SYCAMORE – Despite the absence of guard Jenni Weber and trailing by 11 points at halftime, the Kaneland girls basketball team beat St. Edward, 53-50, Tuesday in a Class 3A Sycamore Regional semifinal.
Hannah Armin had 13 points in the Knights’ victory. Although they turned the ball over eight times in the first half, the Knights maintained their resolve.
The comeback started early in the third quarter, when Armin converted a three-point play off a drive to the basket. The Knights cut the lead down to six by the end of the quarter.
“Jamie’s [Martens] passing is great,” Armin said. “Our team is so much better because of her.”
The Knights were down six headed into the fourth quarter. After a Peyton Giffney 3-pointer gave the Knights the lead with 4:20 left in the game, the game became a seesaw battle until the final seconds.
The Knights were up three with 10 seconds left when Green Wave point guard and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater commit Yssa Sto. Domingo split a double team, trying to get a desperation layup to fall. She ended up losing her footing, with the ball harmlessly falling out of bounds, leaving only 1.8 seconds on the clock.
“We thought we had to settle down a little bit,” Knights head coach Ernie Colombe said. “We were playing without our leading scorer. Jenni is one of the leading scorers in the area. We knew it was going to be tough to play without her. But we have a lot of confidence in our kids who have been role players this year. They stepped up. They just needed to take their time and catch their breath.”
Up next for the Knights is a battle with Northern Illinois Big 12 rival Sycamore. Weber, who sprained her ankle in the Knights’ final regular-season game, is questionable.
“It’s possible,” Colombe said. “We’re not going to hurt her, but ...”
By the numbers: The Knights ended the game red-hot, closing out on a 17-8 run.
Beyond the stats: Beyond the turnover problems for Kaneland, the Knights were plagued by offensive indecision. They passed on multiple open 3-pointers.
They said it: “[Sycamore] beat us twice already,” Armin said. “But third time is a charm.”
Up next: Kaneland will travel back to Sycamore on Thursday to play the Spartans for regional title. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.