Tag Archives: Ryan Blake

KHS honor roll 2009

High Honor Roll
9th grade
Upashruti Agrawal, Lauren Allen, Abby Bend, Brianna Brehm, Taylor Buri, Lauren Companiott, Brian Edwards, Eric Eichelberger, Kelly Evers, Tyler Fabrizius, Jacob Ginther, Kristen Glover, Noelle Goodine, Kelsey Gould, Adam Grams, Malory Groen, Courtnie Holland, Christina Janes, Nicole Ketza, Thomas King, Benjamin Kovalick, Stelios Lekkas, Austin McElderry, Anna Novotny, Athanasios Pesmajoglou, Drew Peters, Alexa Reger, Nathan Rehkopf, Karyn Ribbens, Kayla Rivera, Nicholas Rodriguez, Stephanie Rosenwinkel, Maria Rossi, Margaret Ruppel, Alejandra Salinas, Connor Sandquist, Melissa Schmidt, Dana Schultz, Ashley Shearer, Kylie Siebert, Ashlyn Slamans, Molly Speckman, Anthony Sperando, Brandon Stahl, Trevor Storck, Katherine Taylor, Mackenzie Theisen, Valerie Tockstein, Catherine Tolan, Kalani Tovar, Delani Vest, Marissa Villafuerte, Mercedes Walper, Nicholas Wielgos, Isaac Williams, Anders Winquist-Bailey, Elliot Witt
10th grade
Priscilla Aguilar, Grant Alef, Taylor Andrews, Stephanie Breen, Jocelyn Cabral, Elaine Cannell, Cory Clausen, Jessica Corbett, Emily Darrow, Lacey Eberle, Caitlin Ellefsen, Collin Ellingwood, Ariana Espino, Amy Fabrizius, Brock Feece, Drew French, Danielle Frost, Allison Grossmann, Emily Heimerdinger, Amanda Helfers, Guillermo Hernandez, Andrew Hladilek, Lindsay Jurcenko, Joseph Kenkel, Jordan Krawczyk, Amanda Lamp, Corey Landers, Alexandra Leonhard, Christian Limbo, Jessica Lubic, Bernice Marsala, Katie Meuer, Danielle Micek, Abby Michels, Richard Miller, Sarah Morgan, Brian Olson, Nicole Ott, Keara Palpant, Brooke Patterson, Karissa Pitstick, Amber Platt, Alyson Rehr, Mackenzie Rich, Alicia Robinson, Linnea Scherer, Joshua Schuberg, Hannah Schuppner, Elizabeth Smith, Andrea Strang, Danielle Thomas, Holly Thomas, Brooke Thompson, Samantha Vazquez, Samantha Wantuch, Breanna White, Amanda Whiteside, Thomas Whittaker, Michael Wille, Caitlyn Young, Cara Zagel
11th grade
Jenna Bartel, Andrea Bruce, Danilo Bruno, Scott Burgholzer, Derek Bus, Emily Butts, Kristyn Chapman, Megan Cline, Stephen Colombe, Lindsey Dodis, Eric Dratnol, David Dudzinski, Joseph Garlinsky, Lily Garrison, Megan Gil, Trever Grimoldby, Tara Groen, Rebecca Hauge, Kevhlub Her, Joseph Herzer, Kevin Hodge, Katlin Howard, Angela Humphrey, Amy Husk, Haley Johnson, Samantha Johnson, Elizabeth Kennedy, Brett Ketza, Kevin Krasinski, Taylor Krause, Micaela Lane, Kelsey Lenhardt, Logan Markuson, Melanie Mazuc, Vincent Micek, Alexandra Morefield, Brianne Myers, Joss Nicholson, Zachary Nolte, Alyse Olson, Tara Olson, Kasey Ostarello, Kylen Pattermann, Justin Phillips, Lisa Roberson, Chelsea Roberts, Michelle Rodgers, Danielle Rose, Paula Ross, Patrick Ruffolo, Kelly Shaw, Nikki Smith, George Spirakis, Natalie Swieca, Kevin Szatkowski, Edgardo Valle, Elizabeth Webb
12th grade
Angelica Acosta, Emma Anderson, Kimberly Anderson, Daniel Arnold, Jessica Arnold, Lindsay Bartel, Kathryn Bergman, Ryan Blake, Emily Curran, Kelly Davies, Stacey Davis, Margaret Dawe, Lindsay Douglas, Samantha Eichelberger, Matthew Galica, Ashley Girard, Lauren Gould, Caitlin Haag, Matthew Haffner, Erica Hankes, Erin Hanold, Sarah Harant, Samantha Hauser, Devin Mae Heath, Jordan Herra, Alexa Hill, Rebecca Holloman, Michael Jenny, Hayden Johnson, Leina Kameyama, Emily Kenkel, Casey Komel, Kathleen Kuhar, Angeline Tracy Limbo, Anna Limbrick, Curtis Lubic, Chassidy Mangers, Briana Minogue, Kathleen Moravcik, Evan Olson, Madeline Osman, Christopher Ott, Sarah Otterness, Perren Palpant, Kelaine Patterson, Jordan Pinkston, Emiliano Ponce, Michael Pritchard, Nicole Prusinski, Jacqueline Ream, Bryan Renaud, Brody Root, Anna Rossi, John Rotella, Kristen Rusnok, Kristen Sanecki, William Schaid, Meghan Schiber, Christine Schieve, Jeffrey Smith, Daniel Spence, Emily Tockstein, Zachary Tolan, Santiago Tovar, Cristofer Vargas, Yasintorn Wongwoottisaroch, Victoria Yurachek, Joanna Zielinski, Jennifer Zmrhal

