| 1999-2000 KANELAND
Review of the 1996-97 Kaneland Boys Basketball Season
Review of the 1997-98 Kaneland Boys Basketball Season
Review of the 1998-99 Kaneland Boys Basketball Season
Kaneland 104 Fox Valley Lutheran 20
To say that the regional game between Kaneland and Fox Valley Lutheran was a blow out would be a gross understatement. The Knights buried their opponents 104-20. Every active man on Kaneland's squad scored a basket.
In the first quarter alone the Knights had out scored the Falcons by 14 points. Kaneland held Fox Valley Lutheran to just 8 in the first period. After 16 minutes of play the Knights had racked up 51 points to the Falcon's 16. The Falcons wouldn't break into the 20's until later on in the third.
Usually after halftime both teams are ready to get out on the court and play some real ball. That however, was not the case with Fox Valley Lutheran. It was almost as if they had left during the mid game break. The Knights only allowed two buckets in the third while the boys in black went in and heaped another 28 points onto the already enormous score. Fox Valley had steadily gone from bad to worse.
By the time the fourth quarter came around the Falcons were ready to board the buses a period early. That might not have been such a bad idea because of the fact that they wouldn't score another point for the rest of the game. That didn't stop the Knights though. They just kept right on trucking. Even after coach Neahring took off the press, put the defense into zone and outlawed all three point attempts Kaneland still managed to add 25 more points the their gigantic score.
In the end Kaneland ended up taking home a regional win and advancing on to the next regional game.
Joe Montanez tore it up by receiving a double double. Joe had 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Knights to victory. Shawn Fuller sunk 7 two-pointers and 1 free throw and snatched up 6 rebounds while Pat Albrecht smashed in 14 points.
Kaneland 53 Elgin Academy 50
Yet another dramatic, nail-biter took place during Regionals, this time Kaneland was pitted against Elgin Academy. Fighting to go to the title bout, both teams came out hard. Both Kaneland and Elgin coveted the win and in the end Kaneland got what they came for.
Things were intense even before the tip off. Kaneland was given a technical for dunking during warm-ups, that event set the stage for a nerve torturing battle. When things finally got started neither team allowed the other to run away with the score. They managed to keep each other in check. At the end of one Kaneland held the edge over Elgin, 13-12.
The lead flip-flopped sides for most of the second quarter. It wasn't until the waning moments of the first half that Elgin started to pull away. They out scored the Knights, 10-7, which would give Elgin Academy a 2-point lead at the end of the first 16 minutes.
The Knights jumped started their offense by bringing in the bench. According to Coach Neahring that's what lifted the Knights to the lead during the third period. After three quarters of play the Knights once again held a 1-point lead over the Academy.
The fourth quarter would prove to be the most intense. Kaneland seemed to have the game in the bag with a 10-point lead with little more than 2 minutes left on the clock. As always, when things look like they're over, something big happens. Elgin caught fire and surged back into the game. Down by 6, with just seconds left, Elgin would throw up a swishing 3-pointer. Unfortunately for them, as the ball swished the final buzzer rang and the Knights won the ticket to the title bout.
The Knights high scorer would come off the bench and score 10 points. 9 of Scott Pitstick's points would come from down town, behind the arc. Bill McKeown stepped up and nailed in 9 points and pulled down 7 rebounds. Pat Albrecht also snatched up 7 rebounds while Shawn Fuller would help out in the point category by scoring 8.
Knights (13-12) advance to the regional Finals, Friday night at 7:30 in Hampshire against Burlington Central.
Regional Championship game
Burlington Central 66 Kaneland 48
Kaneland encountered a nasty case of de ja vous when they entered the humid air of the Hampshire High School gym. For the second year in a row they would be pitted against Burlington Central. This year's contest would not have the same ending though. The fairy tale was rewritten in favor of the Burlington Central Rockets. After a hard fought battle the Knights lost the bout 48-66.
The Knights had control for the first quarter. They led the Rockets 14-11 at the end of one. Kaneland would lose and win back the lead many times during the course of the second 8-minute period. They would at one time posses a 7-point lead, but that was short lived. At the end of two the Knights were down by 6.
Halftime would once again prove to be a rejuvenator for the Knights. Unfortunately they wouldn't have enough power to over take the lead. However, they would out score the Rockets 16-15. Snipping the lead to 5 the Knights still had a chance.
Moving into the fourth quarter Kaneland would try to make several small scoring runs. All of which would be rejected by converted turnovers obtained by the ripping Rockets. In the last few minutes of the final quarter Burlington would light yet another fuse and blast off taking the lead with them. The Knights would have to wait until next year to take a stab at Sectionals.
Shawn Fuller led Kaneland with 12 points and 5 rebounds. Bill McKeown came in a close second with 10 points and 5 rebounds while Wayne Shaw and Joe Montanez scored 9 and 8 points respectively. Montanez, just like Fuller and McKeown, yanked down 5 rebounds.
With the loss the Knights finshed the season at .500, 13-13.
