By Christopher Johnson


Pecatonica powers way to five win opening

Many times a team’s success can be foreseen as numbers are put together and expectations start to align. Those “expectations” appear to be lining-up for Pecatonica.

The Lady Indians put a big piece in place this past week as they turned their attention to hardwoods across the northwest and opened the 2021-2022 winter campaign with a 5-1 mark.

What a team had done in a previous season often doesn’t matter. In the world of high school athletics, graduation becomes the greatest and most deserved equalizer.

Coaching staffs have to reload, if they want to continue working a plan that had hoped to be accessed in previous, or potentially unrealized season planning.

Lady Indians faithful saw their home team pour on the offense in a better than two-to-one margin, opening night win over Ashton-Franklin Center.

Pecatonica scored 64 points in game one of the 2021-2022 winter season and beat the in-vading Lady Raiders, allowing 31 points in the process.

The 1-0 opening propelled the Lady Indians into an even more impressive game two victory over West Carroll and it showcased the team’s ability to stop runs and take time off the clock.

The Lady Indians silenced the Lady Thunder with a determined fourth frame, winning 48-40 and moving to 2-0 on the season.

It was time for tournament tip-offs as the Thanksgiving Holiday arrived. Big Northern front runner Dixon was the first to stand in the path of perfect continuance.

The Duchesses controlled the game and dictated when they would allow any sort of point scoring by the Lady Indians.

Dixon dominated play in support of its perfect 5-0 opening and first place showing in the NUIC member’s neighboring conference.

The 41-14 final featured the season’s first loss, but it put perspective in place as the Lady Indians moved on in the holiday invitational, carrying the 2-1 winter mark.

Defensive dominance returned in game two of the mid-week tournament as Pecatonica again relied on slick passing and disruptive shifting.

The Lady Raiders fell to Pecatonica for the second time in the early season. The final score of 44-29 highlighted a much stronger effort by AFC.

Final day play in the Thanksgiving Invitational featured the 3-1 Lady Indians against NUIC-South representative Amboy.

It was another battle for Pecatonica and it gave the Lady Indians another boost in overall well-being as they held Amboy to 34 points.

When the final horn sounded Pecatonica had shifted a semi-calmed crowd into a much more exuberant state of acceptance as they moved to 4-1 on the season with the four-point victory.

Everything the Lady Indians had experienced and “dealt with” during their 4-1 opening run came into full bloom during a home non-conference match with season-familiar South Beloit.

On Tuesday, Nov. 23, the Lady Sobos suffered through a 50-4 dismantling as Pecatonica held the visitors to limited opportunities throughout the night.

South Beloit’s loss was one of the largest margins of victory by any Lady Indians basketball team in the recent past.

The 46 point win helped raise the team’s scoring average to nearly 50 points per game, in support of just over 27 points allowed.

The final week of the first month of the 2021-2022 winter season opened at home on Tues-day as North Boone, with a 1-2 season mark paid a visit.

Pecatonica’s first NUIC-North showdown will be against the Aquin Lady Bulldogs, on the road in Freeport, Thursday, Dec. 9, with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.

Lady Indians capture tournament title

Winnebago opens the first week of December undefeated and already carrying hardware from its first journey into the winter season.

This past weekend play wrapped up at the neighboring Forreston Girls Basketball Thanksgiving Tournament and it was a perfect close to the first week of November for Winnebago.

The green light to the season had already been issued by the Illinois High School Association and the Illinois State Board of Education.

All steps were followed and the games commenced with the Winnebago Lady Indians getting things started in tournament-style and already focused on doing a lot of things right this season.

Stockton was first up and the first to quickly be put down as Winnebago out-maneuvered the Lady Blackhawks all the way to a 54-16 opening night win.

Let-up was not considered and the Lady Indians put out an even more impressive statement as they ran down Eastland 71-15 to open tournament games for the day.

With a 2-0 mark the Lady Indians got a chance to see what the Big Northern might be all about this season, at least in some situations.

Stillman Valley, historically a threat for the crown in the Big Northern, presented an opportunity for Winnebago to get an early look at a potential problem in the functional operation of the season’s plan.

The Lady Cardinals and Lady Indians will face off on Saturday, Jan. 22 in their annual Big Northern get together.

On Saturday, Nov. 20, the two team’s battled as part of the make-up of the 2021 Forreston Thanksgiving Tournament.

It was all Winnebago. Stillman Valley couldn’t move the ball and when they passed, picking pockets became participated practices for the Lady Indians.

After having scored 54 in the opener and 71 in game two,  Winnebago poured in 80 points and nearly doubled-up on Stillman Valley as they rolled to the Tournament Semi-Final with the 80-44 decision.

Up next was Rochelle and the Lady Hubs too discovered that they were not going to be able to do a lot of things that helped them collect early season wins.

Winnebago’s defensive pressure and attack at the rim gave them a double-digit advantage with three full quarters of basketball to play.

Rochelle dropped the 67-24 decision and stood by as the Lady Indians were introduced on the grounds of Forreston High School in the Championship Game.

Winnebago destroyed their hosts and once again built a double-digit, and nearly-20 point lead after the opening period of play.

Scoring advantages only grew in period two as the Lady Indians, guarding a 20-4 second period opening edge, stopped all offensive strategy planning presented by the host Lady Cardinals and pushed the lead to 44-4 at the half.

A lot of people got the chance to celebrate with Winnebago in the second half of the Thanksgiving Tournament Championship would down. Benches emptied.

Scoring dropped, but no one cared. The 56-10 lead after three gave the Lady Indians only time to kill as they forged through the fourth with a nine-point showing, holding Forreston to three points scored in the period.

The 65-13 final score secured Winnebago’s perfect opening to the 2021-2022 winter season and set them up in the strongest possible position they could be in as they head into December and into the mix-of head-to-head and non-conference matches waiting.

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