Honor Roll
9th grade
Erin Arndt, Rebecca Arnold, Dhurata Azemi, Raymond Barry, Madison Bluml, Jordyn Boley, Zachary Brown, Acalia Cleaver, Andrew Correll, Ashley Cottier, Ashley Diddell, Alex Dorado, Zachary Douglas, Katelyn Dudzinski, Mitchell Gemini, Ariel Geraghty, Ryan Goodenough, John Goodrich, Matthew Grimm, Samantha Hansen, Samantha Heinle, Austin Henkelman, LaQuanda Hood, Seleana Isaacs, Jordan Jones, Sarah Kitz, Denitza Kolev, Ryan Kolk, Kelly Kovacic, Alec Krueger, Amber-Rose Lano, Cesar Lazcano, Ashton MacKenzie, Aracelli Magana, Jacob Mazuc, Nicholas McCarney, Kayley McPhee, Julianne Miller, Brendan Morgan, Amelia Napiorkowski, Diana Nuno, Konstantin Paraskevov, Austin Paulson, Sierra Perteete, Jordan Phillips, Edker Pope, Jari Ramos-Orbe, Sawyer Rego, Courtney Reiss, Josias Rodriguez, Angela Schramer, Grace Snyder, Erica Sorensen, Meggen Southern, Dalton Stewart, Michael Tattoni, Carolina Tovar, Amber Urich, Bryan Van Bogaert, Savannah Webb, Taylor White, Joshua Williams, Jordyn Withey, Maverick Wojciechowski, Erin Woodill
10th grade
Athina Ajazi, Yesenia Ayala, Kristina Bowen, Taylor Bradbury, Patrick Bratschun, Kayla Burns, Tyler Callaghan, Josiah Camiliere, Shaela Collins, Lauren Crites, Jonathon Delgado, Cali Dickerson, Andrea Dimmig Potts, Brian Dixon, Nicholas Dodis, Michelle Dugan, Tyler Esposito, Zachary Ganz, Angelica Garza, Damien Gilbert, Hayley Guyton , Michael Hammermeister, Megan Hanlon, Anna Henrichs, Elizabeth Hylland, Kelsey James, Kellie Johnson, Morgan Johnson, Allison Jones, Pamela Katsigiannis, Dylan Keith, Maria Kernychny, Skyler King, John Kintz, Kristen Krajewski, Nathan Krauz, Cameron LeBlanc, Mark Merfeld, Kaitlin Munyon, Joshua Nahley, Derek Nordine, Angela Parillo, Angelica Perez, Jimmy Ramirez, Stewart Ream, Kendall Renaud, Keith Runde, Colleen Ryan, Nicole Rymarz, Curtis Secrest, Briana Stark, Charlene Steininger, Bethany Swartz, Robert Thorson, Erich Turk, Alexander Vallejo, Logan Vines, Christian Williams, Ryan Wozniak, Robert Zachara, Kelsey Zollinger
11th grade
Danielle Anderson, Randi Bader, Ryley Bailey, Brittany Bauer, Robert Bergstrom, Chloe Bluml, Dennis Brettman, Edgar Celaya, Jaclyn Diehl, Scott Dienst, Brock Dyer, Andrew Eberle, Olivia Fabrizius, Angela Filippin, Kalina Flamand, Sabrina Gabriele, Lauren Gallucci, Colleen Gebauer, Jeffrey Gillett, Dylan Good, Tyler Hamer, Aaron Hayman, Matthew Ikemire, Jaclyn Isham, Lindsay Kahl, Tessa Kuipers, Caitlin Larson, Brandie Mattice, Jessica McHenry, Donald McLennan, Thomas Orr, Sean Paulick, Brenda Petersen, Izatmar Quiroz, Jordan Rego, Matthew Reusche, Connor Risch, Erin Rocha, Erin Rodway, John Scholl, Alyssa Snyder, Bradley Staker, Daniel Steinmiller, Cody Stults, James Tarchala, Benjamin Tennant, Kayla Thompson, Jacob Tickle, Xavier Torres-Valdovinos, Abigayle VanDerHeyden, Katie Walton, Nicholas Zimmer
12th grade
Cecelia Anderson, Jacob Astin, Garrett Austin, Kathryn Banbury, Joshua Bloome, John Brennan, Michael Chavez, Paul Davies, Laney Deligianis, Samantha Dixon, Alycia Donais, Kevin Durrenberger, Kelsey Fletcher, Alyssa Galvan, Eric Geiger, Lindsay Gierke, Mallory Gigl, Sally Gorenz, Kristen Hamer, Laura Hansen, Kathryn Hatch, Adrian Hernandez, Erin Heyob, Amanda Hilton, Mallory Huml, Brianna Hurst, Sonja Isaacs, Jenna Ivkovich, Krista Johnson, Lydia King, William King, Christopher Kovacic, Meghan Krajewski, Robert Kuti, Nathan Lewis, Robert Locke, Dylan Luse, Grant Mooney, Brittany Nelson, Michael Nguyen, Alexandra Olson, Daniela Parra, Benjamin Paulus, Troy Pritchard, Scott Proctor, Frank Reyes, Leah Richards, Paige Rogers, Sara Rose, Luis Ruiz, Joseph Ruppel, Samantha Sills, Kyle Slamans, Joseph Spitzzeri, Zachary Stavinsky, Jessica Stebbins, Kyle Stryczek, Annelise Weiss, Rick White, Lauren Whittaker, Cassandra Wilson, Mariella Zavala, Dana Zimmer

