Stillman Valley’s Kayla Boyd, left, and Lexi Lichty fight Byron’s Ella Grundstrom for a rebound during the first quarter of their game in Stillman Valley on Thursday, Jan. 23.

By Chris Johnson


The significance of the 47-40 win over the Byron Lady Tigers on Thursday, Jan. 23, paired with a Winnebago win over Dixon, meant the Stillman Valley Lady Cardinals would remain affixed to the ceiling in the Big Northern.

They had their own showdown with co-pacesetter Dixon on Saturday, Jan. 25 though.

As the week came to a close, Stillman Valley shared leadership duties with five wins and stood together with Dixon and Winnebago at the top.

There is less than a month to go before the Class 2A State Playoffs begin and control in the Big Northern remains in question for Stillman Valley and a host of others.

Co co-leaders had their own showdown a week ago, in which the Winnebago Lady Indians won the round, 39-24, to help guide Dixon and the other leaders to the five wins a piece designation.

Prior to the inter-conference mash-ups, Stillman Valley warmed up with an overtime defeat of Three Rivers West leader, Port Byron Riverdale..

Stillman Valley had to go to overtime to silence Riverdale a little over a week ago. Each team could only manage ten points in the first quarter when they met on Tuesday, Jan. 21.

The host Lady Cardinals managed to build a gap as the second quarter proved to be a little easier going. Riverdale was out scored by a better than two-to-one margin in the second.

At the start of the third the host Lady Cardinals were in front by seven, 23-16. By the end of the frame they had fallen a shot back, 31-29.

Defense tightened by both teams in the final minutes. Foul play became a concern with ball control becoming a major concern.

As time wound down each team found the chances to make things happen, dwindle.

Stillman Valley fought back through the frame and outscored the Lady Rams 10-8 to force overtime with the score locked at 39.

Port Byron would close down in the overtime period. There would be no offense to report. Stillman Valley processed three and made it count, winning 42-39.

The Lady Rams enter the final stretch of their own season carrying a record of 16-3. They stand strong on the Class 2A top 20, five positions away from the top ten

Rock Falls traveled to Stillman Valley on Tuesday, Jan. 28. The Lady Cardinals remain home to host Mendota this Friday night.

February action opens for the Lady Cardinals as they fill the role as a participating member in the Aquin Shoot Out on Feb. 1.


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