SERENA – One by one, scissors in hand, Mooseheart boys basketball players took turns cutting down the net after defeating Chicagoland Jewish, 50-35, on Saturday for the Class 1A Serena Sectional title.
It said everything about Mooseheart's lack of postseason success that the Ramblers needed instructions on how to snip the cords. Eventually, though, the net came down when coach Ron Ahrens handled the final strands. He took the net and tossed it to his team, which celebrated its first sectional title that secured a trip to Tuesday's NIU Supersectional against Lanark Eastland.
"We keep talking about the number of games that we have left," Ahrens said. “Going into [Saturday], we had four left. Now it's three. We've got to get to work now, getting ready for Tuesday. Eastland's a very good team.”
Makur Puou's inside scoring was one of the keys to the win, as the Ramblers (26-5) avenged last season's sectional semifinal loss to the Tigers. He finished with agame-high 25 points, including 17 in the second half.
"We came out and knew what we were going to do,” Puou said. “We knew we had to go hard on them. ButI knew I had to use my height, even with them collapsing down inside.”
Mangisto Deng added 16 points for Mooseheart, which led, 16-2, after one quarter amid the Tigers' attempts to slow the game down.
Batavia second in own invite: At Batavia, Batavia totaled 108 team points to finish as runners-up to Lake Park (128) in Friday's six-team Coach Mike DiDomenico Invitational. Kaneland (third) and Burlington Central (fourth) also competed.
Chronicle-area event champions included Batavia's Chris Orlow (4:28.68 in the 1,600 meters); Kaneland's Dylan Kuipers (14-0 in the pole vault) and Central's Lucas Ege (7.91 in the 55 hurdles).
East, North compete at York: At Elmhurst, St. Charles East's Jordan Duncan registered the lone wins for the Saints on Friday at the York Invitational in Elmhurst. Duncan won the 55 dash in 6.67 seconds and also won the 200. Jack Cozzi was the runner-up for the Saints in the pole vault.
St. Charles North's Erik Miller, who committed to Illinois State over the weekend, won the high jump. Kaleb Kirby won the pole vault for the North Stars.
THURSDAY'S LATE RESULTS
Kaneland sweeps relays: At Sterling, Kaneland swept the relays at Thursday's Bureau Valley meet.
Kaneland's 4x800 relay team of Brianna Bower, Anna Piazza, Abby Shaw and Sarah Daley took first place. Kaneland's 4x200 relay team of Olivia Galor, Lauren Zick, Nicole Sreenan and Allie Heinzer won in 1:49.37. The 4x100 relay team of Galor, Becca Richtman, Sreenan and Heinzer won in 4:19.53.
Zick also won the 60 (8.06), 200 (26.63) and long jump (17-5), while Sydney Strang won the 800 in 2:29. Bower also took first in the 1,600 (5:36) and Christina Delach won the pole vault with a mark of 9-6.
• Darryl Mellema contributed to this report.