MAPLE PARK – The Kaneland girls basketball team couldn’t stop DeKalb from claiming a share of the Northern Illinois Big 12 East crown despite a strong third quarter that saw the Knights cut the Barbs’ lead to only seven points.
The Knights would go on to lose, 52-39.
The Knights struggled against DeKalb’s 2-3 zone in the first half, converting only two field goals, and trailed by 11 at the break. But Kaneland started getting the ball inside to Kelly Wallner, who scored 12 points on the night, and the offense recorded 18 points in the third quarter.
“When we’re patient, we get the ball inside and we don’t settle for jump shots,” Kaneland coach Ernie Colombe said. “We get in trouble, we have all year, when we settle for jump shots. First half we had too many turnovers.”
St. Charles East 56, Waubonsie Valley 34: At St. Charles, East moved to .500 with a UEC crossover win.
The Saints (13-13) won behind 18 points from Katie Claussner and 15 from Hannah Nowling.
Class 2A Ottawa Marquette Regional final
Aurora Christian 53, Seneca 49: At Ottawa, Aurora Christian defeated top-seeded Seneca and advanced to host Byron in a sectional semifinal at 8 p.m. Tuesday. The Eagles improved to 15-13 behind a double-double from Natasha Brown (12 points, 22 rebounds).
“It was just perseverance,” Eagles coach Jerry Tokars said. “We played some tough ‘D’ and fought off some attempts by them. It was a battle.”
Class 1A, 2A postseason seeds released: Mooseheart earned the top seed in the Class 1A Somonauk Regional that begins Feb. 24. The six-team tournament offers its share of intrigue, as traditional powers Newark (No. 2) and Hinckley-Big Rock (No. 6) also comprise the field.
In 2A, Aurora Christian is the third-seeded team in its own five-team regional. The regular-season stretch run could offer the Eagles a playoff preview. They are set to visit second-seeded St. Edward Saturday and host top seed IC Catholic Tuesday.
• Ross Jacobson contributed to this report.