KHS dropped by Hampshire in regional

by Mike Slodki
As much as the five-game winning streak a month ago represented good times, these last three games had the look of a hard-luck end.

Wednesday, March 4, saw Hampshire beat Kaneland for the second time this season, in a 47-38 result at the Burlington Central Regional in Class 3A. Wheaton Academy then went on to defeat the Whip-purs on Friday night in Rocket-land, 47-42 to capture the regional title.

Sharp-shooting Mike Pritchard provided boosts throughout the game for the Knights and kept them in the fight with a game-high 15 points. Christian Dillon had eight and Dave Dudzinski was kept to seven points in the season finale.

“Outside of Mike, we really had no offense,” KHS coach Dennis Hansen said. “He kept us in the game all night long.”

Last season saw Kaneland lose in a 56-55 regional skirmish with BC to end its season.

The Knights end at 13-13 (5-9 Western Sun Conference), which is a three-game improvement from a year ago.

Throughout the game, it was evident that Hampshire was going to be effective in shutting the inside game of the Knights. Kaneland was then forced to try outside shooting, but clanked its first four tries. A feed from Dudzinski to Dillon with 1:28 remaining in the first gave KHS an 8-7 lead until Hampshire’s basket with 56 seconds in the frame sent Kaneland down 9-8.

Pritchard came to life in the second quarter and accounted for all the points by the Knights. A field goal 25 seconds into the quarter gave Kaneland a 10-9 lead. Another jumpshot with 5:47 to go tied the score at 12-12, and a fadeaway gave Kaneland a 14-12 lead with 4:20 to go before Hampshire closed the half on a 6-0 run for an 18-14 deficit. A Pritchard three-pointer with 6:27 to go closed within 20-17, but a Steve Colombe shot and a Dillon basket off the glass were the only other field goals of the quarter. The Knights trailed 28-22 with eight minutes remaining.

