By Christopher Johnson


Games have made their way back to the courts at Stillman Valley High School and so far a lot of positive results are being returned.

Because of Covid19’s influence, decisions at the State level were made that determined holding basketball matches could enhance the risk for contraction of what has become the most deadly pandemic in over a century.

The IHSA initially determined it would go ahead and schedule winter games, but later yielded that finding as pressure from the State’s Chief Executive Officer and the Illinois Department of Public Health began being applied.

A waiting game was put into place and now, the wait is over with Stillman Valley boys and girls basketball teams making the most of the abbreviated season.

Game play was to commence in mid-January but additional delays pushed the start of the matches later into the month, with a majority of the schedule carrying into early February.

As of this past weekend, the Cardinals sat with a 3-0 mark and rode to the top of the Big Northern conference.

The wins began to collect right at the start. Stillman Valley took down the North Boone Vikings decisively, 62-35 to help kickstart their season.

The next win took them outside of the conference as they collected a three-point decision over Rochelle on Friday, Feb. 5.

The 70-67 nail-biter was highlighted by a strong start and an even more impressive finish. A four-point edge was earned by Stillman Valley in the first quarter in the Friday premiere, 21-17.

The team would not yield the lead throughout the remainder of the game, matching shot for shot the total thrown at them by the visiting Hubs. The Cardinals improved to 2-0 on the year.

Game three of the winter campaign wrapped up this past week and it ended up being another Big Northern runaway for Stillman Valley.

The Cardinals dominated play and built a large, insurmountable first half advantage that was never threatened by Oregon as the Hawks fell 61-24.

Consistent, patient shooting was the key for the Cardinals in the Monday, Feb. 8 winner, that with a stifling defense kept Oregon out of sync all night long.

The boys shooters prepare for Rockford Lutheran this Friday night. They will play on the road in Crusaders country before heading to Byron on Monday, Feb. 22 for an important Big Northern match-up against the Tigers.

The Stillman Valley Lady Cardinals have also found winning to be the natural trend so far in the 2021 winter season.

Following a 48-36 victory over North Boone on Wednesday, Feb. 10, the Lady Cardinals moved to 3-0, matching the boys start to the season.

It was the closest game of the year so far for Stillman Valley. In earlier matches against Oregon and Forreston, the margin of victory was greater than 30 points.

The Lady Hawks fell 62-23 in last Wednesday’s showdown.  Earlier in the week, Forreston crumbled, 70-39.

Upcoming games for the Lady Cardinals include contests with Genoa-Kingston on Wednesday, Feb. 17, Rockford Lutheran on Friday, Feb. 19 and against Byron on Monday, Feb. 22 at Stillman Valley.

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