Daily Chronicle sports editor Ross Jacobson and sports reporter Steve Nitz spend their days covering the area’s sports scene. Occasionally, they give their viewpoints on those local sports. In this installment of their Take 2 column, they discuss the upcoming boys basketball season.
Jacobson: We’re just about 10 days into the boys basketball season and already we’ve been busy with Sycamore hosting the annual Strombom tournament and other local teams playing in invitationals outside the area.
We had a big surprise last year with Sycamore winning its first regional championship in about 10 years, but who do you think could be this year’s surprise team from DeKalb County?
Nitz: I’m not sure if this really counts as a surprise, but I really like Genoa-Kingston’s chances this season. The Cogs have had a consistently solid program for the past few seasons, and this season they’ll feature one of the best players in the area in sophomore guard Tommy Lucca. G-K is in Class 3A again, which will make things tougher come postseason.
Any team that stands out to you?
Jacobson: I think G-K has a chance to be very competitive in the Big Northern East this year and I like the fact that they are playing Sycamore in a nonconference game.
I’ll go further south to Indian Creek. They have two legitimate post scorers returning in Garrison Govig and Garrett Post and it will be really tough for any Class 1A team to match their size inside. Noah Holm is one of the returning guards and if the Timberwolves get solid play from their backcourt, they could be a dangerous team in the Little Ten.
DeKalb, I expect to be better this season, but the Northern Illinois Big 12 East is loaded.
OK, let’s cut to the chase. Who is your top team in the area?
Nitz: The area doesn’t have any serious state contenders, but I think our teams will have a solid year.
The team I’ll take is Sycamore, a program which coach Andrew Stacy has really turned around the past couple years. I saw the Spartans play at the Strombom Tournament this past weekend and came away fairly impressed, especially considering a lot of the team hadn’t even had a full practice with the Sycamore football squad making it all the way to the Class 5A semifinals.
I’d also argue that Spartan forward Devin Mottet is the preseason favorite for area player of the year.
Jacobson: Just as with football, I think it’s dead-even between Sycamore and Kaneland. Both return a lot from last year, but will have to adjust without all-area centers Scott Nelson and Matt Limbrunner in the lineup.
These teams could very well play three times this year if they end up in the same regional and that’d be just fine by me.