'99-2000 Boys Basketball Schedule Day Date Opponent Time H /A Tuesday 11/23/99 Huntley 5:30 PM H Friday 11/26/99 Sophomore Tournament 11:30 AM H Saturday 11/27/99 Sophomore Tournament 11:30 AM H Friday 12/3/99 Sycamore 5:30 PM A Tuesday 12/7/99 Riverside Brookfield 5:30 PM H Friday 12/10/99 Ridgewood 5:30 PM A Tuesday 12/14/99 Elmwood Park 5:30 PM A Friday 12/17/99 Yorkville 5:30 PM H Monday 12/27/99 Plano Tournament
A Monday 12/27/99 Somonauk Tournament
A Tuesday 12/28/99 Plano tournament
A Tuesday 12/28/99 Somonauk Tournament
A Wednesday 12/29/99 Plano Tournament
A Wednesday 12/29/99 Somonauk Tournament
A Thursday 12/30/99 Somonauk Tournament
A Thursday 12/30/99 Plano Tournament
A Tuesday 1/4/00 Westmont 5:30 PM A Friday 1/7/00 Lemont 5:30 PM H Saturday 1/8/00 Marengo F/S/V 5:30 PM H Friday 1/14/00 Evergreen Park 5:30 PM A Tuesday 1/18/00 Burlington Central 5:30 PM H Friday 1/21/00 Sycamore 5:30 PM H Tuesday 1/25/00 Riverside Brookfield 5:30 PM A Friday 1/28/00 Ridgewood 5:30 PM H Friday 2/4/00 Yorkville 5:30 PM A Tuesday 2/8/00 Westmont 5:30 PM H Friday 2/11/00 Lemont 5:30 PM A Cancelled 2/12/00 Iroquois West IBCA Shootout 1:15 PM A Tuesday 2/15/00 Elmwood Park 5:30 PM H Friday 2/18/00 Evergreen Park 5:30 PM H Monday 2/21/00 IHSA Regionals Begin Tuesday 2/29/00 IHSA Sectonal Semifinals Begin Friday 3/3/00 IHSA Sectional Finals Tuesday 3/7/00 IHSA Super-Sectionals Friday 3/10/00 IHSA State Finals Begin
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Huntley 43 Kaneland 40
With 4 new starters, 10 juniors along with a sophomore to fill out their 14-man roster this year's Knights may not see a lot of wins early in the season. The young Knights learned that painful lesson as they dropped their season opener 43-40 to Huntley.
"We have 4 new starters and they are still learning their roles," said Kaneland coach Ken Neahring. "We will use a lot of combinations and experiment early on. It will take awhile to get the right combination and chemistry."
But it may have been Huntley's stifling, aggressive man-to-man defense that lead to the Knights low point output.
The game was close throughout and with 1:38 to play the score was tied at 37 apiece. But Huntley ran off 6 straight points at the end to home the victory.
The Knights out rebounded the Redskins 37-28. Mike Balensiefen paced the Knights with 11 points; Ryan Schrader added 10 and Shawn Fuller pitched in 6.
Sycamore 49 Kaneland 40
After waiting two weeks to play their next game the Kaneland Knights with just one game under their belts had to travel to Sycamore who was playing their fifth game. As a result the rusty Knights found themselves playing catchup all night and could not find a rhythm losing 49-40 to the Spartans.
Through the first half the game was close with Sycamore leading by two after one quarter and two again after the second. The Knights actually had the lead with 2 minutes to play in the half at 25-24, but that was 1) short lived and 2) the only time they led.
Trailing 30-28 going into the third quarter the Knights kept seeing the Spartan lead slowly increasing and by the start of the final quarter they trailed 40-35.
Both teams scored 5 points in the first 5 minutes of the fourth quarter but then the Knights shooting went dead as they finished the last three minutes never scoring again.
"I was a little disappointed," said Coach Ken Neahring. " But we did show some improvement. By the end of the year, I think we'll be a good Class A team".
The Knights now 0-2 had only one player in double figures. Shawn Fuller scored 10 points with Ryan Schrader and Pat Albrecht adding 7 more each. Point guard Schrader led the team in rebounding with 4.
Riverside-Brookfield 50 Kaneland 47
Kaneland's old basketball coach John Rutter came to town and left with a win in his pocket. The Knights tried disparately to earn their first win of the season, but the Bulldogs from Riverside-Brookfield proved to be to much in the end as they lost 50-47.
The Knights battled the Bulldogs tooth and nail in the first half with neither team taking charge. R-B led at half time 22-21. And the Knights led 35-34 after three quarters.
The Kaneland team team which is made up of mostly football players scored 1 touchdown in the first quarter for 7 points and two touchdowns in each of the second and third quarters for 14 points each. They scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter also, but missed the extra point attempts for 12 points. 7 TD's for 47 points.
The problem was as the Knights could only muster 12 points in the final period the Bulldogs got 16 accounting for the difference and win. Every game the Knights have played this year has come down to the last minute, but they have nothing to show for their efforts as they are 0-3 for the season.