Dealing with several six-point leads throughout the contest, a Hampshire trey made it 31-22 just 11 seconds into the frame. Pritchard’s additional three closed it to 31-25 with 7:05 to go. Brody Root’s bucket with 6:18 remaining closed within 31-27, but Hampshire held the Knights at bay, even extending the lead to 46-36 on two free throws with 29 seconds to go.

After the conclusion of the game, Kaneland said goodbye to seniors Chris Ott, Joe Spitzzeri, Lubic, Ryan Blake, Pritchard, Root and Dillon, all of whom saw valuable time on the floor in 2008-09.

“All seven are class acts,” Hansen said. “They’re good kids, they’ve got good work ethic, and they’ve been the heart and soul of our team all year.”

Knight boys make good on road trip; now 13-10

by Mike Slodki
Suddenly, the Knight boys basketball team is not one opposing teams want to face.

It couldn’t have come at a better time.

With a 57-45 non-conference win at Marmion Academy in Aurora on Saturday, and a 63-54 Western Sun Conference win at Sycamore, coach Dennis Hansen’s Knights are now 13-10, having won five in a row.
KHS is now 5-7 in conference play.

Sycamore fell to 8-13.

Against the Cadets, center weapon Dave Dudzinski scored 20 points, Brody Root added 14 and Ryley Bailey had 12 of his own.

The Knights trailed 8-7 after one quarter, but had a monster second quarter and outscored the Cadets 21-14 for a 28-22 halftime lead.

Kaneland increased its lead to 42-32 after three before closing it out.

Against the Spartans, Dudzinski had 26 points, which matched the game-high of Sycamore’s Michael Buckner. Christian Dillon added 14 of his own.

“We’re playing really well and just trying to get the ball to Christian and Dave,” Mike Pritchard said. “If they’re double-teamed, we’re making a lot of outside shots.”

Up 9-8 in the first quarter, Ryan Blake hit a three pointer with 1:05 remaining for a four-point edge. After the Spartans hit a bucket with 51.2 remaining, Root came back with the final basket of the frame with 38.3 to go for a 14-10 lead.

When Root hit another jumper 59 seconds into the second quarter for a 16-10 lead, Sycamore went on a 7-1 run to tie the score at 17 with 4:46 remaining. Dudzinski hit a shot in the lane and Curtis Lubic soon followed with a bucket to retake the lead at 21-17 with 3:47 to go. After Buckner hit a free throw with 1:53 to go, Dudzinski hit two more shots, the last with 6.1 seconds to go for a 25-18 halftime edge.

Two buckets by Dillon and one by Dudzinski increased the lead to 31-20 with 6:14 to go. With two baskets by Root, Kaneland earned its biggest lead of the night at 39-26 with 2:56 to go.

Dillon’s bucket with 1:26 to go in the frame made it 43-31 before Will Strack’s three-point play and a Buckner free throw closed the third-quarter scoring at 43-35.

Sycamore continued to fight back on its home floor, even cutting the deficit to 49-43 on a Strack three with 3:39 to go. Kaneland tempered the attack with a Dudzinski field goal and a Blake shot to add some breathing room at 53-43 with 2:53 to go.

Dillon, Root and Dudzinski all saw time at the foul line to add to the total before the final buzzer.

“We’re all pointing toward regionals right now,” Hansen said. “We just have to keep playing the way we’ve been playing. Tonight we played all man-to-man. It worked so well that we stayed with it.”

Only two more regular season contests are in the way before the Class 3A regionals start at Burlington Central, with Hampshire the Knights’ opponents.

KHS goes up against Geneva in Maple Park on Friday, Feb. 20.

Photo: Mike Pritchard directs a pass during Friday’s nine-point win at Sycamore. Photo by John DiDonna

Knight boys work over foes for 3 straight wins

by Mike Slodki
When the Knights basketball squad struggles, according to coach Dennis Hansen, they really struggle.

The same could be said when they stack wins, case in point this past week.

Kaneland saw its mark improve to 11-10 with a 4-7 record in Western Sun Conference play; this after taking care of host Yorkville on Friday in a 53-35 affair, and stumped Sycamore 68-50 at home on Saturday before hammering visiting Marengo on Tuesday 56-34.

