Knight boys make good on road trip; now 13-10

By on February 19, 2009

by Mike Slodki
Suddenly, the Knight boys basketball team is not one opposing teams want to face.

It couldn’t have come at a better time.

With a 57-45 non-conference win at Marmion Academy in Aurora on Saturday, and a 63-54 Western Sun Conference win at Sycamore, coach Dennis Hansen’s Knights are now 13-10, having won five in a row.
KHS is now 5-7 in conference play.

Sycamore fell to 8-13.

Against the Cadets, center weapon Dave Dudzinski scored 20 points, Brody Root added 14 and Ryley Bailey had 12 of his own.

The Knights trailed 8-7 after one quarter, but had a monster second quarter and outscored the Cadets 21-14 for a 28-22 halftime lead.

Kaneland increased its lead to 42-32 after three before closing it out.

Against the Spartans, Dudzinski had 26 points, which matched the game-high of Sycamore’s Michael Buckner. Christian Dillon added 14 of his own.

“We’re playing really well and just trying to get the ball to Christian and Dave,” Mike Pritchard said. “If they’re double-teamed, we’re making a lot of outside shots.”

Up 9-8 in the first quarter, Ryan Blake hit a three pointer with 1:05 remaining for a four-point edge. After the Spartans hit a bucket with 51.2 remaining, Root came back with the final basket of the frame with 38.3 to go for a 14-10 lead.

When Root hit another jumper 59 seconds into the second quarter for a 16-10 lead, Sycamore went on a 7-1 run to tie the score at 17 with 4:46 remaining. Dudzinski hit a shot in the lane and Curtis Lubic soon followed with a bucket to retake the lead at 21-17 with 3:47 to go. After Buckner hit a free throw with 1:53 to go, Dudzinski hit two more shots, the last with 6.1 seconds to go for a 25-18 halftime edge.

Two buckets by Dillon and one by Dudzinski increased the lead to 31-20 with 6:14 to go. With two baskets by Root, Kaneland earned its biggest lead of the night at 39-26 with 2:56 to go.

Dillon’s bucket with 1:26 to go in the frame made it 43-31 before Will Strack’s three-point play and a Buckner free throw closed the third-quarter scoring at 43-35.

Sycamore continued to fight back on its home floor, even cutting the deficit to 49-43 on a Strack three with 3:39 to go. Kaneland tempered the attack with a Dudzinski field goal and a Blake shot to add some breathing room at 53-43 with 2:53 to go.

Dillon, Root and Dudzinski all saw time at the foul line to add to the total before the final buzzer.

“We’re all pointing toward regionals right now,” Hansen said. “We just have to keep playing the way we’ve been playing. Tonight we played all man-to-man. It worked so well that we stayed with it.”

Only two more regular season contests are in the way before the Class 3A regionals start at Burlington Central, with Hampshire the Knights’ opponents.

KHS goes up against Geneva in Maple Park on Friday, Feb. 20.

Photo: Mike Pritchard directs a pass during Friday’s nine-point win at Sycamore. Photo by John DiDonna