MAPLE PARK – Brooke Harner and her Kaneland girls basketball teammates emerged from the locker room looking more relieved than excited after Thursday’s 44-37 overtime victory against Sycamore.
The Knights, considered one of the top contenders in the Northern Illinois Big 12 East, got all they could handle from a young Sycamore squad still trying to find its offensive identity.
The Spartans forced overtime with 0.1 seconds remaining when freshman center Taiya Hopkins converted one of two free throws to tie the game at 34. But Kaneland responded in extra time, scoring the first eight points of the session and finishing with a seven-point win.
“It wasn’t a position we wanted to be in, that’s for sure,” Kaneland coach Ernie Colombe said. “We just got fortunate, that’s all you can say. We caught a break. We got lucky there.”
Both teams struggled offensively in the first half. Sycamore’s mix of zone defenses gave Kaneland (7-0, 2-0 NI Big 12 East) trouble in the second quarter as the Spartans held the Knights scoreless over the last six minutes.
Sycamore (3-4, 0-2) took advantage of nine Kaneland turnovers and Jesica Mollman’s layup off a nice feed from Paige Wogen gave Sycamore a 14-13 halftime lead.
Ashley Prost paced Kaneland with 11 points.
St. Charles North 62, Larkin 26: At St. Charles, Alex Silverman swished four treys en route to a game-high 18 points for North (2-8, 1-3 UEC River). The North Stars cruised to a 31-14 lead at the break to win their second straight game. Natalie Winkates (11 points) also finished in double figures while hitting three 3-pointers.
Batavia 61, Waubonsie Valley 38: At Batavia, Batavia improved to 6-3 with a convincing UEC crossover win. Batavia’s Liza Fruendt’s 22 points led all scorers.
St. Charles North 106, Neuqua Valley 80: At Naperville, North won the UEC dual behind a strong night from Nick Kowaleski, who won individual swims in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles while teaming up with victorious relays in the 200 medley and 200 freestyle. Kyle Gannon and Spencer Gray were among North’s other individual and relay winners.
• Shaw Media’s Ross Jacobson contributed to this report.