Mike Balensiefen led the Knights with 15 points and Kaneland's lone 3-point shot. Al Griffen added 8 points and Billy McKeown and Shawn Fuller knocked in 6 apiece. In a telling stat the Knights had just 11 rebounds to R-B's 27! The Knights were also only 6-for-13 from the line, while their opponent was 13-18!
The sophomores also lost to R-B 45-42, despite out scoring the Bulldogs 19-7 in the final quarter. Michael Eck led the Knights with 11 points and had help from Joe Heyob with 10. David Schmitt had 6 points and Nate Hill 5. The Sophomore Knights are now 1-4.
Kaneland 35 Ridgewood 28
The Knights traveled to Ridgewood and found themselves in a defensive struggle. The Knights lead going into the fourth period 25-24, and held the home team to just 4-points in the final eight minutes to secure their first victory of the season 63-54.
Mike Balensiefen led the Knights with 11 points, including a three of four performance from the free-throw line and two 3-pointers.
Bill McKeown added eight points and Shawn Fuller scored 6 points and collected 6 rebounds.
The sophomores out lasted the home team 32-28 despite scoring just seven points in the last quarter. Nate Hill led the Knights with 12 points and Michael Eck added 9 more. With their first conference win under their belts the Sophomore Knights are now 2-4.
Kaneland 63 Elmwood Park 54
The Knights exploded for 23 third quarter points while holding Elmwood Park to just 4, accounting for their second straight win 63-54.
The Knights were down 17-14 after one and had dug a deep hole for themselves by half time trailing 30-23. But the big third quarter was the difference as EP out scored the Knights in all of the other three quarters.
Mike Balensiefen scored a career high 21 points and collected 5 rebounds to lead the Knights. Wayne Shaw added 13 more points and Al Griffin accounted for 10 more plus 6 boards.
The sophomores overcame a 19-9 first quarter deficit with a huge 20-4 second quarter and 15-4 third quarter to earn their second conference win in a row, 56-38 over Elmwood Park. 13 players scored for the Knights led by Joe Heyob with 12 points and David Schmitt with 11.
Kaneland 54 Yorkville 50
Kaneland overcame a big first quarter deficit to post its third consecutive SPC White victory over Yorkville 54-50. The Knights (3-3, 3-2) scored 20 points in the fourth quarter to secure the win.
"Game by game, I think I'm starting to see more positive things", Coach Ken Neahring said. "We're starting to handle situations a little better - whether we're behind, coming back, or being ahead and building the lead."
Yorkville jumped out to a 15-6 first quarter lead. Then clung to a 25-22 halftime advantage and led 36-34 entering the final period.
Senior guard Mike Balensiefen led the Knights with 19 points and had 5 rebounds. Kaneland out rebounded the Foxes 19-17 led by Shawn Fuller with 7. Fuller and junior Rob Bieritz scored 11 points apiece.
Bieritz took over for junior point guard Ryan Schrader who injured his ankle in the first quarter.
"We're shooting the ball a little bit better," Neahring said. "Both from the field and at the line. The last couple of games, we've stepped it up considerably."
The sophomores out lasted Yorkville for their third win in a row 38-29. The 4-4 (3-2 in the SPC) Knights led 21-12 after one and 27 -20 at half. Michael Eck lead all scorers with 15 points while David Schmitt and Nate Hill came up with 7 each. Josh Barks had 5 points for the Knights.
The Plano Christmas Tournament
Spring Valley Hall 48 Kaneland 30
Kaneland suffered a tough 48-30 loss to Spring Valley Hall in the first round of the 37th Annual Plano Christmas Classic. That wasn't the only thing they lost, starting senior Mike Balensiefen was taken out of the game for good with 4 minutes still to go in the first quarter. The final report on his injury was a separated shoulder. Things looked to be starting off on the wrong foot for the ill-fate Knights.
At the end of one all was not lost, they were only down by 1. During the second quarter things began to slip. Then after 16 minutes of play the Knights were down by 5. But they weren't out of the game by a long shot.
Both teams struggled throughout the third quarter. Kaneland only had one shot fall, which would be credited to Wayne Shaw. Fortunately for the Knights, Spring Valley couldn't buy a shot either, they only put in three buckets, so things were still close.
Last chance, last quarter, that was all the time the Knights had left to pull things together. Winning was still within shooting range. Unfortunately Spring Valley caught fire and out scored Kaneland 2 to 1. In the end the Knights got burned.
However, Shawn Fuller put in a good days work, he scored 7 points. Bill McKeown put his two cents in with 6 point and 6 rebounds. Al Griffin also helped out the team with his 5 points and 3 rebounds.
Kaneland 56 Hinkley-Big Rock 45
The boys were back in town. The Kaneland boys were back to winning again, rocking the Hinckley-Big Rock Royals 56-45 in game two of the Plano Christmas Classic.
