By Christopher Johnson

Lady Indians stand on top in Northern Upstate

Over the past week of play the Pecatonica Lady Indians have secured a 4-0 record supported by an offensive display that has seen the team averaging over 50 points a night and winning by double-digits as a result.

While the team has been finding ways to score, led by senior Maddie Carlson as a recent 27 point effort showcases, team defense has been persistently difficult to score against.

This past week featured a 108-26 scoring advantage for the Lady Indians. Since a loss to Big Northern force Dixon in week one of the 2021-2022 winter sports season Pecatonica has been perfect.

Wins over area familiars Amboy and South Beloit pushed the Lady Indians to their current 7-1 mark and post position position ahead of the start of the regular NUIC season this week.

In the December opener, Pecatonica played host to West Carroll as the Lady Thunder looked to right the route the team has been turning towards lately.

Each team managed to find enough offense to keep the game moving at a fairly steady pace through the early minutes.

After one period of play, the visiting Lady Thunder found scoring not as readily available, yet successful enough to keep things close. The game was knotted at eleven.

As the second period opened, Pecatonica found its chance to begin putting a little space between themselves and the still contained Thunder.

Senior Maddie Carlson, who had already scored three from beyond in the arc in the opening period was kept scoreless in the second.

The Lady Indians team defense responded though and refused to let West Carroll get any closer during the brief pause in Carlson’s assault.

The led grew to 27-15 by the half with the host Lady Indians looking to move to six games over .500 just two periods later.

West Carroll played its best period of the night right after the break and pumped in 13 points, two points shy of the entire first half total.

Pecatonica wasn’t phased and stretched its advantage even more, Carslon chipped in five and carried her 14 point team leading scoring margin into the final frame with her Lady Indians in front 42-28.

As the fourth quarter opened, shots began falling regularly for the Lady Indian’s launchers. By the time time had expired in the fourth quarter, Carlson had boosted her team leading scoring total to 27 points following another four three-point connects.

The Lady Indians powered in 19 points in the fourth quarter and kept West Carroll limited with a matching 13-point period total.

As the final horn sounded Pecatonica had improved to 7-1 on the season with the 61-41 decision and assumed position at the top of the pack in the NUIC.

A major test to Pecatonica’s position is on tap this week as the conference season opener features a meeting with Freeport Aquin.

The Lady Bulldogs will play host to Pecatonica on Thursday, Dec. 9 and opens its own conference season with a 5-2 season mark, which is second best overall the NUIC field.

Tournament tine takes Pecatonica way this weekend and next, with the final non-conference meeting of the first half of the winter season scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 22 against Stockton.

Winnebago beats back Pirates to stay perfect

The winter sports season is underway for the Winnebago Lady Indians and so far a lot of very good results have been returned.

On Saturday, Dec. 2, Galena gave the Lady Indians their best challenge of the season as they brought size and a strong defensive presence with them into the non-conference get together.

In the end, Winnebago’s approach with denialism led to an ever-receding return in effort for the Lady Pirates. The points quit counting and Winnebago took advantage of the situation.

After the first period of play in the Saturday match Galena showed why it will be a force to deal with in their own NUIC season.

The visiting Lady Pirates scored ten and kept their hosts at a two-score deficit after one, 10-6.  Disallowing scoring chances is a standard early practice for the Lady Pirates, as recent statistics seem to indicate.

Similarly to Galena, Winnebago bases a lot of its success through defensive discipline, which tends to cause the presence of scoring gaps for its opponents.

Winnebago bounced back in the second in the Saturday match and pumped in twelve points, out-scoring Galena at a better than two-to-one clip.

At the spin, the Lady Indians who had trailed by four at the start of the second, led by three at the half thanks to its defense allowing five points to the Lady Pirates.

Scoring would only diminish for Galena as period three progressed. The Lady Pirates couldn’t even match their second quarter tally of five points and mustered only four in the frame.

Winnebago didn’t wait and dropped in an additional twelve points, pushing its advantage from one score to a double-digit lead, in front 30-19.

The fourth quarter featured a specific design for the soon-to-be victorious Lady Indians. It involved not giving Galena anything to look at as they worked through a struggled three-point scoring period.

Winnebago put in eleven points in the fourth quarter and kept the Lady Pirates contained with three, running away to the nearly 20-point win 41-22.

With the victory Winnebago moved to 7-0 on the season and moves into the second week of the month of December still waiting for their first conference showdown of the winter campaign.

Matches involving schools that the Lady Indians won’t see, as general practice, during the regular season got underway this week.

Tuesday’s week opener featured a match up with Rolling Meadows out of the hard-hitting Mid-Suburban-East Conference.

The Lady Mustangs battle teams from Buffalo Grove, Prospect and Hersey during their regular conference season and carried a 5-3 mark into the Tuesday match.

Details of the non-conference game with Rolling Meadows are unfortunately unavailable in this week’s edition of the Gazette Newspaper.

Marengo is up next and the Lady Indians will travel from McHenry County along the Route 20 corridor to western Winnebago County on Thursday, Dec. 9.

There are no games scheduled this weekend for Winnebago, but they will open the final week of play ahead of the Christmas Break with games scheduled against Freeport Aquin next Thursday, followed by a non-conference battle with Rockford Auburn on the road in west Rockford on Saturday, Dec. 18.

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