Knief helps Burlington survive Prairie Ridge's upset bid

By Dave Hess
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 3/10/2021 10:16 PM

Burlington Central girls basketball coach Collin Kalamatas could finally breathe a little easier.

Spearheaded by a pair of crucial 3-pointers from Lauren Knief and a 6-of-6 effort from the free-throw line, top-seeded Central held on for a narrow 44-40 win over upset-minded Prairie Ridge in a semifinal contest of the Fox Valley Conference tournament Wednesday night at Central.


The Rockets (12-2) host Huntley for the conference championship at 7 p.m. Friday.

"Prairie Ridge is a good solid team," Kalamatas said. "We faced some adversity tonight with Elana (Wells) in foul trouble. We trust Lauren shooting the 3. She hit a couple of big ones tonight."

A layup by Karsen Karlblom gave the Wolves a 33-32 lead with 4:06 remaining.

Knief went to work and buried a pair 3s from deep in the left corner to give the Rockets a 38-33 with 3:46 left in the game.

"I have really been working hard on my 3-point shooting," said Knief. "I felt comfortable shooting the 3 tonight. We are excited to play Huntley for the conference championship Friday. They are a very good team."

The Rockets sealed the win by making 6-of-6 from the line in the final 2 minutes.

Wells, who scored 10 points despite being on the bench most of the game with foul trouble, made 4-of-4 from the line in the clutch. Avery Anderson connected on both her shots from the charity stripe in the waning moments.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

Taylor Charles paced the Rockets with 11 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 7 blocked shots.

Karlblom paced the Wolves with 21 points with 3 treys.

Led by 5 points from Wells and 4 from Charles, the Rockets catapulted to an early 14-3 lead.

But, the visiting Wolves refused to quit.

PR scored the final 8 points of the quarter, all by Karlblom to cut the deficit to 14-11.

Prairie Ridge scored the first 7 points of the second quarter to complete a 15-0 run.

Emma Kay connected on a shot from beyond the arc and Alana Mocchi and Kelly Gende converted putbacks to give PR an 18-14 lead.

The Rockets broke a nearly 8-minute scoring drought when Rebecca Carani made a layup to make the score 18-16 with 4:10 left before intermission.

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.