bucket in, followed shortly by an Alderman three to cut it to 17-10 with 5:25 left. DeKalb went on a 5-0 run to lead 24-10 at the break.

Things started picking up for the Lady Knights, as an Ott jumper from the top of the key, a basket by Evers and two free throws by Guerra closed Kaneland to within 29-22 before a Taylor White three-point attempt from beyond the half-court line went in at the buzzer, putting DHS up by 10.

“That didn’t help, that’s kind of how the game was going, but what can you do about that shot,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said.

The Lady Knights managed to cut it to 37-28 on an Emma Bradford basket with 4:38 to to, but the margin shrunk no further.

“We can’t struggle like that on offense in the first half. The other big thing (in the first half) was with three and a half minutes left we had them at six fouls, and we needed to get to the free throw line and stop the clock and we never got the seventh foul,” Colombe said.

The sophomore crew improved to 7-0 with a 40-23 win.

Kaneland’s next challenge is a NIB-12 crossover with the visiting Dixon Duchesses on Saturday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m.

Lady Knights hoops match last season’s win total

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Don’t look now, but the varsity Lady Knights basketball squad is showing measurable improvement from last year, with much of the same crew.

After a productive 3-2 showing at the Immaculate Conception Thanksgiving Tournament in Elmhurst, the Lady Knights have already matched their win total from a year ago at 5-4.

The busy Turkey Week festivities included a 69-31 blowout of Luther North on Nov. 23, followed by a 57-46 win over Elmwood Park on Nov. 24 . Kaneland was then edged by host IC in a 46-41 Friday affair. The gathering’s final matchup featured a 61-28 win over Plainfield South on Saturday afternoon.

On Tuesday night, Kaneland fell in a 53-48 skirmish to visiting East Aurora.

Against Chicago’s Luther North, Kaneland was up 20-3 after one quarter and 37-16 at the half before launching into a 53-25 lead after three.

KHS was 30-for-76 from the field, led by Nicki Ott, Kelly Evers and Tesa Alderman—all with 12 points.

Against former Suburban Prairie Conference mate Elmwood Park, Kaneland found itself trailing at halftime, 23-19, before taking a 40-35 lead after three and then extending the lead in the fourth.

The 38-point second-half effort was fueled by Kelly Evers’ 19-point, 15-rebound game. Ott had 10 points to complement the attack. KHS was 20-for-62 from the field and 14-for-24 from the foul line.

Against the IC opponents, also the Knights, Kaneland used crisp passes and aggressiveness to get opportunities in the field and at the line. Free throws by Emily Heimerdinger and Marina Schafer propelled KHS to a 10-9 lead after one frame.

Baskets by Alderman and Ott gave the Lady Knights a 19-11 lead with 5:31 left in the second quarter, but IC came back to score 10 straight. Ott then hit two free throws, and after IC hit two foul shots of their own with just under a minute left, Ott scored again with 16.7 left to go into the break tied at 23.

The third quarter began hot for the Lady Knights thanks to an Andie Strang basket, and threes by McKinzie Mangers and Alderman. But with the lead at 31-23 with 2:21 left in the third, IC righted its ship and used three baskets to close within 31-30 at the end of the third.

An Emma Bradford foul shot with 3:51 left tied the game at 37 apiece, but Kaneland fell behind and watched the rival Knights hit eight of 13 foul shots to cement the win.

“They’re a good team and an experienced team, that’s varsity basketball. Leading by eight points in the third quarter is nothing, and the game’s not going to end that way. We made a few mistakes here and there but the girls are playing real hard,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said.

Smothering the PSHS Cougars was the key on Saturday, as the Lady Knights were paced by Evers’ 16 points and seven boards. Alderman had 13 points in the win.

Against the Lady Tomcats, Alderman had a team-high nine points, as the Lady Knights were 17-for-50 from the field.

The Lady Knights try to expand their good fortune when Northern Illinois Big XII play begins at Morris on Friday, Dec. 3.

