By Chris Johnson


Tuesday Nov. 14 was a pleasant day across northern Illinois. The temperatures rose, and the air of anticipation waited for the basketball season to be getting underway.

In North Boone, the Lady Vikings already had their path set up for their newest run at a shot at the title. It won’t be easy, now that there are 10 other programs all wanting the same as them.

It also isn’t easy when having to deal with some of the best competition neighboring conferences have to offer.

In their season opening win over Christian Life on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 26-17, North Boone didn’t need to find too many answers as the tone of the game indicated a win was in order.

The following night, a different challenge appeared. The reality of the addition of the former Big Northern East Conference combatants to the everyday schedule meant contests against teams like the state-ranked Johnsburg Skyhawks were going to happen. North Boone lost 72-32 and quickly turned the page into a revisit for Christian Life on Thursday, Nov. 17.

Now that the pre-tournament games were removed from the “need-to-do” list, the Lady Vikings shipped there attention to Dakota for action with NUIC powerhouses Pearl City on Tuesday, Nov. 22. They will face host Dakota on Friday, Nov. 26 before waiting for a second battle with an NUIC Champion, Freeport Aquin.

There is no let up for North Boone as December arrives.

The Winnebago Lady Indians are the defending Class 2A Regional Champion, and they will pay a visit on Friday, Dec. 2.

Just four days later, the Byron Lady Tigers, who are picked to claw their way through the pack towards the top of the standings before the season is over, play host.

Dixon is next on the Big Northern schedule as they travel to North Boone for the Thursday, Dec. 8 battle for conference position.

As December ends and January begins, the North Boone Lady Vikings finally get to see their schedule ease up a bit.

On Wednesday, Dec. 14, they take on Kishwaukee Valley Conference challenger Marengo. January opens with a visit from the Clinton, Wis. Cougars on Saturday, Jan. 7

By mid-January, as teams begin jockeying for position in anticipation of the February post-season, the Lady Vikings will have a very good idea of how good they are and how much more they need to do in order to be a factor in the Big Northern Conference race.

As game play progresses into the late days of the regular season, the Lady Vikings will again be presented with the chance to provide an influence on the decisions made by the IHSA Selection Committee, when the Basketball State Playoff Teams are seeded in late January. Losses in potentially-winnable games will mean the Lady Vikings will have a tougher road to travel to try to get to Normal.

However, it is understood that wins at Harvard on Thursday, Jan. 19 followed by at least two wins over the next three opponents, Oregon, Pecatonica, or Stillman Valley, during the final two weeks of January and the Lady Vikings would see a better chance at a Regional Title appear in front of them more clearly.

Losses in the same manner could mean the matches against Genoa-Kingston and Mendota on Friday, Feb. 3 and Saturday, Feb. 4 will only be for the benefit of the challenger.

A higher seed might be waiting for the team who knocks off North Boone late this season. The Lady Vikings have a big job ahead of them, but it pays great rewards according to many area coaches.


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