By Christopher Johnson

Pecatonica High shifting into spring sports season

The time for preparations for the spring sports season is at hand for athletes at Pecatonica High School. The winter games have come to a close for members of this year’s basketball team.

Following the completion of second season action this past week, the Lady Indians were issued a completion certificate for the Class 1A State Basketball Playoffs.

They enter the spring readiness stage hoisting the Class 1A Regional Title, the second in the school’s more than 50-year recording period with the IHSA.

On Wednesday, Feb. 23, after collecting the Regional honors, top-seed Pecatonica prepared for a face-off with a long-time rival.

Stockton was a second runner up this season this in the Northwest Upstate Illini Conference-West and was 16-9 ahead of the early week meeting.

The six-seed ran through the early rounds of the State’s 1A Tournament with upset after upset, after claiming Regional Quarterfinal success honors over eight-seed Pearl City.

The Lady Blackhawks played host to the 1A field of participants this year and in game two got the chance to take on the Northwest Upstate Illini Conference North’s regular season champion Orangeville.

The Lady Broncos were 11-1 in head-to-head battles and 27-4 on the season. They won the North by a game over Lena-Winslow and two over Pecatonica.

Stockton was prepared to win and fed off the energy provided by the home crowd. Kenzie Haas helped pace the way to victory for the six-seed with 17 points. Brynn Haas added 14 with ten boards.

The Regional Title Game featured another upset for the hosts as they took out the North’s second best team, Lena-Winslow, 45-40.

One more upset stood waiting for Stockton and they traveled to Forreston to get it done. This time it was the Indian Creek 1A Regional Champion Pecatonica Lady Indians who lined up against them.

Pecatonica could not get its offense moving and suffered the setback, dropping out of the 2021-2022 winter campaign with the 43-31 decision.

 The Lady Indians closed the year capturing 20 wins and the school’s second Regional Title. The boys basketball representatives searched for the Sectional Crown this week and they started off the hunt at home.

On Tuesday night, March 1, the Indians faced the top seed in the Class 1A Pecatonica Sectional Complex, Scales Mound.

Unfortunately, details of the 1A Sectional Semi-final are unavailable in this week’s edition of the Gazette Newspaper.

An upset of the northern branch’s number-one seed would have been mandatory if the Indians got the chance to play for the Sectional Crown this Friday night at home.

Pecatonica’s push through the 1A Brackets started in the Regional Quarterfinal as they upended Leland 104-37. The three-seed followed it up with the take down of seven-seed Earlville in the Shabbona-Indian Creek Regional Semi-final.

The Indians played stingy defense as they faced the Somonauk Bobcats in the 1A Regional Title Game. The three-seed picked up the win and claimed the Regional Crown with the 54-47 decision.

Winnebago eyes Class 2A Final Four

Ranked number one in the State of Illinois as the second week of the post-season came to a close, the Winnebago Indians played for the right to advance to the Class 2A State Championship’s Final Four on Monday night.

Unfortunately, details of the Super Sectional battle with Chicago DePaul College Prep, which won the Class 2A Sectional at home over Wilmette-Regina Dominican, are unavailable in this week’s edition of the Gazette Newspaper.

Statistically, Winnebago should have rolled over the co one-seed from Chicago. The Lady Indians entered the Feb. 28 meeting as the number one overall team in the Class 2A State Tournament with a 33-2 record..

Throughout the season the Big Northern Champion averaged 60 points a game on offense, allowing about half that on defense. They were 9-0 in head-to-head battles.

The Lady Rams finished in fourth place in the Catholic White Conference this season with a 3-3 record and faced down the State’s top team hoisting an 18-9 overall mark.

DePaul College Prep, on average, scored just over 50 points a night, which was approximately ten points more than they gave up as a standard nightly practice.

Winnebago’s journey through the Oregon Regional and into the Johnsburg Sectional involved taking out teams that they had previously dismissed this season.

Game play officially began for the Super Sectional representative on Monday, Feb. 14 as the Lady Indians faced ten-seed Oregon.

Winnebago powered in 78 points on offense and kept the Lady Hawks offense contained with 21 in the game. The win gave the Lady Indians a shot at the first of what would be many Post-Season Titles with an appearance in the Oregon Regional Championship.

Rock Falls, which was issued the four-seed in the Class 2A Tournament, pushed through opening night play with a 15-point victory over six-seed Rock Island Alleman.

The win over the Lady Pioneers allowed Winnebago the shot to face the four-seed Lady Rockets for the Regional Crown on Thursday, Feb. 17.

On Jan. 14, Rock Falls lost for the fist time to Winnebago, 54-41. Thursday, Feb. 17, the Lady Rockets crumbled by better than double that, 54-24, giving the Lady Indians the first level honors.

After a slight postponement, Winnebago faced down Aurora Central Catholic on Wednesday, Feb. 23 in the Johnsburg Class 2A Sectional Semi-Final.

The Lady Indians once again powered their way to a better than 25-point victory, knocking out three-seed Aurora Central Catholic and moving to the Sectional Title game against a very familiar opponent.

In the northern branch of the Johnsburg Sectional Winnebago picked up the one seed. Right behind them, Byron nabbed the two.

In the Big Northern Conference that’s also the way things lined up as the Lady Tigers suffered only one setback this season and it was at the hands of the State’s top team.

With only a day off, due to the earlier week delay, Byron and Winnebago suited up for battle for the Sectional Title.

Miyah Brown paced the way for Winnebago as she and the Lady Indians pulled down their second crown with the 50-38 decision.

If the Lady Indians toppled Chicago DePaul College Prep on Monday night they will face either Minonk-Fieldcrest or Chicago Noble-Butler on Thursday, March 3, and be one win away from a shot at the 2A State Title.

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