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The INSIDER: Girls Basketball

Published: Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

(Continued from Page 3)

SPOTLIGHT ON ...

Samantha Mosley
Indian Creek, junior, forward
Mosley scored 14 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in a 48-44 loss to Morris on Tuesday night in Morris. The junior post player is making crucial contributions to a team that comes into this season much improved. Toward the end of the season, the Timberwolves might have the potential to upset unsuspecting opposing teams.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Hiawatha at Hinckley-Big Rock, 7 p.m. Monday The new-look Royals will be tested by a tough Hiawatha team in a Little Ten Conference matchup.
Kaneland at DeKalb, 7 p.m. Tuesday
The two top teams in the area play in a game that could have critical Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference implications.

POWER RANKINGS

1. DeKalb (8-0, 1-0 Northern Illinois Big 12 East): The Barbs remain unblemished after a 53-34 win over Ottawa. 2. Kaneland (7-0, 2-0 NI Big 12 East): The Knights should be a strong contender in the conference race. 3. Sycamore (3-4, 0-2 NI Big 12 East): The young Spartans have had an up-and-down start to the season. 4. Hinckley-Big Rock (4-4, 2-0 Little Ten): The Royals have spread the scoring around this season. 5. Hiawatha (4-5, 1-1 LTC): Dani Clark has had a strong start to the season for the Hawks. 6. Indian Creek (3-6, 1-2, LTC): The Timberwolves are improved, and they showed it in a close, 48-44 loss to Morris. 7. Genoa-Kingston (2-7, 0-3 Big Northern East): Cogs had a rough time this week without game-changing post player Andrea Strohmaier, who was out with a head injury.

NOTEBOOK: H-BR has new scoring identity

Life is different for the Hinckley-Big Rock girls basketball team without Kaitlin Phillips and Katie Hollis.

The four-year varsity players were consistent sources of offense. Each night, coach Greg Burks knew who the Royals could look to for points.

This season is much different. Bridgette Edmeier, Jacqueline Madden, Abby Tosch and Lauren Paver all have taken on increased offensive roles for the Royals, and each have the ability to lead the Royals in scoring.

“It seems like you’re never really sure night to night where the points are going to come from,” Burks said. “We’ve had it spread around through several players with the possibility of one night having a pretty big scoring output, then the next night, somebody gets on the board a little bit. That’s kind of what we’ve seen through seven games so far.”

One benefit to not knowing who your leading scorer will be on any given night is that the opponent won’t know either. Teams consistently played irregular defenses on Phillips and Hollis.

“You won’t be seeing any special defenses or anything you have to prepare for in that regard,” Burks said. “I think the balance is good.”

Wogen fitting in nicely for Spartans: When sophomore Paige Wogen transferred to Sycamore from Joliet Catholic this year, she was worried she’d have to fight to gain a spot on her new team.

“I didn’t know if I’d make varsity,” Wogen said.

The sharp-shooter, who played on the freshman team at Joliet Catholic last year, came into a young squad, and now is playing a key role.

Wogen can score in bunches, and she likely will be a key player for Sycamore during the next three years.

VIEWS: New faces filling in nicely for departed stars

Four out of the five players on last year’s Daily Chronicle All-Area first team are gone, and the departure of Sycamore’s Lake Kwaza, DeKalb’s Taylor White, Hinckley-Big Rock’s Kaitlin Phillips and Hiawatha’s Randi Maynard left quite a hole in the area’s talent pool.

Sycamore and Hinckley-Big Rock’s offenses revolved around Phillips and Kwaza’s speed, DeKalb relied on White’s shooting night after night, and Hiawatha’s Maynard was a force to be reckoned with inside.

But those teams are steadily picking up the pieces.

Led by Daily Chronicle All-Area first-teamer Rachel Torres, along with honorable mention selections Courtney Bemis and Courtney Patrick, the Barbs look as good as ever, and are primed to make another deep playoff run.

As a freshman, Bailey Gilbert was an honorable mention all-area selection, and her strong play has the Spartans off to a nice start. She’s aided by a host of freshmen and sophomore contributors, some of whom are sure to make the all-area team in 2013.

Hiawatha’s Dani Clark has filled in nicely for Hiawatha during a decent start to the season, and H-BR is using an ensemble of players to fill the void for the Royals.

While the area lost stars last year, none of those teams has dropped below .500, and DeKalb remains undefeated. The all-area team will be a whole lot different this season, but plenty of deserving candidates for this year’s team have stepped up to lead their teams to successful starts.

• Anthony Zilis is a contributor for the Daily Chronicle. He can be contacted by e-mail at sports@daily-chronicle.com.

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