Lady Knights (2-1) show grit in IMSA tourney

Photo: Knight Tesa Alderman converts on a steal and layup during Friday’s 46-37 triumph over host Aurora Christian during Hoop Happenings. Photo by Ben Draper

Thanksgiving Tournament Lady Knights at Immaculate Conception in Elmhurst on Friday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m.
by Mike Slodki
AURORA—Slow starts might not be ideal if you’re with Lady Knights basketball, they’ll live with it if it leaves room for mid-game rallies and competent fourth quarters.

Down 16-5 in the second quarter to host Aurora Christian on Friday night, the Lady Knights rallied to take the lead in the second quarter and cut down on mistakes in the second half to swipe a 46-37 result on Friday. At night three of the IMSA Hoop Happenings the next afternoon, Kaneland beat Earlville 62-34 to take the consolation championship.

The Lady Knights, under fifth-year coach Ernie Colombe, are 2-1 in the early outset of the season.

In the night two win over the Lady Eagles, Emily Heimerdinger had a game-high 17 points, followed by Tesa Alderman with six.

The Knights were 13-for-47 from the field and 19-for-29 from the free throw line.

Alderman, on the floor for stretches in which KHS was behind, rallying, and holding the lead, feels the formula for Friday’s win could be the way to go.

“Certain people got on fire and we worked as a team,” Alderman said. “Some of the drills we do in practice really help us in how to handle crunch time.”

After trailing 9-5 to AC at the end of the first frame, things got worse for Kaneland, as the Lady Eagles took their 16-5 lead with 3:17 to go in the half.

Heimerdinger hit two foul shots and a lay-up a minute later. Nicki Ott followed with a basket, and Heimerdinger hit two free throws to close within 16-13 with 1:23 remaining. After Alderman hit a free throw to close within two, Kelly Evers sunk both her foul shots to tie, and Alderman stole the ball and finished with a layup with 18.7 seconds to go to take a two-point lead. KHS eventually went into the break leading 18-17.

Up 26-24 in the third quarter, Lexie Guerra hit a layup, followed soon after by an Andie Strang shot to go up 30-25 with 1:48 to go in the frame. Heimerdinger hit a three-pointer with 1:04 left to go up 33-25, before AC scored the final five points of the quarter.

After an Emma Bradford putback with 7:08 to go in the game gave KHS a 35-30 lead, the Lady Eagles put two baskets and two foul shots together to go up 36-35 with 5:09 remaining.

Bradford then hit a shot to go ahead for good with 4:51 left, and Alderman hit a baseline jumper to go up 39-36 with 3:46 to play.

Heimerdinger, Strang and Alderman hit seven out of eight foul shot attempts to end the game up nine.

“The whole game you have to hit free throws, especially in the fourth quarter, and we took care of the ball. We didn’t turn it over too many times. There’s some stuff we want to clean up but we did a good job handling the ball,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said.

Facing Earlville in the consolation title game, Evers led the Lady Knights with 14 points while Cory Harrison had 12 points. Ott and Heimerdinger added eight points apiece.

Kaneland was 25-for-61 from the field and 12-for-23 from the charity stripe.

Kaneland stormed out to a 21-8 lead after one and was up 39-12 at the break before going up 52-23 after three.

Meanwhile, the sophomore crew has leapt out to a 2-0 start with a 36-35 Monday win over Geneva, led by Ashley Prost’s 11 points, and a 42-18 handling of Marengo. Prost led the balanced scoring column with nine points.

The Lady Knights try and improve on their early success with a matchup against Thanksgiving Tournament host Immaculate Conception in Elmhurst on Friday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m.

No rest for Lady Knights hoops

Colombe’s crew uses summer to its advantage
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—With a tough exit for the Lady Knights basketball squad nearly five months ago, Kaneland isn’t worrying about what might have been.

Instead, through Summer League girls basketball action at the Vaughan Athletic Center in Aurora, KHS is active at improving its fortunes for the future.

On Tuesday, Kaneland beat Plainfield East by a final of 34-28, which improved its record to 8-1 on the summer season.

