By Trenten Scheidegger

    Coming into last week, the Pecatonica Indians held a 14-1 record on the 2022-2023 boys’ basketball season. The Indians were the second ranked class 1A team in all of Illinois, and they were riding a six-game winning streak.

    The Indians didn’t get much time to settle in for the new week, however. On Monday, Jan. 9, Pecatonica was set to play host to the Rockford Christian Royal Lions.

At 17-0, Rockford Christian was poised to be one of, if not the toughest opponent of the season for the Indians. As one of the top ranked 2A teams in Illinois, Rockford Christian appeared to have all the advantages over the Indians.

    Pecatonica did have the privilege of playing on their home court, however, and they fed off the energy. The Indians were able to get out to a slim lead in the second quarter.

Pecatonica sophomore, Cooper Hoffman, sunk a free throw just over a minute into the quarter. The shot gave the Indians a 22-18 lead as they looked to capture some momentum.

Rockford Christian would catch fire from behind the three-point arc, however. In the second quarter alone, the Lions hit five three-pointers. A trio of those threes came from one player as Rockford’s Elijah Daugherty couldn’t miss.

At one point, the Lions hit three consecutive three-pointers without missing a shot. Eventually, the Lions would get out to a 37-27 lead.

    The run wouldn’t come to an end until Pecatonica’s Briaun Green used his physical play to get to the basket. At six feet, three inches tall and over 250 pounds, Green provides an imposing threat in the post for the Indians. His tough shot helped cut the Rockford lead down to single digits. At halftime, the Indians trailed 37-31.

    Coming out for the second half, the Indians were in a good spot. Despite trailing and struggling for open looks on offense in the first, this game was well within reach. With Rockford running press defense for the entirety of the game, the Indians looked to stretch the floor.

Queue Mason Peterson, arguably Pecatonica’s best three-point shooter. The junior guard came down the floor and sunk an early three-pointer in the third quarter. Moments later, Peterson was back in the right corner for another catch and shoot opportunity. Peterson splashed his second three-pointer of the quarter to bring the Indians within two as they trailed 43-41.

Midway through the third, Korbin Gann hit a tough layup to tie the game at 46-46. Gann, a senior standing six feet, five inches tall, is another sizeable guy down low for the Indians.

Gann isn’t limited to post play, however, as you can find him handling the ball at the top of the arc on a number of possessions.

    Following Gann’s layup, Rockford quickly answered. With one minute left in the third, another layup from Hoffman would tie the game at 50-50.

That was the last time the game would be even for Pecatonica, however, as Rockford would slowly start to gain the momentum going into the final quarter.

    The Lions would sink a three-pointer to start the fourth quarter, giving Rockford a 56-52 lead. Shortly after, Gann would sink a free throw to bring the Indians within one.

Each time Pecatonica got close, the Lions would have an answer. Following Gann’s free throw, the Lions hit two quick baskets. Jaxon Diedrich would hit a contested layup to end the short run, bringing the score to 61-57 Rockford.

With just over two minutes left in regulation, the Indians once again cut the lead to four as Hoffman hit another layup. Once again, Rockford would answer with a basket of their own, forcing Pecatonica to call a late timeout.

    Eventually, the Indians would fall by a final score of 73-67. Although a loss is never fun, the Indians felt like they were in a good place coming out. Pecatonica head coach, Bobby Heisler, spoke about the team’s confidence, saying it was “Pretty much how I’ve felt about this season.

“We know we have guys who can compete and we play at a high level.” Heisler notes there is still work to be done, saying “We still have a lot of things that we need to improve on, and we will get there. We got a gutsy group of kids and they will continue to keep putting in the work to get where they need to be come the end of February.”

The game was never really out of reach, but the Rockford offense was too much for the Indians in this one. The Lions hit nine three-pointers on the game, which helped give them the advantage.

The Indians were led in scoring by Hoffman, who finished the game with 23 points. Mason Peterson was next up for Pecatonica as he finished with 11.

Following the loss, Peterson spoke about the team’s mentality and needing to bounce back from another tough loss. Once again, Peterson stressed the importance of having a short memory.

“Well, obviously we’re down, but we want to get back up. So, we’ll go to practice tomorrow, get ready, and get going for Dakota.” Peterson had a special request for that game, adding he was hoping to “go into Dakota, hopefully win by twenty, and get back on track.”

For the record, Pecatonica did go on to win by 20. Technically, they won by twenty-one as they picked up a 56-35 victory over Dakota. It’s the second time Pecatonica came out victorious against Dakota, this season. The win improved Pecatonica’s overall record to 15-2 as they got back in the win column.

Following hosting the Marin Luther King Jr Memorial Tournament, the Indians will be back on their home court the night of Thursday, Jan. 19, to play host to the Orangeville Broncos. As of Jan. 12, the Broncos held a record of just 1-13 on the season.

Buy Viagra Overnight Delivery USA.