“Our mental state was kind of bad before we started winning, but we started stepping up and executing a lot better,” Hansen said.

Against the Foxes, Dave Dudzinski had 15 points and Christian Dillon added nine. Kaneland’s victory came despite the Knights going just 13-for-27 from the free throw line.

Kaneland outscored YHS 12-7 in the first and maintained a 19-14 lead at the half. Kaneland ran roughshod on Yorkville in the third and led 32-17 at the end of the frame.

Dudzinski had a pivotal game vs. the Spartans as he poured in 28 points from the floor, while teammate Ryan Blake added 14.

KHS led 18-15 after the first quarter but trailed 29-26 at the half before turning it on the third quarter to go up 42-41. The Knights’ 26-9 fourth quarter sealed the deal.

Kaneland’s night against the visiting Indians started out with a flurry of baskets by Mike Pritchard and Dudzinski to go up 9-0 four minutes, 24 seconds into the contest.

The host offense found more paydirt with a basket from Dillon, two foul shots by Dudzinski and a three-pointer by Blake for a 16-2 lead with 1:48 remaining. The Knights led 16-6 after one quarter. Another trey by Blake increased the lead to 19-6 just 53 seconds into the next frame. Ryley Bailey’s three-point shot gave Kaneland its biggest lead of the half at 28-9 with 1:44 to go before the margin reached 30-12 at the end of the half.

Up 39-20 in the third quarter, Pritchard got a putback, Steve Colombe hit a three and Pritchard nailed the back-end of a trip to the foul line to go up 45-20 with 1:17 left in the third. KHS led 45-22 after the buzzer. The Knights went scoreless from 1:17 in the third until 3:52 in the fourth when Dudzinski hit a foul shot.

“I think we did what we had to do and played good, solid defense and just held onto it the whole game,” Hansen said on Tuesday.

While Dudzinski had a solid 15 points, he played just a little over half the game, allowing for needed rest, and passed the ball when needed after constant double-and-triple teaming.

“If they’re going to do that, I have confidence in these guys. We did what we had to do, spread the ball around and make shots,” Dudzinski said.

Eleven Knights reached the scoring column against the Indians.

The sophomores also defeated Marengo 44-37.

The Knights have their next challenge on Friday, Feb. 13, at Sycamore, and also travel to Aurora on Valentine’s Day to face Marmion Academy.

Loss to DeKalb drops boys hoops to .500

by Mike Slodki
DeKalb boys basketball is surging lately, and not even Kaneland could stand in their way on Friday night.

Kaneland fell victim to DeKalb’s defense and struggled to find its own offensive groove in the 50-37 loss.

DeKalb has gone on a tear after starting out 0-4 this season. They have now won nine contests in a row to improve to 11-6 (6-1 Western Sun Conference). Kaneland fell to 8-8 with a 2-5 mark in the Western Sun Conference.

For Kaneland, Dave Dudzinski had 13 points and Mike Pritchard added seven. Dudzinski’s post nemesis Jordan Threloff had a game-high 20.

“We took poor shots and didn’t make shots,” KHS coach Dennis Hansen said. “For the most part, we played pretty good defense, but then we got behind and we had to force the issue. DeKalb’s quick, and we needed to contain them.”

Kaneland’s evening began with seven of its first nine shots missing, but did gather four steals to keep DeKalb from extending its 8-4 lead after the first eight minutes.

A three-pointer by Ryan Blake and a baseline jumper by Chaon Denlinger closed to within 10-9 with 6:20 to go.

As the defensive battle continued, Dudzinski hit a jumper with 5:01 to go in the half to close within 15-11. Dudzinski’s three-point play and two foul shots by Pritchard chiseled into the Barbs’ lead at halftime, 19-16.

The third quarter went all Barbs as they outscored KHS 16-9 while setting the tone with their defense. DeKalb scored the first seven points of the quarter before Pritchard’s three with 5:11 left made it 26-19.

Kaneland fell behind 33-21 before Dudzinski’s two free throws with 59 seconds to go closed within 10. DeKalb led after three 35-25.

Ryley Bailey’s three-pointer with 5:26 to go made a game of it again at 35-31, but DeKalb’s 13-3 run, which concluded with a Threloff pair of foul shots with 1:02 left, cinched matters.