According to the scoreboard this game looked be turning out like the one before. On the court however, the feeling was quite different. Shots were starting to fall and spirits were running high. At the end of one the Knights were up by 1 point. Things started looking even better at the end of the second quarter with the Knights leading Royals, 27-23.
After half time not much changed. Kaneland upped their score by one at the end of 3 with 1 quarter left to play. It didn't look like Hinckley-Big Rock had much of a chance. The Knights just kept blazing a trail to the basket. By the time the fourth quarter got rolling Kaneland was on fire. They were shooting 53%, putting in 23 of the 43 buckets attempted. At the final buzzer the Knights had snagged a 56-45 victory over the Hinckley Big Rock Royals.
Wayne Shaw was on a shooting frenzy. He sunk 9 of 15 scoring 19 points to lead the team in scoring. Coming in a close second was Bill McKeown who put in 14 points, while Ryan Schrader was incredible on both offense and defense scoring 9 points and tearing down 6 rebounds.
Kaneland 65 Somonauk 43
The Knights stomped the competition in game three of the Plano Christmas Classic. By shooting 58%, the Kaneland Knights couldn't help but trounce Somonauk. The Knights were 26-45 on the night, out scoring their opponents 65-43.
During the first quarter Kaneland made 7 of 11 shots, shooting 63%. At the end of the first 8 minutes the Knights lead Somonauk 19-6. Moving into the second, Somonauk stepped things up a bit matching the Knights shot for shot. At the end of two Kaneland still held a 7 point lead. Both teams were playing a strong game. But the Knights just seemed to be too much for their opponents.
Things seemed to be looking up for Somonauk. They were getting more shots and Grandgeorge was becoming a factor in the paint. Somonauk out scored the Knights 8-14 in the third. Later Somonauk would come with in 5, however, things wouldn't stay that way for long.
Bill McKeown caught fire with multiple assists from Ryan Schrader and the Knights went on a 23-8 scoring run in the fourth. That would prove to be the end for Somonauk. Kaneland captured their second win in arrow.
Leading the team in scoring was Bill McKeown who had a huge 19 points along with 9 rebounds. Wayne Shaw put in a great performance with 16 points. While Joe Montanez played a great game as well, he had 9 points coupled with 7 rebounds.
Mendota 53 Kaneland 47
It was the fourth and final game in the Plano Christmas Classic and the Kaneland Knights were ready to play. Coming off of two tournament wins, the Knights had high hopes for the final game.
Kaneland had the lead over Mendota with a score of 14-12. Their defense was great and the intensity was high.
After two quarters of play the gap between Kaneland and Mendota had not changed. They matched each other shot for shot, each team leaving the second 8 minutes having scored 8 points a piece. Balensiefen was back from his shoulder injury in the first game of the tournament, but he didn't see any time on the court. Coach Ken Neahring said, "It was my decision not to play him. I was afraid he would land wrong on the shoulder and be out for the season."
With or without Balensiefen after the third quarter the Knights had a 3-point lead. In fact the Knights had not lost the lead since tip off.
It seems as though games get more intense in the fourth quarter. This contest would be no exception. Both teams put up a fantastic fight. The Knights were looking good with a 3-point lead in the last few minutes of the game. Then the unthinkable occurred, a 4-point play.
An extreme rarity in basketball, the play started with a 3-pointer from the hands of Billy Corrigan. Fouled on the shot he went to the line. Kaneland watched in horror as Billy sank his free throw and sank the Knight's lead to none. With 3:47 left to play the Knights were down by one. Kaneland would never regain control. They went on to lose the close match 53-47.
Shawn Fuller did his best to keep the game close. He put in 10 points and snagged 6 rebounds. Joe Montanez did his part. He contributed another 10 points along with 3 rebounds. Bill McKeown finished the night with 9 points and 8 rebounds.
Sophomore Somonauk Tournament
In the first game of the Somonauk Sophomore Christmas Tournament, the first quarter served as a pretty good indicator for the Knights that this game would be a good one. Kaneland racked up 14 points while allowing Earlville 0 points in the opening period of play. The remainder of the game was a cake walk for the Knights. They captured the win 56-30. Joe Heyob lead the Knights with 12 points, while Travis Peterson came a very close second with 11.
The Sophomore Knights just couldn't get things together in the second game against Mendota. They trailed all four quarters to lose the contest 51-69. On the bright side however, Micheal Eck poured in a fantastic 18 points to lead Kaneland in scoring. David Schmitt also helped out the team by throwing in 9 points of his own.
Leading scores half way through the season are Mike Balensiefen with 10.9 points per game, followed by three guys scoring about the same - Wayne Shaw 7.5, Bill McKeown 7.3 and Shawn Fuller 6.9. Only Al Griffin is shooting over .500 at .538. Balensiefen has 12 - 3's, Schrader 6 and the rest of the team 2.
Fuller is averaging 6.5 rebounds per game, McKeown 4.3 and Ryan Schrader and Balensiefen are grabbing 3.1 boards a game. Schrader has 27 steals and Balensiefen 14. A bunch have 7. Schrader has 58 assists and no one else is close.
