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Girls basketball: Capsules for 1A/2A basketball sectionals

2A Aurora Christian

When: Tuesday, Thursday

Where: Aurora Christian High School

Teams: Aurora Christian (12-14), Byron (27-3), Oregon (19-11), Prophetstown (27-2)

Players to watch: Alyssa Andersen, Aurora Christian sr. G; McKaylee Beeter, Oregon sr. G; Natasha Brown, Aurora Christian F; Clare Kramer, Prophetstown sr. F; Sam Lambrigtsen, Oregon sr. G; Ellie Lehne, Byron jr. F; Karlie Stafford, Prophetstown sr. F; Mayson Whipple, Byron sr. G

Outlook: Prophetstown holds two victories over Oregon and one over Byron this season. The Prophets and Hawks are very similar animals – they use defensive pressure to create turnovers and points on the other end. Neither has the size to get stuck in a half-court game. Byron does. The Tigers are led by junior forward Ellie Lehne, who is well over 6-feet tall. Aurora Christian lost seven of its last 10 games before winning a regional crown. The Eagles seem to be the wild-card in this field.

Favorite: Prophetstown

Darkhorse: Oregon

Winner to: Monmouth Supersectional vs. Fieldcrest Sectional winner, 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24.

SVM prediction: Prophetstown

1A Forreston Sectional

When: Tuesday, Thursday

Where: Forreston High School

Teams: Amboy (20-6), Dakota (25-6), Eastland (25-5), Galena (15-9)

Players to watch: Jaycee Cleaver, Dakota jr. G; Kristi Ebbers, Dakota jr. F; Katie Furlong, Galena fr. C; Hannah Hake, Eastland sr. F; Kaitlyn Liebing, Amboy jr. C; Lexis Mamcomber, Eastland jr. F; Skylar Middendorf, Galena sr. G; Delaney Wilhelm, Amboy fr. G

Outlook: Amboy is the crasher of this NUIC party. The Clippers are making their first sectional appearance since 1990 and will have a tough task in Dakota in the semifinal. Galena is a bit of a surprise after finishing 5-7 in the NUIC West, well behind the conference champions – Eastland. The Cougars have been the model of consistency this season with a strong inside game provided by Macomber and Hake, balanced by good shooting outside.

Favorite: Eastland

Darkhorse: Amboy

Winner to: DeKalb Supersectional vs. Harvest Christian Academy Sectional winner, 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24

SVM prediction: Eastland

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