Woodstock North High School Kishawukee River/Interstate 8 White
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Kaneland, Marmion, Burlington cruise into Plano semifinals
Updated Dec 29, 2022 7:43 AM
Earlier in the year Kaneland senior guard Gevon Grant and junior backcourt mate Troyer Carlson combined for 61 points in a 21-point demolition of Interstate Eight Conference foe Ottawa.The pair were at their finest again Wednesday evening at the 59th Plano Christmas Classic. They combined for 45 points this time with the No. 3 seeded Knights coasting away to a 81-56 running-clock victory over No. 6 seed Yorkville Christian in Reaper Gym.Carlson posted a team-best 24 points, which now leads Kaneland (13-1) into The Classic semifinals against No. 2 seed Marmion Academy (10-3) at 7 p.m. Thursday.“It was a great team effort tonight, we shared the ball well, were unselfish, and the score tonight really proved it,” Carlson said.Grant netted 21, including 13 in the third quarter, to help seal it for the Knights.“Our coaches told us to attack the rim and get aggressive,” Grant said.Kaneland (13-1) also saw a double-digit scoring effort from Johnny Spallasso (10 points). Freddy Hassan added six points and pulled down 13 rebounds.The Knights shot a remarkable 33 of 59 (56%) from the field while holding the Chargers to a mere 15 of 50 (30%) for the game, including only 3 of 27 (11%) in the first half. They kept Yorkville Christian leading scorer David Douglas Jr., averaging 36 points a game, to only 12 points and one field goal throughout the first two quarters with some incredible defense.“Our kids played hard defensively tonight and we wanted to make sure one guy didn’t beat us and we wanted (Douglas) to earn his shots,” Kaneland coach Ernie Colombe said. “He ended up getting his points in the end but we ran at him, played physical basketball and challenged him to score. Troyer and Gevon took care of us on the offensive end like they do and I couldn’t have asked for a better way than this team executed our game plan against a very good Yorkville Christian team.”The Mustangs (3-12) did see Douglas Jr. net 31 points, including 19 in the second half. Burlington Central 72, Streator 36:The defending Plano Christmas Classic champions and 2022 top seed looked every bit as good as advertised in Wednesday night’s curtain-dropper in Reaper Gymnasium.Burlington Central built a double-digit advantage less than three minutes in and never looked back en route to a 72-36 doubling-up of the Streator Bulldogs. Led by 6-foot, 9-inch senior Andrew Scharnowski’s game-best 19-point effort — 17 of those scored in the first half as the Rockets crafted a 35-point lead by the break — Central moved on to an 8:30 p.m. Thursday semifinal matchup with Peoria Notre Dame.“Coming in, we are the champs here,” Scharnowski said, “but every day we come in, we’re humble and we’re ready to work, and I can appreciate that. We’ve got a lot of young guys, and they’re all willing to give their best effort.“We showed that today.”Scharnowski and the Rockets (9-3) simply played at a higher — and faster — level than the Bulldogs (7-6), fueled by a defensive press that created 10 Streator turnovers in the first quarter alone and ultimately 18 in the first half and 26 for the game.“[It’s just] crazy ball pressure, people flying all over the place, recovering, getting blocks, taking charges,” Scharnowski said. “It’s just energy, and it really helps, because it gets us going on offense.”“The speed at which they play … they make it seem like there’s six of them out there,” Streator coach Beau Doty said. “It looks like that on film from the top row of the bleachers. I can only imagine for our kids what it looks like.”