Kaneland has both varsity and JV play during the summer, with most games scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The nine-team league also features West Aurora, Plano, Sandwich, Aurora Christian, Hinckley-Big Rock, Oswego East and Rosary, along with Plainfield East.

KHS coach Ernie Colombe continues to work, and is pleased with the Lady Knights’ summer output.

“Emily Heimerdiner and Andie Strang led a balanced attack,” Colombe said. “We have been getting key contributions from several players.”

Colombe singled out Heimerdinger, Strang, Tesa Alderman and Nicki Ott as players leading the way offensively, and returnees Kris Bowen and Katie Taylor as sparkplugs defensively.

“Kelly Evers has really improved and has been progressing throughout the summer. She is leading our team in blocked shots and rebounding. Emma Bradford has also stepped up her game on both ends of the floor and is finishing well for us,” Colombe said.

Kaneland lost only one senior to graduation after 2009-10, that being Mallory Carlson.

The Lady Knights face Hinckley-Big Rock at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 1, for their next challenge.

Lady Knights eliminated by Rochelle in 3A opener

by Mike Slodki
There will be no repeating playoff opener success for Kaneland girls basketball in 2010.

Last year, the Lady Knights beat IMSA in an opening round duel in Maple Park before being eliminated by Hampshire.

This past Monday saw Kaneland be eliminated by the 3A regional host Lady Hubs of Rochelle by a 63-35 final.

The Lady Knights also lost at Sycamore on Friday, 62-52 and to Marengo 49-46 on Saturday, closing out regular season action.

Rochelle, the third-seeded outfit, was set to face (2) DeKalb on Wednesday, while (5) Sycamore, which upset (4) Burlington Central on Monday, was scheduled to meet the top-seeded Hampshire Lady Whip-purs in the other semifinal.

Rochelle improved to 18-10 (7-7 Western Sun Conference), and Kaneland finished its slate at 5-23 (0-14 WSC). Kaneland finished 8-18 a year ago.

Eleven different Lady Knights found the scoring column, led by Kelly Evers’ seven points.

Seventeen seconds into the game, Nicki Ott drained a shot for the first basket of the game until Rochelle senior Olivia Caron hit two quick three-pointers. Departing senior Mallory Carlson hit a shot with 4:33 to go in the frame to close within 9-4, but Rochelle scored seven in a row to close the quarter out.

The Lady Hubs then continued their 19-0 run into the second quarter until a Tesa Alderman basket with 2:43 to go in the half made it 28-6 and continued a 7-0 run by KHS.

Kaneland recovered somewhat from their 10-minute scoring drought and trailed 31-13 at the break.

Rochelle led by as much as 36 points with three minutes to go in the third. Evers’ basket with 53.8 seconds to go marked the final points of the season.

“We just didn’t play well, no excuses,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We had nothing to lose; they played well, we didn’t.”

Against the host Lady Spartans, the Lady Knights fell behind early in their last ever WSC game 17-6 after one quarter.

Kaneland righted its ship somewhat and outscored Sycamore in the second quarter by one point, going to halftime trailing 29-19.

The Lady Knights were behind 46-37 at the end of three before Sycamore outscored KHS 16-15 in the fourth.

Kaneland had three girls in double figures, led by Carlson with 13 points, followed by Kylie Siebert with 11 and Emily Heimerdinger with 10.

The Lady Knights were 15-for-25 from the foul line.

On Saturday against the visiting Lady Indians, Kaneland was led by Nicki Ott’s 14 points (4-for-4 FT) and Heimerdinger’s 10.

KHS was 19-for-62 from the field.

The two squads were deadlocked at 13 after one, with Marengo taking a 23-22 lead at the break.

KHS snuck ahead 34-32 at the end of the third quarter before Marengo’s Taylor Berman (19 points) hit three three-pointers and went 4-for-6 from the charity stripe in the fourth to key a 17-12 fourth quarter.

Other girls competition had Batavia beating the Kaneland freshmen “A” squad 33-31 on Wednesday, Feb. 10. The sophomores lost to Marengo 50-29 on Saturday, but beat Sycamore on Thursday, 32-21.

