By Chris Johnson, REPORTER

 The Hononegah Lady Indians didn’t have time to worry about a Tuesday, Nov. 29 loss to the Boylan Lady Titans as the NIC-10 schedule hit them head-on. The loss is a small distraction now. It hopes to soon be forgotten. Beginning with the Tuesday, Dec. 6 match against the Belvidere Lady Bucs, Hononegah plays four straight games within the Conference. They have to worry about finding ways to put together a little winning streak as 2016 comes to a close. The match against Belvidere played on Tuesday, details are currently unavailable.

Belvidere entered the NIC-10 feature match in a position that hasn’t been frequented, ahead of the Lady Indians in the standings. With the Boylan loss, Hononegah played on Tuesday with a 1-1 Conference mark. Belvidere began the match with a worse overall record, but a better Conference standing with a 2-0 NIC-10 showing.

Hononegah took down Belvidere North in the first of a string of NIC-10 contests on Friday, Dec. 2, as they came away with a 74-42 win. They improved to 5-1 with the defeat of the Lady Blue Thunder. The Lady Indians were led by Cali Schmitz’s 14 points in the Conference win. As a team, Hononegah found itself playing close through the first period. The 16 points scored by the Lady Indians allowed the Lady Blue Thunder to hang around as they scored 12 of their own. Into the second quarter the Hononegah defense tightened up, but found it was getting a lot more support on the offensive side of the ball. Belvidere North scored ten points in the second period. Hononegah added 25 in the frame. At the half the Lady Indians were in front 41-22.

The strategy that had been put in place in earlier season contests was on display in the third period in that NIC-10 battle. Hononegah would not let up. With a 23 point quarter added to the books, the Lady Indians found themselves just minutes away from a much-needed rebound win, in front 64-36. They would take the night with the 30-plus point win.

Even though Boylan holds the early season NIC-10 edge, courtesy of the November head-to-head victory over Hononegah; the Lady Indians can keep pace in the Conference race. They can even push the pace over the next couple weeks.

This Friday night Hononegah plays at Jefferson. On Dec. 13, the Lady Indians return home and face the Auburn Lady Knights. A game at Harlem on Thursday, Dec. 15 closes the NIC-10 portion of the first half of the winter sports season. With the exception of a Friday, Dec. 23 battle with the Rock Falls Lady Rockets in a pre-New Year Tournament, the important Conference-positioning stretch comes to a close, as non-Conference battles begin to line up for Hononegah. Starting with a clash with the Sterling Lady Golden Warriors in the host school’s own tournament on Friday, Dec. 16, unfamiliar foes face Hononegah in Sterling. On Saturday, Dec. 17 the Lady Indians play two teams. At 1 p.m., the Moline Lady Maroons appear on the schedule. In the 4 p.m. game, Hononegah faces former State-Champion Peoria Richwoods. Tournament play closes the 2016 portion of the winter sports season for the Lady Indians. On Friday, Jan. 6, Hononegah takes on Rockford Guilford as the NIC-10 race begins to heat up. Over the next few weeks Hononegah has the chance to keep itself extremely-relevant in the race for the NIC-10 title.

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