Westmont 64 Kaneland 59
Suiting up again, the Kaneland Knights faced Westmont in a heartbreaking battle. Kaneland got off to a good start. They weren't winning but they were only one point down. Wayne Shaw was looking good again and so was Senior Mike Balensiefen.
Going into the second things were looking tough for the Knights. Kaneland's shots were falling but not enough of them. Westmont out scored the Knights 16-11 in the end of the second quarter.
Things didn't prove to be much better in the third. Kaneland's Wayne Shaw was doing all he could to keep his team in the game. Shawn Fuller did his best to bang the boards. Although they both were doing their best, it just wasn't enough to keep Kaneland close.
Then in the fourth quarter when everyone had given up hope, the Knights rallied. Out of the blue the Knights caught fire, their shots weren't falling, they were raining. Kaneland out scored their opponents 20-15. Unfortunately their efforts would go without reward. Even though they fought hard, in the end it just wasn't enough. Westmont took the contest, 64-59.
On the bright side however, Wayne Shaw put on another outstanding show, he scored 18 points to lead the Knights in scoring. Mike Balensiefen wowed the crowed with 11 points and 7 rebounds. Another great game was played by Shawn Fuller who had 10 points and 7 rebounds on the night.
The Sophomore boys had a tough time against Westmont. Shots just wouldn't seem to fall. At halftime the Knights were down by 11 and by the end of the fourth the deficit had grown to 16. The Sophomores dropped the game 37-53. There was a three way tie for high scorer for the Knights. Nate Hill, Micheal Eck and Joe Heyob all scored 8 points apiece.
Lemont 42 Kaneland 26
Never count out the under dog. That is exactly what the Knights did in their game against the Lemont Injuns. Coach Ken Neahring summed it up when he said, "I think our kids felt, right from the start, that the Injuns weren't going to be very good." With that mind set Kaneland was handed a 42-26 loss from Lemont.
Right from the start the crowd could tell things weren't quite right. The Injuns jumped to an early lead in the first quarter and never let it go. At the end of the first quarter the Knights were down by 5.
Later, in the second quarter Kaneland still didn't seem to be sparking any fires. No one stepped up to get things done. Coach Neahring made another point when he said, "When kids are flat and they're not ready to play... you're going to struggle." That's exactly what was happening to the Knights.
All hope was not lost. The game was only half over, there was still two quarters left to play. An inspiring speech during halftime could set the boys ablaze. Things weren't over yet.
Unfortunately the Knights continued in a downward spiral ending the third period eight points behind a seemingly inferior opponent. The fourth quarter didn't prove to be any better. Kaneland ended the contest trailing by 16.
High scorer for the Knights was Bill McKeown with 5 point. Shawn Fuller added some help with 7 rebounds.
Starting the game off a little slow the
Sophomore squad would trail by 2 at the end of the first quarter. The would be
the first and last time the Knights would fall behind. Kaneland jumped into the
lead in the second and made their lead grew with each passing period. The
Knights topped Lemont 49-39 to move their record to 6-6. Micheal Eck led the
team with 17 while Joe Heyob dropped in 14.
Marengo 51 Kaneland 44
Up against a 10-3 team the Knights had their work cut out for them. Marengo's 6-foot-5 center started off in slow motion and the Knights kept things tight. According to Knights coach, Ken Neahring, they knew going into this game that they would have to contain center, Kevin Schifferer if they wanted a shot at winning.
Kaneland kept themselves in the game going into the second quarter. With the Knights only down by one both teams battled it out. One of the strategies the Knights had working against Schifferer was putting him into foul trouble early. Although they managed to rack up a few it wasn't enough to knock him out. By halftime the score was 26-24, the Knights were down by two with 16 minutes left to play. There was still time to take things over.
At the end of three brutal quarters the Kaneland boys were still only down by two. Schifferer was still in the game and as time went on he just kept getting hotter and hotter. One quarter left. The Knights had 8 minutes to get things going.
The game stayed agonizingly close to the very end. With 30 seconds remaining David Harvey put a jump shot in for Marengo and the Injuns were up by two. 10 seconds later Ryan Schrader looked to have the game tied when Schifferer swatted the short jumper. After Marengo took control of the ball they were intentionally fouled. Starnes went 2 for 2 and seconds later made it 4 for 4 from the line, and with that the game was over. The Knights put up a good fight but in the end their shots just didn't fall.
Tied for high scorer were Mike Balensiefen and Ryan Schrader with 10 points apiece. Schrader also added 4 rebounds to Bill McKeown's 5. In addition McKeown and Al Griffin put in 3 buckets each.
The Sophomores held the lead throughout the first half but it slipped away after halftime. Kaneland only scored 3 points in the third. The Knights lost the battle against Marengo 38-48. Nate Hill led the team with11 while Davie Schmitt added 6.