Lady Knights fall to GS, Batavia in WSC meetings

by Mike Slodki
If only the Lady Knights could capture how prolific guard Andie Strang was in the first quarter of Friday’s contest at Glenbard South, and duplicate it for everyone game-long.

The junior connected on her first four shots and scored the first nine points for KHS in a tight first quarter, but the GS offense and rebounding took hold of the game and it resulted in a 61-32 setback for Kaneland.

KHS also suffered a 46-22 loss to visiting Batavia on Tuesday night.

The Lady Knights are now 5-15 with an 0-8 record in Western Sun Conference play.

Strang led the way with 12 points followed by Mallory Carlson with seven. KHS was 8-for-15 from the foul line and 10-for-31 from the field.

The clash started out well enough as Strang was responsible for the first nine points, including a three-pointer to go up 9-7 with 2:34 to go. After the Raiders went up 11-9, two Kelly Evers free throws with 1:35 to go tied the score at 11. A Nicki Ott foul shot with 42 seconds to go closed within 14-12 before GS used two foul shots and an offensive putback to lead 18-12 after one.

Glenbard South then outscored the Lady Knights 21-12 in the second quarter to take a 39-24 lead. The third quarter’s tempo was slowed down, but still the Raiders went out to a 47-29 lead after three.

Kaneland’s night was hurt by putting up just eight points in the second half.

“We’re a young team and we’re kind of struggling, I’m sure (GS) made adjustments,” said KHS coach Ernie Colombe. “We did a decent job on defense until the shot went up, and then you get second, third and fourth chance shots and people are scrambling. That’s were we broke down.”

Against the Lady Bulldogs, Kaneland went out to a 9-6 lead before falling victim to a 21-3 second quarter. The Lady Knights trailed 41-17 after three. Carlson led the Kaneland lineup with six points.

KHS sees more WSC action its way with a Friday, Jan. 22 game vs. DeKalb.

Mckinzie Mangers file photo

Lady Knights come back vs. BC, lose to Batavia, Geneva

Lady Knights basketball looked like it was headed for more of the same at Burlington Central, but came out with an extraordinary win.

Using the strength of defense, rebounding and a stingy fourth quarter on Saturday, Kaneland beat the Lady Rockets by a final of 42-38.

The result sat much better than Friday night’s 43-16 loss at Batavia.

KHS also lost vs. visiting Geneva on Tuesday evening by a final of 71-18.

KHS is now 5-14 with an 0-7 record in Western Sun Conference play.

Against BC, Kaneland had 10 points from Nicki Ott and seven points and seven assists from Andie Strang. Strang also had the tough defensive task of guarding Taylor Colby.

Mallory Carlson had five points and 10 boards.

KHS had a 6-3 lead after one quarter and 19-13 going into the halftime break. Burlington Central turned it into overdrive out of the locker room and outscored the Lady Knights 19-6 in the third to lead Kaneland 32-25. Kaneland came back with defense in the final frame and outscored BC 17-6 to get the four-point nod.

On Friday in Batavia, KHS fell victim to cold shooting and missed its first 15 shots en route to a 43-16 loss.

Against Geneva, the Lady Knights went just 4-for-30 from the field and 10-for-18 from the foul line. In the two most recent contests, Kaneland lost to Geneva 139-43.

Saturday also saw the sophomores lose a 34-21 battle to BC. Friday had the sophomores drop a 38-15 decision to Batavia.

Up next for the Lady Knights in varsity play is a road jaunt to Glen Ellyn, Ill. to face Glenbard South for the final time on their home floor as conference rivals. The game is set for Friday, Jan. 15, at 5:30 p.m.

Photo: Kaneland’s Mallory Carlson is quickly enveloped by three Lady Vikings during Tuesday’s convincing loss to Geneva. Photo by Ben Draper

Lady Knights start 1-2 in Oswego East Holiday Classic

Girls nab win over Joliet, lose to OE and Plainfield C. at tourney
by Mike Slodki
OSWEGO—Kaneland girls basketball got off to a less than desirable start to its first-round matchup, and thus the Oswego East Holiday Classic, but found a win vs. Joliet on Monday before losing to Plainfield Central on Tuesday.

