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The INSIDER: Girls basketball

Published: Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012 11:12 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Dec. 28, 2012 2:42 a.m. CDT

(Continued from Page 1)

SPOTLIGHT ON...

Courtney Patrick
DeKalb, senior
Her younger sister, Brittney, has been drawing plenty of headlines, and deservedly so. But Courtney is still one of the best guards in the area, and she showed as much in the Barbs' overtime loss to Wheaton-Warrenville South, when she scored 14 of DeKalb's 32 points in regulation.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR...

H-BR and Hiawatha at the Prophetstown Tournament The Hawks are looking forward to a rematch with H-BR on Saturday after they lost to the Royals, 63-18, when Dani Clark and Ashley Tamraz had the flu.

Indian Creek at Amboy Tournament this weekend The Timberwolves will look to keep the momentum rolling after Wednesday's 52-33 win over Somonauk.

POWER RANKINGS

1. DeKalb (14-2, 4-0 Northern Illinois Big 12 East) The Barbs picked up their second loss of the season against Wheaton-Warrenville South in overtime.

2. Kaneland (9-4, 2-2 NI Big 12 East) Kaneland lost to Pontiac to finish sixth at the Ottawa Christmas Classic.

3. Sycamore (5-6, 0-3 NI Big 12 East) This young Spartans team will be tough as the conference schedule picks up.

4. Hinckley-Big Rock (7-7, 4-0 Little Ten Conference) The Royals will face a tough test in a healthy Hiawatha team at the Prophetstown Tournament this weekend.

5. Hiawatha (7-7, 1-2 LTC) The Hawks are excited for a showdown with H-BR this weekend.

6. Indian Creek (5-8, 2-3 LTC) The Timberwolves dominated in a 52-33 win over Somonauk on Wednesday.

7. Genoa-Kingston (2-12, 0-3 Big Northern Conference East) The Cogs are trying to find an identity this season.

NOTES: Strong post players give Timberwolves advantage

Indian Creek has a distinct advantage heading into most games with three skilled post players in Josie Diehl, Samantha Mosley and Kate Thuestad.

Paul Muchmore has worked with his team on getting the ball into the post, which hasn’t always been easy.

“We try to take advantage of [size] when we can,” Muchmore said. “The one thing that we struggle with is playing really hard over-the-top man-to-man, being able to get the ball to our posts. That’s something we’ve been working on.”

The Timberwolves had a long break before their 52-33 win over Somonauk on Wednesday, and Muchmore took advantage of the extra time without games or school.

“I think it’s a nice chance to concentrate on playing basketball,” he said. “It’s about trying to get better at what we do. We’ll just try to get better as the season goes on.”
Spartans’ veterans mentoring youngsters:
Sycamore’s young core has been one of the area’s biggest surprises.

But coach Brett Goff said that he consults his captains – senior Jessica Mollman, junior Julia Moll, and sophomore Bailey Gilbert – before bringing up a freshman to varsity. Goff said the veterans’ willingness to accept and mentor the young players has been crucial to the young Spartans’ success.

“As a coach, you can’t do that unless you have mature upperclassmen that are willing to accept the underclassmen,” Goff said. “They’re not trying to take anybody’s position, but they’re there to help the team. We’re very blessed to have some upperclassmen and three sophomores with experience that are willing to mentor those freshmen.”

Schumacher anticipating Royals rematch: Hiawatha’s 63-18 loss to Hinckley-Big Rock bothered coach Franz Schumacher.

He knew that two of his best players were hampered by the flu, but Schumacher uses H-BR as a measuring stick for his team. So the anticipation for the Hawks’ rematch with the Royals on Saturday in the Prophetstown Tournament is especially high.

“There’s no doubt about it,” Schumacher said. “We’re going to watch the game on film before we play we go, and hopefully it leaves a nice burn, and we’re going to do something about it … Hinckley is always a challenge, and frankly, I’m tired of losing to Hinckley all the time.”

VIEWS: Some surprises evident with young teams

With four out of five members of last year’s Daily Chronicle All-Area first-team graduating, there were plenty of questions heading into the 2012 season about the area girls basketball scene.

As the season reaches its halfway point, we’ve seen plenty of surprises, including a young team coming into its own, a previously dominant team maintaining its form, a former star returning, and a freshman becoming a star.

Here’s a rundown of some of the biggest surprises of the season.

Sycamore girls competitive with young roster: Sophomores Paige Wogen and Bailey Gilbert and freshmen Lauren Goff and Taiya Hopkins have played significant roles for the Spartans, and they’ve made Sycamore a competitive team.

The Spartans lost plenty from last season, but they’ll be a tough team to beat as the season heats up.

It will be interesting to see how much this team can improve, and when it will pick up its first conference win of the season.

H-BR still dominantin conference play: The Royals took a hit when they lost Daily Chronicle All-Area players Kaitlin Phillips and Katie Hollis, but they’re undefeated in their first four conference games.

Led by a balanced scoring attack, the Royals are on top of the Little Ten Conference.

Thuestad’s return has immediate impact: The Timberwolves had a rough time last season when Kate Thuestad decided to concentrate on volleyball in the winter, but she’s back this year and is leading a respectable Indian Creek team.

With the addition of Josie Diehl and the emergence of Samantha Mosley along with Ariel Russell’s solid play, the T-Wolves will be a team to watch in the second half of the season.

Patrick makes her case for POTY: Freshman Brittney Patrick’s emergence may be a surprise to most, but the Barbs knew they had a star-in-the-making heading into this season. Along with her sister, Courtney Patrick, and the lone returning All-Area first-teamer, Rachel Torres, the Barbs boast the best backcourt in the area.

Patrick makes that back court run, and there’s little doubt she’ll be in the conversation for the area’s best player in each of her high school seasons.

Anthony Zilis is a contributor to the Daily Chronicle. He can reached via email at sports@daily-chronicle.com

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