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Finally, we talkin’ hoopin!

Published: Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 12:21 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Philip Marruffo/pmarruffo@saukvalley.com)
Dixon's Matt Coffey (21) lays the ball up over Sterling's Isaiah Celestino last Friday night at Lancaster Gym. The Dukes are one of several area teams to get off to a great start in the 2013-14 basketball season.

Ithink I blinked and missed a month there. It seems like we were in the middle of the football playoffs, and then I closed my eyes for a second.

When I opened them up, we were already in the middle of holiday basketball tournaments.

While I am exaggerating, the blur of state football, postseason volleyball and football sections, and the preparation for basketball season just made it hard for me to have time to sit down and type out some thoughts.

It didn’t help that we are now navigating these seas with one less person, with Mr. Heimerman now manning a desk on the news side.

But, now I have a second, and it’s time to give some thoughts on area hoops.

So here we go…

There are a pack of teams that have started the season hot.

On the boys side, Dixon, Newman, Milledgeville, Polo, Eastland and Fulton have all had very nice starts.

The Dukes are undefeated as I write this, and they’ll stay that way through Christmas, what with the West Carroll tournament calling off its remaining games due to the weather.

With the Dukes on the road for most of this first month, we haven’t had much chance to see them.

They’ve played a host of smaller schools so far, but should get tested a little more at the Plano tournament next week.

Newman won the Oregon tournament without much help from some key starters who were still playing football.

They’ve kept rolling all the way to the championship game at the Forreston tournament. That game against Winnebago should give us an idea of how far the Comets have come since last winter.

Milledgeville has been a feel-good story, with only one loss. It’s a group of kids that haven’t had a whole lot of winning in their high school careers. It’d be great to see them string together a good season.

The bad news is that Milledgeville, Polo, Eastland, Aquin and Forreston have all been grouped into one regional.

Something smells in Denmark, if those five very good teams are getting sent to the same place. There could be at least three sectional championship-quality teams there.

On the girls side, Prophetstown hasn’t missed a beat despite key losses to graduation.

The Prophets knocked off a good Oregon team on Thursday – for the second time this season – and play Byron for the Polo tourney title on Saturday. This year, the Prophets will be placed in 2A, and they could see the Hawks and Tigers again in the sectional round.

Sterling started off hot, but has cooled off the last week or two. They are playing in the ultra-tough Sterling Shootout right now.

They’ll take their lumps, but most Julie Schroeder-coached teams use those lessons for big things later in the year.

Eastland is strong again, and there’s no reason to believe the Cougars won’t make some noise in 1A.

Wow, and that’s just scratching the surface.

Thank goodness, we’ve still got a couple months more to talk about hoops.

 

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