Spotting the host Wolves a 13-2 lead after the first eight minutes, Kaneland closed the dam and played with OE evenly before succumbing 43-31 on Saturday evening.

Overall, the Lady Knights (3-11, 0-5 Western Sun Conference) went 10-for-37 from the field and 10-for-21 from the foul line.

For the Lady Knights, Emily Heimerdinger and Mallory Carlson had eight points apiece to pace the effort, with Heimerdinger adding five steals.

Area standout Jordan Jackson led the host Wolves with 14 points.

Oswego East took what the first quarter had to offer with a 13-2 lead after the first frame. A Nicki Ott basket with 3:47 to go closed within 8-2, but the Lady Knights went 1-for-9 from the field, while OE had its passing game working well.

A Kelly Evers putback and a Strang basket made it 16-9 with 4:31 to go in the half. An Ott bucket with 3:48 to get within 16-11, but OE went on a 6-1 run to close the frame.

The Lady Knights got their bearing in the third and with a Tesa Alderman foul shot, cut it to 24-18 with 5:54 remaining. Oswego East converted on its opportunities in the quarter and extended its lead to 34-22 by the end of the frame.

In the second round matchup, KHS beat the Joliet Steelwomen 56-34 on Monday evening.

Andie Strang (13 points), Nicki Ott (10), Heimerdinger (11) and Carlson (11) supplied double-figure scoring for the Lady Knights.

Kaneland went 23-for-64 from the field and 7-for-20 from the foul line.

The Lady Knights hit three out of four shots and used three free throws to go on a 7-0 run and make it 38-31 with 4:12 to go, but could get no closer.

“We’ll play well, and then switch it off and not play well for four or five minutes,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe. “Our goal is trying to extend those good periods longer and longer. We need to try and turn a four-minute good stretch into a six-minute good stretch.”

Kaneland lost its third round matchup by a final of 45-37, having difficulty with shots against PC’s 1-2-2 zone. The Lady Knights were 14-for-58 from the field and 0-for-15 from the three-point arc.

Kelly Evers supplied a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards.

After their final game at the Oswego East Holiday Classic, the girls go to Geneva on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2010.

Photo: Emma Bradford (32) tries a layup during Monday evening’s 56-34 handling of Joliet at the Oswego East Holiday Classic. Photo by Ben Draper

Lady Knights victim of poor shooting against Yorkville

by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—Kaneland girls basketball had a tough task ahead of it on Friday night in Maple Park with an improved Yorkville squad.

The fact that the Lady Knights went 17-for-52 from the field didn’t help matters, either.

A tough shooting night that saw Kaneland make just four of 23 shot attempts in the first half and all seven foul shot attempts paved the way for a 49-40 loss to the visiting Lady Foxes.

KHS drops to 2-9 on the season and 0-4 in Western Sun Conference play.

“You’re not going to beat many teams when you’re (4-for-23) to start,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “Against Rochelle we were 5-for-31 in the first half. We’re not going to beat anybody shooting the ball like that, and that’s where it starts. We played hard all night, and we did a good job on defense, but some of the shots we missed were two-foot shots and point-blank shots at the basket, so we have to do a better job at that.”

Lone senior Mallory Carlson had a productive night with a game-high 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting.

A Nicki Ott basket with 13.9 seconds to go in the first quarter closed the deficit to 7-4.

Life got more difficult for the Lady Knights in the second quarter. Kelly Evers and Emma Bradford supplied the only field goals, and Yorkville increased its lead to 19-9 by the end of the first half.

Down 25-11 in the second quarter, Kaneland made a run and hit five consecutive shots, thanks to Carlson, Emily Heimerdinger and Tesa Alderman, to close within 28-20 with 4:20 to go.

After the Lady Foxes went back out to a 34-22 lead with 1:54 left, Carlson made good on a putback, Bradford put back Carlson’s ensuing foul shot attempt, and Bradford then converted a three-point play to close within 34-29 as the teams went into the final quarter.

