Lady Leafs shut down Kaneland

Chris Steele
Kammie Ludwig, left, drives through the lane during Geneseo’s game against St. Bede.

It was a defensive exhibition for the Lady Leafs’ basketball team against Kaneland at Geneseo High School on Jan. 26.

Geneseo earned a 47-17 victory over Kaneland with the Knights scoring just eight points in the second half.

Geneseo Coach Scott Hardison attributed the big win to the Lady Leafs’ commitment to defense.

“We were locked in,” Hardison said. “We’ve become better at team defense and less about individual defense. I think before the Christmas break, we were so worried about playing defense on our player. We’ve gotten much better at playing defense on the help side and how we are handling ball screens as a team instead of individuals.”

Kaneland was no pushover either. The Knights (15-10) had almost knocked off Northern Illinois Big 12 East leaders Sycamore 35-34 a week ago.

However, Hardison said Geneseo has been making a commitment to taking away opponents’ strengths.

“It’s about making them run their offense different than they want to do it,” Hardison said. “Beating them to the spots, and not letting them ever be comfortable.”

The Lady Leafs’ Kammie Ludwig scored a game-high 10 points.

A freshman, Ludwig has started to find her footing playing at the varsity level and has begun to take control on offense.

“She settled in to the speed of the game after half of season,” Hardison said. “When you go from eighth grade to varsity, it’s two or three levels up from where you were last year. It’s going to take some adjustment.”

It was a balanced scoring effort for Geneseo with a slew of players all in the 10 points range.

Maddi Barickman made a pair of 3-pointers and finished with eight points.

The Lady Leafs’ Keeli Frerichs and Hannah Himmelman each scored eight points, and Josie Brown finished with six points.

Geneseo’s Lauren Pardoe scored four points in the second half, and Abbi Barickman finished with two points.

Geneseo’s Eden McAvoy knocked down a free throw.

The Lady Leafs’ next home game will be on the road against Morris on Monday, Feb. 4 at 5:30 p.m.