AURORA – Kaneland used a strong first half and a balanced scoring attack to down IMSA, 79-40, to advance to the Class 3A IMSA Regional semifinals, where the Knights will take on St. Francis today.
The Knights jumped out to a 41-24 lead at the break thanks in part to 10 points from junior John Pruett. Freshman Dylan Vaca came off the bench and hit three 3-pointers and the rout was on for Kaneland.
Four Knights, led by Vaca with a game-high 18 points, were in double-figures in the blowout win.
“The goal was to come out and work hard and play the game the right way,” Kaneland coach Brian Johnson said. “It’s nice when we’re sharing the ball and playing unselfish. It’s important to see a guy like Dylan Vaca – who’s only a freshman – shoot the ball with a lot of confidence.”
The Knights defense held IMSA to only seven points in the third quarter as they blew the game wide-open. Five Knights scored in the third helping Kaneland (16-11) open up a 58-31 advantage after three.
The Knights will face a familiar in St. Francis in a semifinal tonight. The Spartans downed Kaneland early in the season, 63-50.
“We’re going to have to come with our best game. They work really well together – it’s a normal Bob Ward team,” Johnson said. “We have to step up to the plate if we want to stay in this tournament.”
Vaca (18 points), Pruett (15), Matt Limbrunner (13) and Dan Miller (10) were all in double-figures for Kaneland.