By Chris Johnson, REPORTER

 There are games that have been circled on the Hononegah Indians Boys’ Basketball Team’s schedule that have significance. In a battle for contention within the NIC-10, each week seems to be one of those games. So far Hononegah is doing what they need to do to win. That’s a lot right, especially recently. Following a perfect tournament run through the start of the season, the Indians ran into the Wednesday, Nov. 30 game against the Boylan Titans with nothing but a positive focus. Through the opening minutes and into the half and carrying into the night and carrying into the final seconds of the game, Hononegah had put itself in a position to win. It was within a score of pulling back the focus that the game started with.

A short memory will also help Hononegah as they move through the season. The loss to Rockford Boylan 69-68 slowed the roll the Indians were on, but didn’t stop it in any capacity. Over the next three NIC-10 nights, Hononegah got firmly affixed to its season-opening path and powered through three NIC-10 wins which included a sweep of the Boone County contenders.

On Friday, Dec. 2, Hononegah held off the Blue Thunder and came away with the three-point win, 61-58. Belvidere North fought into the final minutes, staying within arms-reach. The Indians shut down the extra looks and held on to move to the head-to-head match at Belvidere, less than a week later. Hononegah beat the Bucs by five, 54-49 and kept pace with the Boylan Titans in the race for the early lead in the Conference race. On Friday, Dec. 9 the Indians had to go to overtime to hold off the J-Hawks, but managed to find ways to get it done, including pressure-shooting. With minutes in the overtime period elapsing, each free throw attempt becomes more important than the one before. The four-point lead is always sought.

Hononegah held Jefferson to two points in the period and won the match 54-49. The one loss record carried the Indians to action this week as they played at Rockford Auburn on Wednesday, Dec. 14. Details of that contest are unavailable at this time. This Friday the Indians will once again be facing a significant game. A head-to-head clash at Harlem is waiting. A win over the Huskies could mean next Friday night’s head-to-head showdown at Hononegah, it could be a springboard to push Harlem two games back in the standings. A win over Harlem could help set the tone for Hononegah moving ahead, as they keep a firm gaze fixed upon the Titans and the many others trying to take the title this season.

Game action takes a break for Hononegah following next Friday’s NIC-10 home contest against the Huskies. Rockford Guilford will visit Hononegah on Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, as the second half of the winter sports season begins for the Titan-chasing Indians. Freeport will visit on Wednesday, Jan. 11. The match with the Pretzels kicks off a road trip for Hononegah that will wind them through. The Indians open the Martin Luther King Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 14 at home. The two-day pool-play style tournament features teams from northern and northeastern Illinois.

The rematch with Rockford Boylan will take place on Friday, Jan. 20. The trip down North Main will be short, but the chances to bring the NIC-10 Title back to Rockton do exist. A win over Boylan in the NIC-10 road match would mean the season series is all square between the two Conference powerhouses. The Indians play at East High School on Wednesday, Jan. 25 and travel to Beloit College for their annual practice on Thursday, Jan. 26.

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