MORRIS — For Kaneland girls basketball coach Ernie Colombe, it couldn’t have been a better start to the Northern Illinois Big 12 East season.
Playing on the road at Morris, Kaneland bolted out to a 14-point, first-quarter lead, had five different players score the first five baskets, had 11 different girls score, gave all 16 girls on the roster significant playing time, and defensively forced Morris into 26 turnovers.
All that led to a decisive 56-27 win on Friday by the Knights.
Kaneland got baskets from Ashley Prost, Allyson O’Herron, Sarah Grams and Emma Bradford to bolt out to an 11-0 lead. Morris finally got on the board with a free throw by Julie Jurasits but that would stand as the lone point of the period by the Redskins.
“I think our defensive intensity was really good and they had a tough time of getting open,” Colombe said. “The girls pride themselves on playing defense and they played with intensity tonight.”
Morris came out in a zone defense but four treys by Bradford forced the Redskins to adjust as the Knights (5-0, 1-0 UEC River) built a 34-12 halftime lead.
St. Charles East 52, Larkin 21: At St. Charles, East used a deep rotation behind leading scorer Paige Jordan to win its UEC River opener.
“Got to play a lot of players, which was nice, and got to see some players I haven’t gotten to see yet,” Saints coach Lori Drumtra said.
East (2-4, 1-0 UEC River) hosts St. Charles North at 6 tonight.
Streamwood 51, St. Charles North 38: At Streamwood, Sam Novak (10 points) and Nicole Davidson (seven) paced North.
The North Stars (0-7, 0-2 UEC River) trailed, 26-20, at halftime.
St. Francis 47, Wheaton Academy 30: At West Chicago, St. Francis topped its Suburban Christian Conference rivals as Abby Winkler (16 points) and Kate Slattery (15) finished in double figures.
Wheaton Academy’s Katherine Maret notched a game-high 17 points.
St. Charles East 69, Larkin 6: At Elgin, Austin Hrubec’s overtime victory at 126 pounds was a highlight for East (2-0 overall and UEC River).
North defeats Streamwood: At St. Charles, host St. Charles North topped Streamwood in a UEC River dual.
The North Stars’ winners included behind Eric Conrad (132 pounds), Kevin Deisher (138) and Wes Pasholk (220).
• Shaw Media’s T.G. Smith contributed to this report.