A Carlson free throw 71 seconds into the fourth quarter closed within 34-30, but the Lady Knights would get no further as Yorkville upped its tempo and went out to a 46-36 lead. They’d hold Kaneland at bay for the duration.

The varsity troops take an extended break until picking up the action on Saturday, Dec. 26, at the usual Oswego East Holiday Classic stop. The Lady Knights’ first contest will be the host Lady Wolves at 6:30 p.m.

Rosary beats Lady Knights in hoops opener

by Mike Slodki
AURORA—A fast start for one team usually means doom for another.

In that case, it was the Kaneland girls hoops team that was the victim on Tuesday evening.

The Lady Knights fell behind 21-4 after the first eight minutes en route to a 50-32 setback to host Rosary.

Kaneland, winless in season openers since 2005, fell to 0-1.

For KHS, Nicki Ott led the team with eight points, followed by Tesa Alderman with seven.

The Lady Knights were 15-for-45 from the field and 2-for-9 from the foul line. Rosary’s Jordan Rettig had a game-high 11 points.

“We had a chance to add them to our schedule,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “If you play a good team like that, it’ll make you better.”

Despite an Ott basket with 5:47 to go in the first to make it 8-4, Rosary went on a 13-0 run to close the quarter.

McKinzie Mangers’ bucket with 34.6 ticks left in the half put the Lady Knights in double figures at 28-11.

Alderman and Mangers came up with three consecutive steals in the fourth for a nice flurry, and Kaneland closed the deficit to 18 by the game’s end.

“I thought we were really tentative in the first half and came out a little nervous. I was happy in terms of the way we battled,” Colombe said.

The sophomores lost to the Royals by a final of 30-25.

The varsity troops try and best host East Aurora on Thursday, Nov. 19.

Photo: Lady Knight Trinae Coachman goes up for a bucket during the first quarter of Kaneland’s 50-32 loss at Rosary. Coachman pulled down five boards in the loss. Photo by Ben Draper

Lady Knights look to steady core in 09-10

by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—Look beneath the surface if you’re worried about Kaneland girls basketball in 2009-10.

While the Lady Knights finished 8-19 a year ago, with a 3-11 mark in Western Sun Conference play, they did manage a playoff victory for the first time since 2005.

In addition, even though Kaneland lost seven seniors to graduation, the team returns a core of players that saw quality minutes in the starting lineup.

“We definitely lost a lot in terms of graduation,” fourth-year coach Ernie Colombe said. “We are fortunate that we do have Andie Strang, Mallory Carlson, Emily Heimerdinger and Kelly Evers back. Emily and Andie were in our rotation the entire season and gained valuable experience.”

With Strang and Heimerdinger looking forward to bigger roles, Carlson and Evers look to join them in creating a nucleus.

“Mallory knows that she has to step up this season, and we feel like she can do that. Kelly played on the sophomore (team) and the varsity at the end of the year, and we think they’ve all improved,” Colombe said.

New additions to the varsity roster primed for contribution are Nicki Ott, Emma Bradford, Tesa Alderman and Trinae Coachman.

Also making up the Lady Knights roster is Kris Bowen, Tatiana Brown, McKinzie Mangers and Jessica Stouffer.

All will need to subscribe to a “zero-tolerance” policy when it comes to turnovers, a stat that plagued the team a year ago.

“Turnovers really did hurt us last season. We know that we have a young team and we have to be patient in some aspects this season. We are emphasizing taking care of the basketball and knowing what a good pass and a good shot is,” Colombe said.

Working on that aspect will go a long way to adding success to the roster.

“The biggest positive we have right now is that we really have a group of kids that enjoy being around each other and want to work together to get better,” Colombe said.

With the end of this coming season brings the end of the WSC, Colombe said that focusing on the present will help in the future.

“We believe playing in this conference will prepare us well for the move to the new conference. There are no easy games, and the new conference will be tough night-in and night-out,” he said.

The girls began their season on Tuesday in Aurora against Rosary.