Evergreen Park 68 Kaneland 61
The sting of a loss is always worse when it comes in overtime. The Knights dropped a close one in Evergreen Park, 68-61. Kaneland led the way for most of the game against the Mustangs, but they just couldn't hold on to it in the end.
The Knights were only down by one coming out of the first quarter. Going into the second they looked good. Going out they looked even better. The Kaneland boys had made themselves a 5-point lead by halftime and it looked as though they would keep it. The only trouble they encountered was the Mustangs star guard, Mike Foster. He seemed to pop up in all the wrong places.
At the end of three quarters the Knights had retained a slim two point lead. Any lead at this point however, was a welcome one. The match got tougher as the minutes flew by and soon both teams found themselves at a stalemate. This game would go into overtime. Unfortunately the Knights saw Foster return from a sprained ankle. This event would prove costly for Kaneland. Foster put in 7 of Evergreen Park's 9 overtime points to top the Kaneland Knights 68-61.
On a high note however, Mike Balensiefen scored 14 points. Joe Montanez put in an amazing 13 points and 8 rebounds. Also tossing in their share of the points were Wayne Shaw and Bill McKeown with 7 apiece and Shawn Fuller with 6.
The first and last quaters would prove to be the best for the Sophomore Knights. They trailed by only 1 in the first. Unfortunately Evergreen Park made the margin of points between them quite a bit larger in the minutes to follow. The Knights did however, match the green monster bucket for bucket in the fourth. In the end Evergreen Park took home a 51-42 win over Kaneland. Nate Hill and Micheal Eck tied for high scorer with 12 points apiece.
Burlington Central 66 Kaneland 57
Kaneland boy's basketball was back in action, this time they would face off against the Burlington Central Rockets. The Knights would hold their own for 3 of 4 quarters. In the final minutes however, Kaneland would be held to just 8 points.
Kaneland kicked off the first period with a three-point lead. Wayne Shaw looked like he was going to have another stellar night. Things seemed to be getting off on the right foot. Kaneland was leading the sputtering rockets after the first period of play.
The Knights kept playing hardball and at the end of two the boys had widened the gap by two. The score was 35-30 and Kaneland was on track.
Shawn Fuller was having a great night hitting the boards, which seemed to fuel the Knights and keep them fired up. In the third period the Rockets out scored the Knights 15-14, but it wasn't enough to over take Kaneland.
Then the fourth quarter hit. The Central Rockets unloaded a bombshell. They went on to out score the Knights 21-8. This time the Knights didn't have enough to fend off the scoring onslaught. At the final buzzer the Rockets had stolen the game 66-57.
All was not lost though, Wayne Shaw put in a fantastic performance with 18 points. Next in line would be Bill McKeown with 10. Shawn Fuller snatched 7 rebounds and netted 6 points to round out the game.
Once again the Sophomores looked the best in the first and fourth quarters of their game vs. Burlingtion Central. The Knights led by two going into the second where the Rockets would take over. Down by 10 after three the Knights fought back. Their deficit did not decrease at all but to their credit it didn't get any larger either. Burlington Central nabbed the game 41-31. David Schmitt paced the Knights with 9 and Micheal Eck followed close behind with 8.
Sycamore 57 Kaneland 46
It's always tough to lose at home, but to lose at Pack the Place, on your own court, is a pill that's even harder to swallow. Sycamores offense was just too much for the Knights to stomach. Sycamore stole the contest 57-46.
Down by a mere three points at the end of the first quarter the Knights were still very much in the game. Unfortunately the Knights offense didn't catch fire in the second like the crowd had hoped. Instead of a three-point deficit Kaneland now had to over a come a nine-point lead by the Spartans.
In the third there was a glimmer of hope. The Knights matched the Sycamore Spartans bucket for bucket. Matching each bucket didn't allow Sycamore's lead to get any bigger but it didn't decrease it either. Kaneland would have to dig deep to pull this one off.
In the final minutes, down by nine, the Knights would have to play catch up. In the end Kaneland couldn't gather enough baskets to out score their pesky opponents. Sycamore handed the Knights a 57-46 defeat.
Scoring was spread evenly throughout the Kaneland line up. Wayne Shaw, Joe Montanez, Bill McKeown, and Shawn Fuller all had 8 points apiece. Montanez also pulled down 7 rebounds.
Kaneland 61 Riverside-Brookfield 52
Stand and deliver, that's what the Knights had to do and that's what they did. With Mike Balensiefen and Joe Montanez playing key roles on both offense and defense the Knights returned home victorious. Kaneland blew away rival Riverside Brookfield to pull their conference record to 4-7.
Out of the starting gate Kaneland was a bit sluggish. Riverside Brookfield took the first quarter 20-17. This contest however, was far from over. The Knight's rivals wouldn't take the game that easily.
Kaneland charged in and slugged their opponents with a 17-9 scoring surge in the second eight minutes of play. They were back in it, and they planned to stay there.