“When you struggle putting the ball in the basket and score 37 points, you can’t win,” Hansen said. Kaneland is now 0-8 when scoring under 50 points.

In sophomore action, the Knights dropped a 57-42 result to visiting DeKalb on Thursday.

Taylor Andrews had 11 points, and Omarr Maldonado and Zach Ringhouse had 10 each.

The Knights host Rochelle in a WSC clash on Friday, Jan. 30, at 7 p.m. and visit Hampshire at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31.

Photo: Christian Dillon tries driving past DeKalb force Jordan Threloff during Friday’s home loss to DeKalb. Photo by John DiDonna

Local residents recognized as students of the month

Kaneland High School students Ryan Blake (Residential/Commercial Electrician II), Robert Kuti (Small Engines I), Joseph Spitzzeri (Small Engines I), Zachary Born (Welding I), Brenton McCuan (Auto Technology I), Adam Ross (Auto Technology II), Ernest Baldwin (Welding I), Jesus Caltzontzin (Auto Technology I) and Curtis Lubic (PC Maintenance, Repair & Networking) have been recognized as “students of the month” by the Fox Valley Career Center.

To receive this honor, students are selected by their program instructors because they have demonstrated the ability to do excellent work and accomplish goals for their particular career training during the past month.

Boys hoops getting big performances

KHS follows loss at Batavia with wins over BC, Rochelle

by Mike Slodki

Knights boys basketball wants this to keep going.

Not the snow, but the conference and nonconference wins alike.

KHS came back on Tuesday night at Rochelle 64-59.

Kaneland also found momentum throughout a 65-51 win vs. Burlington Central on Saturday, after succumbing to Batavia on the road, 54-38.

The Knights saw their record improve to 8-6, with a 2-4 mark in the Western Sun Conference.

Christian Dillon came through at the home of the Hubs with 17 points, followed by Brody Root with 14, which included an 8-for-8 night from the line, and Dave Dudzinski had 13 on the night.

The Knights started off with a 17-13 lead after the first eight minutes, but fell behind 30-25 at halftime. Kaneland closed within 37-33 before the final fourth quarter rally.

Dave Dudzinski had 16 points against the Rockets, while Mike Pritchard had 11 and Ryan Blake had 10.

Matt McCurdy led BC with 13.

The Knights went with a slightly different lineup to start matters with Steve Colombe, Joe Spitzzeri, Chaon Denlinger, Brody Root and Dudzinski, and it yielded benefits.

“We had a lot of guys step up tonight,” KHS coach Dennis Hansen said. “We made some shots early and made the easy baskets.”

Burlington Central enjoyed an early 12-8 lead before Curtis Lubic nailed a shot with 51.7 seconds to go, cutting the lead to two.

The final sequence of the first frame had Lubic snare a steal and pull up for a successful three-pointer at the buzzer to go up 13-12 after one.

During a second quarter run, Dudzinski had a steal and six points which helped the Knights go up 26-19 with 4:40 to play in the half.

A shot by Christian DIllon and three consecutive buckets by Ryan Blake keyed a 9-0 run and a 35-19 lead with 2:47 to go before the Knights went into the locker room up 37-21.

The Knights increased their lead to 45-23 in the third quarter on a Denlinger lay-in with 2:06 remaining. Kaneland led 45-27 at the end of the third. The fourth quarter had Kaneland hitting seven out of eight shots down the stretch to cinch the win.

“We matched up well with Burlington Central,” Christian Dillon (6 points) said. “That second quarter was great and we really spread it out. Everyone got into the game.”

Against the formidable Bulldogs, Dudzinski had 19 points to lead Kaneland in a losing effort.

Batavia had an 11-8 lead after one and 24-22 after two. Kaneland fell victim to a third quarter that went 15-6 in Batavia’s favor before a 15-10 fourth quarter destroyed the Knights’ chances.

Lower class action had the sophomore boys lost a triple overtime game to Burlington Central on Saturday,79-73,falling to 2-10. Taylor Andrews led the Knights with 18 points, while Andrew O’Herron had 13.

On Friday night, Kaneland lost 50-23 to Batavia.

Rochelle handled the sophomores on Tuesday night, 38-31

Kaneland hopes to extend its winning ways on the varsity slate with a trip to Glenbard South on Friday, Jan. 16.

