Kaneland boys get back on track with win at Dixon
DIXON – The public-address announcer called Cole Carlson's name as Matt Limbrunner stood up from the bench before Saturday's game between Kaneland and Dixon at Lancaster Gym.
Limbrunner, a 6-foot-4 inch senior forward, shrugged his shoulders and ran out onto the court pretty sure he was supposed to be in the Knights' starting lineup. Kaneland coach Brian Johnson knew it was true.
As the teams gathered around center court, Johnson made sure that the wrong name had been said and not that he had marked the wrong player in the scorebook. Johnson's book was correct.
The altercation proved to be the highest drama in the Knights' 76-62 win over Dixon.
"That's one the best teams out of the East side of the conference," Dixon coach Jason Mead said. "They were bigger and faster than us. They were also hitting shots that I didn't see them hit on any of the films I watched. Those shots forced us out of our zone right away."
The Knights wasted no time getting the ball down to Limbrunner. He was fed in the post on the first possession, and he powered up for two points.
After an empty possession by Dixon, Dan Miller hit a jumper to put Kaneland up 4-0.
Dixon (3-22) rallied as Nate Gascoigne scored off an assist from Matt Coffey. Cal Jarrett scored moments later to tie the score.
Kaneland scored the next six points, but Dixon rallied to make it 12-8 with with 3:30 left in the quarter.
The Knights (14-11) took over from there. Drew David hit a pair of 3-pointers, as Kaneland finished the quarter on a 11-2 run. They scored the first four points of the second quarter for a 27-10 lead.
"After a tough game last night against Morris, and a five game stretch here where we haven't played well," Johnson saidm, "we needed to come out strong tonight.
"We knew that Dixon had beat DeKalb, who had beat us. So we couldn't overlook them. I've known coach Mead for a long time, and I know that he's doing a great job here. This is a team that in a few years we are not going to want to face."
Kaneland maintained a 15-point lead through the rest of the first half. Limbrunner had 13 of his 15 points before the break, as Kaneland rested its starters for much of the second half.
Carlson, who had his named called as a starter, got starters minutes and played like one. He finished with a game-high 19 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter.
Dixon's offense settled into a groove in the second half as Laron Carr started driving consistently to the hole, and Coffey got hot from behind the 3-pointer line.
"We did settle in offensively in the second half," Mead said. "It's another game with points in the 60s, which is good. But we can't give up 70 points. We have to get teams down into the 50s to have a chance."
Carr finished with 16 points. Coffey hit five 3-pointers and finished with 17 points. He also had three assists. Jarrett added 11 points and seven rebounds.