Rosary bottles up Kaneland
Megan Cibulskis almost personally ensured Rosary would never trail Tuesday night in Maple Park.
In a nonconference girls basketball game, Cibulskis' intensive defensive pressure was a telling barometer in the Royals' 42-32 victory over Kaneland.
A junior post for Rosary, Cibulskis used thievery in the open court in scoring the first 6 points of the game.
Kaneland (15-9) was never able to forge a tie or take the lead as the Royals climbed back over .500 at 12-11.
Emily Hurst, who scored 6 points in succession late to essentially ice the game, tied Cibulskis for team-scoring honors with 10 points.
"I was trying to anticipate some passes to get a steal and a layup to get us off to an early start," Cibulskis said. "I wasn't worried if the ball went over my head because I knew the defense would be there."
Defense was critical to Rosary as the Knights, after scoring 10 points in the opening quarter, could only muster the same number over the two middle quarters.
"It was zone the entire time," Cibulskis said of the Royals' 3-2 look on defense.
Kylie Holubecki had the lone make from the field for Kaneland in the second quarter as Cibulskis, who is 6-foot, and 6-1 forward Zoe Ketterman combined for 5 blocked shots for the Royals.
Five different Rosary players had a field goal apiece in the second quarter as the team went to the locker room holding a 23-13 lead at the intermission.
Kelsey Modaff tried to literally shoot Kaneland back in contention, but her three second-half 3-pointers only enabled the Knights to maintain their halftime deficit.
"I don't know," Modaff said of the root of the Knights' offensive struggles. "It was tough to get the ball into our post, Kylie Holubecki. It was bad passing, I guess. They wanted it more."
Buckets for both teams were hard to come by in the third quarter as Modaff, who led each side with 11 points, hit the first of her second-half 3-pointers almost three minutes into the third to initiate the scoring after the break.
Kaneland, as a result, was only able to slice its halftime deficit by a single point despite holding the Royals to 6 points.
With Kaneland pressing late in the game, Hurst had her mini-flurry to give Rosary its largest lead of the night at 40-27.
"We did really well passing to each other," Hurst said. "We were able to see the floor."
Holubecki finished with 8 points for Kaneland, and McKenzie Schueler scored all 5 of her points in the first quarter.