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FIVE TO WATCH: Prep basketball games for Jan. 29-Feb. 2


Oregon (21-5) at Byron (25-2)

When: 7:15 p.m. today

Where: Byron High School

BNC West: Oregon 9-1, Byron 9-1

On the line: First place in conference with one game left to play.

Players to watch: McKaylee Beeter, Oregon jr. G; Sam Lambrigtsen, Oregon jr. G; Ellie Lehne, Byron so. F; Sophie Reecher, Byron sr. F; Mayson Whipple, Byron jr. G; Emylyn Wright, Oregon so. G

Outlook: With a conference title essentially on the line, the Hawks and Tigers will be charged up even more than usual for this traditional rivalry game. The last time the two teams collided, the Hawks won 53-39 at the Blackhawk Center.

Twitter: Christopher Heimerman (@CHeimerman_SVM)

SVM pick: Oregon


Riverdale (20-2) at Newman (13-10)

When: 7:30 p.m. today

Where: Newman High School

Three Rivers: Newman 8-4, Riverdale 11-1

On the line: Rams need win to keep pace with Prophetstown atop TRAC.

Players to watch: Lauren Claus, Riverdale jr. G; Rachel Hagemen, Newman sr. F; Jaimie Hurd, Newman sr. G; Elle May, Riverdale sr. G; Hannah Nimrick, Riverdale sr. F; Mary Alice Oswalt, Newman jr. F

Outlook: This is the first time that the Rams and Comets have met this season, and it comes a week before the two could meet again at the 2A Newman Regional. The Comets will be looking to prove that they can run with Rams. Comets will need to limit turnovers. 

SVM pick: Riverdale


Erie (14-10) at
Newman (17-4)

When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Newman High School

Three Rivers: Erie 6-4, Newman 8-1

On the line: Comets can’t afford loss to stay close to TRAC-leading Kewanee

Players to watch: Jordan Chandler, Erie fr. G; Jacob Johnston, Erie sr. G; Nolan McGinn, Newman so. F; Kyle Moore, Newman sr. F; Connor Saad, Erie sr. G; A.J. Sharp, Newman jr. G

Outlook: The first meeting ended in Comets’ 65-64 overtime win on Nov. 30, in Erie. Sharp had 29 points in that game. Erie’s Saad hit five 3s and had 21 points. There’s no reason the rematch shouldn’t have the same sort of drama.

Twitter: Ty Reynolds

SVM pick: Newman


Winnebago (20-0) at Rock Falls (16-5)

When: 7:15 p.m. Saturday

Where: Tabor Gym, Rock Falls

BNC West: Winnebago 8-0; Rock Falls 5-3

On the line: The Rockets’ chance to give Indians first loss.

Players to watch: Steven Armoska, Rock Falls sr. F: Alex Leaf, Rock Falls sr. G; Connor Olson, Rock Falls sr. F; Derek Polkowski, Winnebago so. G; Jacob Posley, Winnebago sr. G; Matt Reinke, Winnebago sr. G

Outlook: Winnebago has only been challenged a couple times, once by Lutheran (68-65 win) and by Moline (63-56). The rest of its wins have been by double digits, including a 79-56 win over the Rockets on Dec. 18. Armoska was not in that contest because of an illness.

Twitter: Larry Brennan (@LarryBrennan) 

SVM pick: Winnebago


Aquin (16-1)
at Polo (14-5)

When: 7:15 p.m. Saturday

Where: Polo High School

NUIC East: Aquin 8-0; Polo 7-2

On the line: Marcos hopes of overtaking Bulldogs in NUIC East

Players to watch: Nolan Brannick, Aquin sr. C: Brady Bushman, Polo sr. G; Brad Cavanaugh, Polo fr. G; AJ Dollmeyer, Polo jr. F; Zach Moyer, Aquin sr. G; Anthony Townsend, Aquin jr. G

Outlook: A young group of Marcos wilted the first time they ran up against an experienced, talented Bulldog squad. Aquin won that game 79-37 in Freeport on Jan. 8. That didn’t deter the Marcos, who have kept pace with Dakota for second place in the NUIC East. This will be a chance for the Marcos to make a big statement as regionals draw near. 

SVM pick: Aquin

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