No Bull–Kaneland boys clash with Geneva at UC

Special setting fails to provide help in 58-39 loss vs. Vikings

by Mike Slodki

Add Dennis Hansen to the list of coaches that have patrolled the United Center sideline along with Phil Jackson and Vinny Del Negro.

Add Dave Dudzinski, Ryley Bailey, Ryan Blake and company to the list of players who have launched shots on the home floor of the Bulls.

Such was the case on New Year’s Eve on Madison St. as Kaneland and Geneva tipped off at 8:50 a.m. after introductions by p.a. announcer Tommy Edwards.

Unfortunately, the Knights fell short in the contest on an National Basketball Association floor, 58-39.

Kaneland got back on the winning track on Friday with a 61-48 win over visiting Yorkville, to raise its record to 6-5 and 1-3 in the Western Sun Conference.

Geneva was helped by Jeremy D’Amico’s 32 points, while Dudzinski had a team-high 15 points and 12 rebounds. Bailey had nine points.

Kaneland was behind 10-4 in the first quarter before a three pointer by Joe Spitzzeri with 20.5 ticks left to make it 10-7. D’Amico answered back with a trey of his own to go up 13-7 with 7.9 seconds left.

D’Amico hit three more long-range bombs to hurt the Knights, but Kaneland wouldn’t back away, as Dudzinski found more of a presence inside. He hit two baskets and a pair of foul shots to send Kaneland into the locker room down 31-19 at halftime.

Down 33-19 in the initial stage of the third frame, Kaneland charged back thanks to a basket and two free throws by Bailey, an offensive putback and a foul shot by Dudzinski and a shot by Brody Root. The flurry closed to within 34-30 with 2:21 to go, but Geneva used a trifecta and a steal to close the third on a 7-0 run and lead 41-30 after three.

“We made a few shots, got a few steals,” KHS coach Dennis Hansen said concerning the mini-run. “We made a run, but we missed a couple easy shots.”

Geneva then went on a 10-5 run to go up 51-35 with 4:13 to cinch it.

Geneva’s biggest lead was 21 which occurred with half a minute remaining.

It’s a unique experience for any player to play at the home of the Bulls, and Kaneland seemed to be no exception.

“Yeah, they had their eyes wide open sometimes after taking a look at the court, but we didn’t play as well as we could have or should have,” Hansen said. “But the kids were excited about the opportunity to come here.”

In sophomore action against Geneva on Tuesday, the Knights lost 72-32, despite 16 points by Taylor Andrews.

Against the Foxes on Saturday, KHS went out to a 15-5 lead and a 31-17 lead at halftime. Yorkville closed the deficit to 41-33 after three, but KHS held firm.

Dudzinski led the Knight attack with 14 points, while Bailey had 12 thanks to three treys. Mike Pritchard added 11.

In sophomore action, Yorkville took the prize, 50-41.

Knight boys hoops split first four

by Mike Slodki

            No turkey coma apparent for the Kaneland basketball team, judging by an above-average third place showing at the annual Strombom Tournament at Sycamore High School.

            The Thanksgiving tradition saw Kaneland defeat Machesney Park’s Harlem High School on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 84-69, but drop a 60-49 decision to tourney champ Dundee-Crown on Friday, before trouncing host Sycamore on Saturday evening 84-67.

            The Knights began Western Sun Conference action on Tuesday night, but fell to visiting Glenbard South 56-47.

            The Knight boys have a 2-2 (0-1 WSC) mark as they start out the latest campaign.

            Against the rival Spartans, Dave Dudzinski shored up the middle with  a team-high 20 points, while sharp-shooting Ryan Blake had 17 points. Christian Dillon had 16 and Ryley Bailey had 10 of his own.

            The effort was helped by Kaneland’s 12-for-13 performance at the line.

            Kaneland led the Spartans after the end of eight minutes 19-13, and maintain a 41-34 lead at halftime. The Knights had their most successful quarter offensively and led 67-56 after three.

            Previously, the Chargers of Dundee-Crown were primed and ready for the Knights even in a tight affair.

            D-C took an 18-15 lead after one and 35-28 lead at halftime. However, Kaneland used a 17-10 third quarter to tie the game at 44, but the Chargers’ 15-4 run encompassing the fourth quarter.

Dudzinski and Bailey had 12 points each to lead the team.

