By Chris Johnson


The regular season’s final plays will be run in a little over two weeks and the emphasis and attention will turn to the post-season and the shot at a state title for many teams.

The North Boone Lady Vikings have time to work on future development. They will see contests over the next few weeks of the winter sports season that will allow them the chance to see how much it takes to play at a champion-level. Every team rebuilds and North Boone faces the same facts and deals with the same issues.

A recent loss to the Rockford East E-Rabs can’t be remembered long since wins and losses don’t carry the same weight in tournaments such as the MLK Memorial Invitational as it does during conference nights. It affects the overall schedule but a loss won’t drop a team farther back in the standings. East plays out of the NIC-10 while North Boone battles in the Big Northern Conference. East was heavily favored to win.

North Boone faced Rockford Guilford during the Byron Martin Luther King Memorial Invitational on Monday, Jan. 16 and they took on Peru-St. Bede from the Tri-County Conference after that.

Non-conference regular season play continued Thursday, Jan. 19 as North Boone prepares for battle at Harvard.

Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 24, the Oregon Lady Hawks visit to North Boone will mark the last time the Lady Vikings host a guest until the last day of the month. That only leaves about a week left in the regular season.

On Tuesday, Jan. 31, North Boone hosts Stillman Valley and might be catching them at the wrong time. The Lady Cardinals haven’t lost a game since the calendar flipped to 2017. They carried a seven-game winning streak into their own MLK Memorial Invitational Tournament final in Lena-Winslow on Monday, Jan. 16.

On Friday, Feb. 3, the Lady Vikings are home for the last time this season. They face the Genoa-Kingston Lady Cogs in a match that could influence the final Big Northern standings.

At this point, Genoa-Kingston stands with Byron and Rock Falls with undefeated marks and in front of a whole lot of teams within two games of the lead.

The 2017 winter sports season officially calls to an end the regular session on Saturday, Feb. 4 as North Boone travels to Mendota.

The IHSA Class 2A Girls’ Basketball State Championship Tournament opens on Monday, Feb. 6 in Byron for many area teams including Big Northern neighbors Oregon, Rockford Christian, Winnebago, and Byron.

The winner from Byron moves on to compete in Princeton in the Class 2A Sectional. The winner from Princeton heads east to Oglesby and the Illinois Valley Community College Super-Sectional.

Like many teams at this point in the season, the Lady Vikings know some work has to be done. If fortunes come together and a modest streak of success greets North Boone, a shot at a Regional Title will remain possible.

That stands true for both the 2016 Class 2A Regional Champion Winnebago Lady Indians and the 2016 Class 2A State Champion Byron Lady Tigers who could end up running into North Boone along their own journey, as they open the post-season in the same Regional-Sectional set-up.

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