Sycamore rolls past Kaneland
Kaneland was at the free-throw line with a minute left in the first half and looking to eat into Sycamore's 6-point lead before the break.
By the time the half was up, the Spartans had their first double-digit lead of the game and never looked back in a 57-40 Interstate 8 Conference girls basketball win over the Knights Wednesday night.
"We made a really nice run at the end of the second quarter that gave us momentum going into halftime," Sycamore coach Adam Wickness said. "We talked about a few adjustments we needed to make, and I thought we really came out in the third quarter and made those adjustments. We got it going with our transition game and that led to some easy buckets."
The Spartans (8-0, 2-0) closed the first half with a 3-pointer by Lexi Carlsen and a jumper by Evyn Carrier, her 12th points of the half. Kaneland (3-5, 1-1) trailed 31-20 at the break.
"That kind of gave them some momentum they built upon going into the third," Kaneland coach Kelsey Flanagan said.
Sycamore didn't let up on the gas in the third, scoring 20 of the first 27 points in the third quarter to open a 51-27 lead, which would be its biggest of the game.
Flanagan said the team shot well in the first half but not for the rest of the game.
"In the second half those shots weren't falling," Flanagan said. "We forced a few shots, and that allowed them to run out in transition and build their lead there."
While Carrier dominated the first half, Faith Feuerbach heated up in the second for Sycamore. She hit a pair of 3-pointers in transition and finished with a game-high 16.
Carrier added 14 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and a block as Wickness was able to rest his starters in the fourth quarter. Carlson had 11 points and a game-best 8 rebounds, while Ella Shipley chipped in 8 points.
Sycamore finished with a 32-16 edge on the boards. Four Spartans had at least 4 rebounds, while no Knight had more than 3.
Taylor Seaton led Kaneland with 10 points, while McKenzie Schueler and Ally Plank each added 8. Alexis Schueler scored 7 for Kaneland.
"Kaneland always comes out hard on us. It's never easy," Carrier said. "It's always a tough fight to the end. Obviously they're the rivalry in our conference."
Knocking off their conference rivals is just the latest in a long list of early-season accomplishments for the undefeated Spartans, who have notched come-from-behind wins against Geneva and Nazareth so far this season.
The Spartans were down eight with four minutes left against Nazareth and pulled out the win, and didn't lead until Feuerbach's 3-pointer in the closing seconds against Geneva.
"It's shown us we have a lot of resolve and a lot of toughness," Wickness said. "When we've been in some adverse situations, we haven't lost our cool and we've kept calm in those situations and it's paid off for us."
Carrier said the Spartans have some high expectations for the season, and the start has helped give them confidence as they look to accomplish their lofty goals.
"Especially the big wins against Nazareth and Geneva, it sets the tone for the rest of the season," Carrier said. "We want state bad, and I know we can get it especially with what we have on this team this year."