Riverside would slam back with a 13-7 run. That scoring spurt would put Kaneland's adversaries on top by one. A single point lead for Riverside Brookfield would merely fuel the Knights and send them into a roaring ball of fire. By the time the final buzzer had sounded and the scoring onslaught had ceased, the Kaneland Knights had trounced their long time rivals with a 20-10 scoring run. The Knights took the game 61-52.
There were two Knights shining especially bright during that competition. Mike Balensiefen who had 16 points, 6 of which came from the line and another 6 that came from behind the arch, and Joe Montanez who had 13 points, 9 of which came from down town. Both played substantial roles in the Knights victory.
After 8 minutes of play the Sophomores of Kaneland and Riverside Brookfield found themselves at a stalemate. At the end of two however, Riverside Brookfield swiped the lead and kept it for the rest of the game. The Knights lost the close contest 37-41. Kevin Probst and Ben Flanders tied for high scorer. They both contributed 8 points.
Kaneland 45 Ridgewood 39
Where did Ridgewood go? By the looks of things they didn't arrive until the second half. The Knights took control from tip off and kept hold of it for the entire game. Kaneland rocked Ridgewood 45-39 to post another win.
The first quarter was brutal for Kaneland's sleeping opponents. The Knights out scored them 12-5. Things continued to go Kaneland's way in the second period. Again the Knights out scored Ridgewood. This time it was 12-9. It would take a miracle to turn this game around.
A dark potion in the form of strong black coffee must have been brewing in Ridgewood's locker room during halftime. Those boys came out rip, roaring and ready to play. Time after time they blazed a trail to the basket. At the end of the third, Kaneland's adversaries had actually out scored them 15-9. Although they put together a good effort it still wasn't enough to steal the lead. The Knight's were still on top, 33-29.
Going into the fourth, Kaneland knew it still had to play some good ball to keep its lead. Ridgewood tried to make another scoring run but the Knights put a stop to that. At the final buzzer the scoreboard displayed another winning score for the Knights.
Joe Montanez took the reins and led the team in scoring with 12. Shawn Fuller also put in some hard work on both ends of the court scoring 7 points and snagging 9 rebounds. Along with Fuller, Bill McKeown was banging the boards pulling down 6.
It was a close one but a win none the less. The Sophomores pulled out another win by edging Ridgewood 54-51. The Knights led the entire game, but never by more than 6. Kaneland took home the win boosting their record to 7-11. Kaneland's scoring was led by Kevin Probst who had 14 points on the night. Tied for second would be Nate Hill and Joe Heyob with 6 apiece.
Kaneland 48 Yorkville 47
The Kaneland Knights put Yorkville back into their foxhole after a close 48-47 victory. From the tip off to the final buzzer, the entire game proved to be a tense nail biter.
Tied at 8 apiece after the first period of play both teams had their work cut out for them. The next eight minutes proved to be the same as the eight before it. Running neck and neck the Knights and the Foxes were knotted at 21 by halftime.
Finally in the third quarter Kaneland mustered up a strong push to the basket and pulled themselves up to lead Yorkville by 2. Those 2 points ended up being the deciding factor in final minutes of play.
The forth and final quarter would give even the strongest stomach an ulcer. The lead would change hands after every trip down the court before the Foxes would go on to out score the Knights 18-17. However it wouldn't be enough to overtake them. The Kaneland Knights took the close contest by one point.
High scorers for the triumphant Knights were Ryan Schrader with 11, Shawn Fuller with 9 and Wayne Shaw with 8. Fuller also pulled down 9 rebounds along with Joe Montanez who swiped an amazing 10 rebounds for the Knights.
The Sophomore Knights beat back the Yorkville Foxes 52-36. Yorkville would come within 4 points of Kaneland's lead but that would be as close as they would come. Adding that win to their record the Knights now stand at 8-11 for the season and 6-6 in conference. Micheal Eck sunk 17 points to help lead the Knights to another win. Joe Heyob also had a great game. He scored 13.
Westmont 72 Kaneland 59
The Westmont Sentinels roughed up the boys in silver at their last contest. The Knights were handed their 12th loss of the season after losing to Westmont 72-59.
During the first quarter it looked as if things weren't going too bad for the Knights. By the end of the first quarter they were only down by two.
Unfortunately during the second period Westmont started to pull away. While Kaneland didn't get as many shots in as in the first quarter, the Sentinels kept sinking shot after shot. By half time they were headed in a downward spiral. The Knights were down by 10 and they weren't bouncing back.
The third quarter looked much like the first. Westmont only out scored them by 3, but add that three points to all the others the Sentinels had accumulated the deficit for Kaneland would now be 13.
Going into the fourth quarter the Knights had to do something. In the end though, no matter what they did it wouldn't be enough to run away with the lead. Kaneland dropped the game 72-59.
There was a tie for high scorer. Scott Pitstick and Shawn Fuller would share the title by putting in 10 points apiece. Al Griffin came in a close second with 9, and Fuller and Joe Montanez would lead the team in rebounding swiping 5 each.
