PLANO – Kaneland used a furious late first-half run to get itself back in Friday’s Class 3A Plano Regional final.
However, the momentum evaporated quickly, as the Knights scored just five points in the second half of a 40-20 loss to Sycamore.
Sycamore took an early lead on the Knights as four players got on the board in the first quarter.
However, Kaneland roared back with 13 in the second, closing the period on a 10-2 run, capped off by an Amber Winquist-Bailey layup, as Sycamore went into halftime leading by three.
Kaneland got off to a good start in the second half as well, with Ally VanBogaert hitting an early three. But after that, it was all Spartans, as Sycamore would outscore Kaneland 20-2 the rest of the game.
“I think they got on a little run there, they got free for a couple threes and pulled away. We were struggling on offense, we thought they did a great job inside doubling down on whoever had the ball inside, and we weren’t hitting shots,” Knights coach Ernie Colombe said. “So I think it was a combination. They certainly play great defense. Brett (Goff)’s done a great job with that program, and not for lack of
effort but we missed some shots.
“They hit some shots at that time and the lead grew, and I think we started settling for jumpers and the game got away from us, got out of reach.”
Kaneland held Sycamore star scorer Bailey Gilbert to just five points using a box-and-one defense.
However, the Spartans showed they’re more than just Gilbert, as Morgan Picolotti led Sycamore with 11 points. Baylee Foresman added 10 and Moll finished with eight.
The Knights, who upset Sycamore last week and cost the Spartans the Northern Illinois Big 12 East title, finish the season 14-15.
“I’m extremely proud of that group of seniors. We didn’t finish up how we wanted, but I mean, that’s life,” Colombe said. “That’s part of why you coach, part of why you teach, is there’s life lessons. Like I said, we’re not down because the effort was there tonight. We played our butts off on defense, we just couldn’t hit a shot.”