RANDY STUCKENBERG PHOTO Tempo  Ava Kultgren puts up a shot over Winnebago’s Rachel Rittmeyer, 23, during the second quarter of their game in Byron on Thursday, Feb. 6. Winnebago won the conference game 55-51.

By Chris Johnson

The win by the Winnebago Lady Indians over the Byron Lady Tigers on Thursday, Feb. 6, 55-51, dropped Byron to 6-4 in the Big Northern. It didn’t help Winnebago, in the overall conference chase picture though.

The Lady Indians improved to 8-2 in the Big Northern and ended the season sharing second place with the Rock Falls Lady Rockets. They couldn’t move up the standings. Dixon was 9-1 this year in head-to-head battles.

For Byron, the loss came at a time where an immediate response allowed itself to be presented. The second season began on Monday, Feb. 10. Byron and Erie faced off in the Rock Falls Class 2A Regional quarterfinal.

With the five-seed designation, Byron was favored to roll over Erie. The Lady Cardinals picked up the twelve and opened the post-season with a 13-14 season record. The Lady Tigers supported their 6-4 conference showing with a 20-10 overall mark.

Looking at the numbers though, the two teams weren’t too far off in some important categories. It was a close game, on paper. There were some differences, favoring the five-seed Lady Tigers.

Byron averaged 49.3 points per game on offense in the Big Northern this year. They supported that showing with a defense that gave up 44.5.

Erie has scored 38.5 points, on average, each night out west in the Three Rivers. They’ve given up 34.5 to conference-familiars.

The snapshot on both sides of ball gives Byron a better than double-digit scoring edge on offense and sees Erie take that claim on the defensive front.

The win on opening night would push Byron into a Wednesday, Feb. 12 rematch with four-seed Winnebago.

On Thursday, Feb. 6, in the regular season finale, Byron fell to Winnebago by four points and the visiting Lady Indians had to go the distance, against a lot of resistance.

Byron opened their final home game of the winter season getting an edge on the four-seed Lady Indians. Their two-point advantage grew by the break.

At the half, the host Lady Tigers were in front 27-23. They would lose the lead as the third played to completion.

Winnebago found a way around the Byron defense and scored 14. The Lady Tigers were held to ten as the game knotted at 37.

Fourth period play favored Winnebago. Shots were taken with second attempts occasionally appearing as the Lady Indians fought to the final minutes to secure the 55-51 decision.

The Wednesday night rematch in the Rock Falls 2A Regional semi-final tips-off at 7:30pm. The Rock Falls Champion will advance to Mendota for Sectional Round play beginning Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 6pm, against the Genoa-Kingston Regional Champion.

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