Rock Falls (5-10) at Dixon (13-3)
When: 7:15 today
Where: Lancaster Gym
Conference: Rock Falls 1-2 BNC West; Dixon 3-1 NIB-12 West
On the line: Future BNC West running mates looking for local bragging rights
Players to watch: Laron Carr, Dixon jr. G; Austin Donoho, Rock Falls sr. G; Aaron Frank, Rock Falls jr. G; Kyle LeBlanc, Dixon so. F; Jacob Mammosser, Rock Falls jr. F; Isaiah Roby, Dixon so. F
Outlook: Next year, the Dukes and Rockets will be meeting with conference standings on the line. This year it is all pride. The Dukes have been very good this season with a young, but experienced cast of players. Rock Falls has struggled and is looking for its first signature win.
SVM pick: Dixon
Bureau Valley (13-7) at Newman (17-1)
When: 7:30 today
Where: Newman H.S., Sterling
Three Rivers North: Bureau Valley 5-0; Newman 5-0
On the line: First place in the Three Rivers North
Players to watch: Tommy Johnston, Bureau Valley jr. G; Josh Mead, Bureau Valley jr. G; Parker Neuhalfen, Bureau Valley jr. G; A.J. Sharp, Newman sr. G; Nate Terveer, Newman sr. G; Micah Trancoso, Newman sr. G
Outlook: Newman took its best crack at No. 1 Rockridge on Saturday, but can’t waste any time licking wounds from a 12-point loss. The Bureau Valley Storm have many weapons, including junior guard Parker Neuhalfen, who is capable of taking over a game.
SVM pick: Newman
Dixon (10-7) at Sterling (13-9)
When: 7 today
Where: Musgrove Fieldhouse
NIB-12 West: Dixon 2-2; Sterling 3-2
On the line: Dixon has chance to sweep regular-season series.
Players to watch: Brooke Bailey, Dixon sr. G; Kaitlyn Bauer, Sterling sr. F; Maggie Bushman, Dixon jr. G; Kiarra Harris, Sterling sr. F; Carly Hartle, Dixon jr. F; Gabby Sandoval, Sterling sr. G
Outlook: The Duchesses stunned the Warriors with a 45-42 win at Lancaster Gym on Dec. 10. Forward Carly Hartle had a big game against the Warriors that night, but she missed most of last week’s game against Geneseo with an ankle injury. If that hasn’t healed, Dixon will struggle to handle Sterling’s forwards.
SVM pick: Sterling
Eastland (16-3) at Oregon (14-7)
When: 7:15 today
Where: Blackhawk Center,
Conference: Eastland 5-0 NUIC East; Oregon 5-2 BNC West
On the line: Chance for Eastland to knock off larger school and build confidence.
Players to watch: McKaylee Beeter, Oregon sr. G; Megan Boehle, Oregon jr. F; Miranda Grisham, Eastland sr. F; Sam Lambrigtsen, Oregon sr. G; Lexis Macomber, Eastland jr. F; Courtney Walker, Eastland jr. F
Outlook: Whichever team dictates the pace of the game will be the victor. The Hawks will try to use their press to force turnovers and create transition buckets. Eastland will want to work their half-court sets in order to capitalized on their size advantage under the basket.
SVM pick: Oregon
Polo (18-2) at Milledgeville (12-2)
When: 7:30 Saturday
Where: Milledgeville H.S.
NUIC East: Polo 5-1, Milledgeville 4-1
On the line: Rivalry game with key NUIC East position at stake.
Players to watch: Brad Cavanaugh, Polo so. G; Kameron DawTyne, Milledgeville G; AJ Dollmeyer, Polo sr. C; Jordan Harris, Milledgeville jr. G; Caleb Skoog, Milledgeville sr. F; Max Simmons, Polo jr. F
Outlook: The Missiles have made one of the best turnarounds this season in the area. Now, it’s time to test that improvement against the best that the NUIC East has to offer. They play frontrunner Aquin on Thursday, and follow that up with rival Polo. Good showings in both could build confidence going into a tough regional.
SVM pick: Polo