By Chris Johnson, REPORTER

 Looking at a one-point loss to the Boylan Titans as the NIC-10 schedule began to challenge the Hononegah Indians, it was learned that there could be a lot of close matches this season. Over the first few conference games this season, the Indians have worked through contests won and lost by a matter of only a few points. It has been consistent and they have been in every game. If parity is the way the conference race shapes up, then Hononegah is well-prepared.

Only the loss to Boylan on Friday, Nov. 30, with a score of 69-68 blemishes the Indians record so far this year. They entered the Wednesday, Dec. 7 battle at Belvidere carrying a 5-1 overall record. On Friday, Dec. 2, the Indians bounced back from the one-point loss to the Titans to defeat the Belvidere North Blue Thunder by three points, 61-58.

Junior Kameron Kolberg led the way for Hononegah as he worked around the defense for an opening on the way to a team-high 16 points scored. Classmate Brayden Hennis chipped in ten for the win. The pace of the Friday night win slowed throughout the night. After the teams combined for 40 points scored in the first period of play, the defenses allowed eight less in the second period. After one period of action, the Indians were in front 23-17. In the second quarter, the Blue Thunder bounced back and outscored the Indians 20-12 in that period. The first quarter edge held by Hononegah faded. At the half the Indians trailed 37-35.

In the third quarter, the two teams combined for only 28 points allowed, another tight one that eliminated two additional scoring chances. With the Indians winning the third period 15-13, the third quarter came to an end with the NIC-10 clash notched at 50.

Hononegah scored eleven points in the final period and managed to keep Belvidere North at a safe distance. The Blue Thunder tipped in eight in the frame but couldn’t find the extra look. The Indians improved their standing to 5-1 with that 61-58 win.

Sophomore Caleb Donaldson scored nine points for Hononegah and connected on 50 percent of his chances from the field. Senior Spencer Murdoch tacked on eight points and equaled Donaldson’s scoring efficiency. Josh Donaldson scored six points, with Senior Jackson Doyle and Junior Ryan Althoff adding five points apiece. Austin Hennis also scored for Hononegah in the bounce-back NIC-10 win.

Belvidere hosted Hononegah on Wednesday, Dec. 7. Details of that contest are unavailable in this week’s edition of the Herald Newspaper. NIC-10 action continues for the Indians this Friday, Dec. 9 as they take part in a boy-girl doubleheader against the Jefferson J-Hawks. Next Wednesday, Dec. 14, Hononegah faces its next big challenge in its pursuit of the NIC-10 Title. The Auburn Knights play host to the Indians and two days later Hononegah hosts the Harlem Huskies. On Dec. 23, the Huskies and Indians meet up again.

As 2017 arrives, the Indians should find themselves aware of what still needs to be accomplished this season as they attempt to track down Boylan and the many others racing from the gates towards the Conference crown. Guilford hosts Hononegah on Friday, Jan. 6 to open the second half of the winter sports season. The NIC-10 test begins immediately. It will be re-visited by the Boylan Titans on Friday, Jan. 20 following the Indians’ commemorative tournament.

The annual Martin Luther King Invitational begins Saturday, Jan. 14 and the Indians are expected to once again be competing for the tournament title. They are also expected to find favorable results in other “close games” that await them this season as they play through games during the NIC-10 season.






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