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Boys Soccer Insider: Knights rebound

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A 3-1 loss to DeKalb last week may have served as a wake-up call for Kaneland. The Knights lost their second Northern Illinois Big 12 East game of the season and fell out of contention for the conference title.

The Knights bounced back to beat Morris, 1-0, on Tuesday.

“We’ve been talking about how we have to possess the ball more,” Kaneland coach Scott Parillo said. “We played like we had been doing up to the last few games. The last few games we hit a wall and got a little bit in a rut and just were not playing Kaneland soccer.”

Timberwolves play with 10 in tourney: At first glance, Indian Creek’s 5-0 loss to Earlville-Leland in the first round of the Little Ten Conference tournament might not seem too encouraging for the Timberwolves when the two teams meet again Tuesday in the Class 1A Indian Creek Regional semifinals.

But Indian Creek was only down, 1-0, early in the second half before a second yellow card to a starter left the Timberwolves playing with 10 men the rest of the way.

“We played them a lot different and played a much better game,” Indian Creek coach Eric Schrader said.

The Timberwolves defeated Paw Paw, 6-2, on Tuesday to advance to the LTC consolation championship for the second consecutive year.

Class 2A and 3A seeds: DeKalb may be the top team in the Northern Illinois Big 12 East, but the Barbs certainly didn’t earn a lot of respect from the IHSA seeding committee.

DeKalb was awarded the No. 3 seed in the Class 3A DeKalb Regional. Huntley and Jacobs are the top two seeds with Crystal Lake South completing the four-team regional.

Kaneland was awarded the No. 1 seed in the Class 2A Burlington Central Regional.

Sycamore is the No. 5 seed in the five-team regional and will play Aurora Illinois Math and Science Academy in the regional quarterfinals. The winner of that match will face the Knights in the regional semifinals.

VIEWS: Some 1A coaches prefer unfamiliarity in the postseason

Every year there is uncertainty surrounding the release of postseason brackets.

With changes in enrollments, different host sites and new IHSA policies, schools rarely end up in the exact same brackets as previous years.

That creates different situations for teams who could either wind up being paired with conference opponents or unfamiliar teams outside their local area.

Hinckley-Big Rock and Somonauk are the top two seeds in the Class 1A Aurora Central Catholic Regional after already having played each other twice in the regular season.

Indian Creek will also have to go through Earlville-Leland, an opponent it faced twice, in their Class 1A regional semifinal.

“It worked out in the Little Ten [Tournament] that we played Earlville [Monday],” Indian Creek coach Eric Schrader said. “I almost think it works to our advantage because you become more familiar with them. You have an idea of what to do now.”

On the other end, Hiawatha and Genoa-Kingston were both placed in a regional with largely unfamiliar teams.

The Cogs may face fellow Big Northern Conference member North Boone in the Class 1A Genoa-Kingston Regional semifinals, but G-K hasn’t played Hiawatha, St. Martin de Porres (Waukegan) or Chicagoland Jewish High School (Deerfield).

No. 3 seed Hiawatha hasn’t faced any of the four teams in the regional, but Hiawatha coach Kyle Monestero likes the unfamiliarity.

“I prefer it actually,” Monestero said. “After playing the Little Ten, it’ll be good to see some fresh teams.”

• Ross Jacobson is the sports editor of the Daily Chronicle. Contact him by email at rjacobson@shawmedia.com.

SPOTLIGHT ON...

Bernie Conley, Hinckley-Big Rock, senior forward

Conley tied the school record with six assists in a 14-0 win over Paw Paw. Conley also scored two goals in the victory.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Sycamore at DeKalb, 6 p.m., Thursday DeKalb took it to Sycamore in their first match with a 4-0 win. The Spartans hope to gather some momentum in the second half of the season.

Genoa-Kingston at Rockford Christian, 4:30 p.m., Thursday The Cogs will try to close out Big Northern Conference play with a couple victories before the Class 1A playoffs start next week.

POWER RANKINGS

1. DeKalb (7-2-5, 5-1-1 Northern Illinois Big 12 East) The Barbs defeated Kaneland in the second conference meeting between the two NI Big 12 powerhouses.

2. Hinckley-Big Rock (17-3, 5-1 Little Ten Conference) The Royals continue to dominate opponents and have developed multiple scoring threats.

3. Kaneland (9-3-2, 4-2-1 NI Big 12) The Knights stumbled against DeKalb, but got a crucial win over Morris.

4. Genoa-Kingston (11-5, 5-4 Big Northern Conference) The Cogs dominated North Boone, 14-0, for their fifth conference win.

5. Hiawatha (9-8, 4-3 Little Ten) The Hawks escaped Serena, 2-1, in overtime to advance past to the Little Ten Conference semifinals.

6. Indian Creek (8-12, 2-5 Little Ten) The Timberwolves got a confidence-booster with a 2-0 win over DePue.

7. Sycamore (2-10-1, 0-4 NI Big 12) Sycamore faces some late-season challenges before heading into a tough Class 2A regional.

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