WHEATFIELD — If you, like several others, left the game early on Thursday night, you might be surprised to hear that the Kankakee Valley girls’ basketball team had lost.
After all, at the end of the third quarter, the Lady Kougars were up 35-19 and seemed to have the game well in hand against North Judson-San Pierre. Stunningly, the Kats were upset 46-44.
Lilly Frasure, the Lady Blue Jays junior who averages in excess of 20 points per game, had scored just eight total points through three quarters of play. She definitely found her fire in the fourth as she put up 19 more, including several coast-to-coast plays that left the Lady Kougars gasping.
“We finally found the fight in us,” said Frasure of her team. “We played our hearts out at the end of the game and we played how we know we can play.”
The Kougars had jumped out to an 11-point lead before NJSP hit its first bucket. They applied the pressure that has become a signature for the Valley girls over the last few years and that pressure shut down Frasure and her teammates.
The Kougars kept that pressure up through the first half and through most of the third quarter, but early in the fourth, it became obvious that KV was running out of gas. At the same time, the Blue Jays began to apply their own pressure which resulted in turnovers and poor shot choices. The Blue Jays, carried on the back of Frasure, began to creep ever steadily closer.
With just 3:09 left in the game, North Judson pulled within five. After yet another KV turnover, Frasure hit a dagger 3-pointer and the Blue Jays were within two. KV sneior Courtney Sizemore drew a foul and nailed both shots to put the Kougars back up by four with 1:47 left in the match, but Frasure answered with two of her own.
Kougar freshman standout Lilly Toppen put up a basket, again stretching it to a four-point game, but Frasure drove the length of the court and was fouled as she shot. She sank both free throws, knocking the KV lead back to just two.
KV inbounded the ball, but lost it almost immediately. Junior Adalynn Harper, who hadn’t scored all night, was fouled and sank both free throws to tie the game at 44-all with 56 seconds left.
KV got the ball downcourt this time and a Sizemore shot missed and was rebounded by NJSP. Junior Abby Chambers drew a foul and also sank both to give Judson its first lead of the night. With 27 seconds left, a jump ball was called as KV tried to tie it up, giving the Blue Jays the ball with under 10 seconds to play.
The home crowd had one more moment of elation, though. As North Judson threw the ball in-bounds on the Kankakee Valley end of the court, it was stolen by Kougar freshman Kate Thomas, who quickly attempted a shot to force overtime. The ball was tipped, however, and and KV had to again inbound the ball with seven seconds to play.
KV was unable to score, however, giving Noth Judson a storied comeback win.
LOWELL — Rensselaer Central had its best start of the season and perhaps its most complete performance in a surprising 59-25 rout of Lowell Thursday night.
The Bombers (8-6) held the Red Devils (7-7) to two field goals in the first quarter and just nine field goals in the game. They were able to build a 39-10 lead by halftime, scoring 21 points in the second quarter on the strength of easy baskets.
Sophomore Jessie Ringen led all scorers with 18 points and Abby Ahler and Lexi Healey added 11 each. Sydney VanMeter tossed in eight points.
The Bombers return to action Saturday when they host Lafayette Central Catholic at 5 p.m. The boys’ team will follow at Joe Burvan Gymansium at approximately 7 p.m.
In the junior varsity contest, Lowell pulled away from a one-point first half lead by outscoring RCHS, 19-13, in the second half of a 36-27 victory.
Abby Lucas had 12 points and Elizabeth Knoth added seven points for the Bombers.
Knights’ win streak snapped
DeMOTTE — Morgan Township dominated from the get-go to hand Covenant Christian its worst loss of the season Thursday night by a 62-28 final.
The loss snapped the Lady Knights’ 11-game win streak. They are now 1-2 vs. potential sectional foes, including a loss to Kouts in November.
Morgan, meanwhile, won its seventh straight game and improved to 2-0 vs. Sectional 49 teams. The Cherokees’ losses have come against unbeaten Knox (17-0) and Kankakee Valley (11-7).
Kougars fall to host Lake Central
ST. JOHN — Kankakee Valley stumbled early and couldn’t recover in its 46-43 loss to host Lake Central Tuesday night.
The Kougars (11-7) trailed 13-8 in the first quarter and had trouble hitting shots most of the evening. They were 5 of 23 from 3-point range to suffer their second straight loss.
Sophomore Taylor Schoonveld had her best game of the season for KVHS, scoring 16 points on 6 of 12 shooting with seven rebounds and three steals.
Freshman Lilly Toppen added 10 points with a pair of 3-pointers and senior Sam Martin had nine points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Senior Karmen Nowak had five assists and three steals and classmate Courtney Sizemore had eight boards.