            The season opener saw Brody Root surprise the Huskies with 26 points, a game-high. Christian Dillon had 16 and Dudzinski added 12.

            “Brody had a very good offseason and it came to light tonight,” KHS coach Dennis Hansen said. “He made some pull-up jumpers and slashed to the basket.”

            Leading the Huskies 12-11, Harlem hit one free throw with 53.2 seconds left but Dudzinski’s successful shot with just under three ticks left gave the Knights a 14-12 lead after one.

            With Harlem clinging close to Kaneland 22-21, Kaneland extended its lead after a Blake three, a basket by Root and two foul shots by Root to go up 31-23.

            Dudzinski later connected on a tip-in to go up 38-31 with just under nine seconds to go before Harlem hit a three at the buzzer.

            The Knights caught on fire in the third quarter, thanks to a Root basket, a Dillon basket and a three by Steve Colombe in the baseline for a 52-36 lead with 2:24 remaining.

            Dudzinski’s two free throws with just over four ticks left gave Kaneland a 58-42 lead before a three-point play at the buzzer by Harlem.

            Kaneland’s 15-for-17 shooting performance from the foul line secured things, and two Bailey foul shots with 2:52 to go gave Kaneland its biggest lead at 75-51.

            Vs. The Raiders, Dudzinski had a game-high 20 points and Blake had 11 points on the strength of three treys.

            Glenbard South’s Jordan Harks has 18 points.

            The Raiders inched out to a 10-9 lead after one but KHS creeped ahead 25-22 at halftime. The score was deadlocked at 38-38 after three before the Raiders blazed an 18-9 trail to end the game in the fourth.

            This Friday, Dec. 5, the Knights travel to DeKalb for Western Sun Conference play.

KHS boys basketball ready to deal with season’s challenges

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Knights return 10 in effort to bounce back from 10-17 season

by Mike Slodki

            Beginning at the Strombom Tournament at Sycamore High School on Tuesday, Nov. 25, the first sight for opponents of Kaneland boys basketball will be the junior in the middle, Dave Dudzinski.

            But opponents will need to be on the lookout for the tenacity and shooting touch that led to victories against schools like Yorkville in overtime, a 29-point comeback at Geneva and a last-second regional win vs. Sandwich.

            With 10 returnees supplanting the loss of personnel like Nick Wagner and Kevin Green, Kaneland could be prime for significant improvement from last year’s 10-17 record (6-8 Western Sun Conference).

            Dudzinski averaged 12 points and seven rebounds a game as a center threat, and spent part of the summer in Orlando, Fla. as part of an AAU Nationals exhibition.

            “His sophomore year was good, and we expect even bigger things this year. We’re hoping we get a big year out of him,” third-year coach Dennis Hansen said on Tuesday.

            Seniors on the squad include Chris Ott at guard and guard Joe Spitzerri making his comeback from X-linked lymphoproliferative disease, an immune disorder. Other seniors include guard Curtis Lubic, guard Ryan Blake, forward Mike Pritchard, guard Brody Root and forward Christian Dillon.

            Juniors are guard Ryley Bailey, guard Donovan Williams, forward Steve Colombe, forward Sean Paulick, new addition junior Pat Fleming and Dudzinski.

            The lone sophomore on the squad is Chaon Denlinger.

            With rosters set a little over a week ago, Kaneland boys basketball is working on its game in the trenches.

            “So far, it’s been a lot of conditioning and defensive stuff. They’re familiar with what we do,” said Hansen, who has John Pavlak as assistant coach. “Biggest thing with this group is being consistent, which was a problem last year.”

            The players can put what they’ve learned and rehashed starting against Harlem High School of Machesney Park at the Thanksgiving tradition, the Strombom Tournament. Hansen looks for the experience to be useful.

            “I think so, it’s loaded with talented teams every year. It’ll have good solid ballclubs, and it’ll serve as a measuring stick,” Hansen said.

            Any early-season test to prove Kaneland’s mettle could send the Knights on their way to Western Sun success.

            “It seems to be wide open; Glenbard South and Batavia seem to have the advantage right now. Rochelle is a solid club. It’s wide open, and we hope to be there at the top,” Hansen said.

            The first slated conference battle is on Tuesday, Dec. 2, vs. Glenbard South, with the final regular season contest vs. Geneva on Friday, Feb. 20, 2009.