The Sophomore boys took on Westmont in a hard fought battle. The game was tied after the first quarter, then Westmont would go on to blast off in the third. Westmont took home a win after beating the Knights 49-40. Micheal Eck scored 10 points to lead the Knights in scoring. Kevin Probst and Ben Flanders would both tie for second highest score with 6 points apiece.
Kaneland 44 Lemont 38
How sweet it is. The Kaneland Knights took home another win by beating the Lemont 43-38. The Knights were just too hot to handle for Lemont.
Kaneland took the lead early in the first quarter but Lemont wasn't far behind. The Knights couldn't seem to shake their opponents. Lemont out scored the Knights 11-10 in the second, however it wasn't enough to take over the lead. Kaneland was still on top going into halftime, but Lemont was only down by 2.
Neither team sped into the lead in the third quarter. In fact, Lemont out scored Kaneland by only points, which put them at a tie. It would come down to the final eight minutes to decide the contest.
The Knights marched into battle determined to do some damage. Pumped up and ready for war Kaneland surged forward to take the lead and then never let it go. Kaneland went on to clutch another win.
The Knights deviated from the norm in the high scorer category; Pat Albrecht took the title by sinking 12 points and reeling in 4 rebounds. Next in the scoring sequence was Wayne Shaw who scored 8 points and banged the boards for 5 rebounds.
The Sophomores just made it out of this game by the skin of their teeth. Starting off on the wrong foot the Knights were down by 4 in the first 8 minutes. After a good pep talk however, they jumped right back into the game to take the lead. After taking it they would never give it back. The Knights squeeked by with a 50-47 point win. Kevin Probst paced the Knights with 13 and Joe Heyob put in 12.
Kaneland 69 Elmwood Park 62
Two for two, the Kaneland Knights took down Elmwood Park for the second time this season and boy did it feel good. The boys were back and doing their thing. And by doing that Kaneland snatched another victory, 69-62.
The Kaneland boys came ready to win and win they did. After the first quarter the Knights had opened a 17-15 lead. Things were looking pretty good and then a nasty second quarter almost stole the game away for the hot handed boys of Elmwood Park.
Back in the shadows Elmwood Park was strategizing a plan of attack. As the second period ticked by Elmwood would slink its way closer and closer to the unsuspecting Knights lead, then in the dwindling minutes Kaneland would be overpowered by the forest of players putting in a barrage of buckets. No worries though. The Knights mounted up and galloped into the lead once more.
After three quarters of battle the Knights were back on top. Kaneland would continue to smash down Elmwood Park until the last seconds of the four-quarter contest. In the end your Knights in shining armor took home a well-deserved victory.
High scorer for the boys in silver was Wayne Shaw with an amazing 21 points. Joe Montanez also played a spectacular game scoring 16 points and joining Bill McKeown and Shawn Fuller who had 6 rebounds apiece.
The Sophomores smashed Elmwood Park in a 59-38 contest. The Knights took the lead after tip-off and never let it go. The closest Elmwood Park would come to the lead would be matching Kaneland's 14 points in the second quarter. Micheal Eck had the high score for Kaneland with 13 points. Travis Peterson also had a great game, he scored 10.
Kaneland 70 Evergreen park 56
The Knights got their sweet revenge against Evergreen Park by winning their last game of the season, 70-56.
Quarter after quarter Kaneland bombarded the green monster on both ends of the court. Going into the first, the ballgame looked as though it could go either way. Kaneland had acquired a 4-point lead, but it was only the first 8 minutes. Anything could happen.
Flying into the second period the Knights continued their attack. This time they piled 17 more points onto their franticly fattening score. Now Evergreen Park was down by 11. Something incredible would have to take place during halftime in order for them to get back in the game.
As usual the halftime pep talk from the coach inspired them to take on the world. Unfortunately the Knights never saw it coming. Kaneland got blasted right out of their Nikes. The green monster had reared its ugly head. Evergreen Park would come within a single point of Kaneland's lead. That however, would be as close as they would come to taking it. Just as Evergreen Park had done, the Knights fired themselves back up and went out to battle.
Kaneland proceeded to jump all over their unsuspecting opponents. They out scored them 29-16, and with that the Kaneland Knights took home another win.
Scoring was spread all across the Kaneland bench. 9 of the 14 players put points on the board for the Knights. High scorer on the night was Bill McKeown who sunk 7 two-pointers and 2 free throws. Coming in second with 14 points apiece were Ryan Schrader and Joe Montanez. Rounding out the firing squad was Shawn Fuller who had 11 points and 8 rebounds.
The Knights finished the regular season at 11-12.
Ending their season on a high note, the Sophomores trampled Evergreen Park 62-51. The win came as sweet revenge in that Evergreen Park beat Kaneland in their first encounter of the season. The Knights controled the game from start to finish. They ended their season with an overall record of 11-12 and a conference record of 9-7. Micheal Eck was incredible. He was on fire, scoring a team best, 25 points. Joe Heyob came in second with 14.
99-00 Team Leaders
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