Inside Boys Basketball

Published: Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 5:30 a.m.CDT
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Rob Winner – rwinner@shawmedia.com Genoa-Kingston's Griffin McNeal puts up a shot in the second quarter during a tournament game against Forreston at the Plano Christmas Classic on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013. G-K defeated Forreston, 43-42.

SPOTLIGHT ON...

Cooper Vinz, senior wing, Sycamore

Vinz scored a game-high 19 points, including five 3-pointers, in a 68-41 victory over Genoa-Kingston at home on Saturday.

WHAT TO WATCH

Genoa-Kingston at Richmond-Burton, 7:15 p.m. Friday

The Cogs will try to rebound from a poor showing on Saturday in a road game against one of the better teams in the conference.

DeKalb at Hononegah Martin Luther King Jr. tournament, Saturday and Monday

The Barbs will play four games in two days, mostly against Class 4A competition, as DeKalb continues its month-long roadtrip.

POWER RANKINGS

1. Sycamore (12-3, 3-0 Northern Illinois Big 12 East) – Back-to-back wins over Yorkville and G-K reaffirm Spartans' place at the top.

2. Kaneland (9-5, 2-1 NI Big 12) – Exciting finish against Morris and better to get the win.

3. Indian Creek (10-5, 4-0 Little Ten) – Timberwolves restart Little Ten play on road Friday.

4. Genoa-Kingston (11-5, 3-0 Big Northern Conference East) – Cogs' schedule doesn't get any easier coming up.

5. DeKalb (5-10, 0-2 NI Big 12) – Barbs have big game at Morris on Friday.

6. Hinckley-Big Rock (4-12, 1-2 LTC) – Royals gave Indian Creek a run on the road Tuesday.

7. Hiawatha (1-8, 0-2 LTC) – Tough loss for Hawks against Rockford Christian Life.

NOTEBOOK

Sycamore senior Cooper Vinz may be the Spartans' most improved player from last year and has developed into another outside scorer for Sycamore.

"It's just a nice weapon we have," Sycamore coach Andrew Stacy said. "He's been playing awesome all season long."

Vinz was originally slated as a starter for Sycamore, but Stacy made a change to have him come off the bench. And with the way Sycamore rotates players, the starter designation doesn't mean much.

"A kid that started the season as a starter and I talked to him to see if he would mind coming off the bench and he's selfless and unselfish that he didn't mind doing it," Stacy said. "It's a great weapon to have off the bench, between him and Nick [Feuerbach] out there, they can knock threes down."

G-K's temporary turnover issues: Genoa-Kingston got a taste of what so many teams have dealt with this year when the Cogs were overwhelmed by Sycamore's suffocating defense.

"We had seven turnovers in the third quarter I believe," G-K coach Corey Jenkins said. "That's not going to win you ballgames."

Sycamore showed a number of looks and focused on getting the ball out of the hands of sophomore point guard Tommy Lucca.

But the Cogs responded with a good win at Woodstock North on Monday.

"Our turnover total has been low. We're averaging just over 10 turnovers per game," Jenkins said. "That's not very characteristic of us. That's a credit to Sycamore's defense [Saturday]."

DeKalb-Rochelle rescheduled: The DeKalb-Rochelle that was scheduled to be played on Jan. 10 has been rescheduled for Jan. 25 at 4:30 p.m.

The game was originally part of a boys-girls double-header, but was postponed due to icy roads and weather conditions.

VIEWS: Local regional will be dramatic

Is it late February yet?

If Saturday's G-K - Sycamore result confirmed anything, the Class 3A Genoa-Kingston Regional involving Sycamore, Genoa-Kingston and Burlington Central is going to be exciting and unpredictable.

With Sycamore's victory over G-K, it created a perfect triangle of results as G-K beat Burlington Central on the road in mid-December and Burlington Central defeated Sycamore in late November during the Strombom tournament.

Already in the first half of the regular season we've seen what all three teams can do when playing at their best.

G-K will throw a variety of athletic scorers on the wing at teams along with a couple undersized posts who create their own mismatches inside. Burlington's offense often goes through 6-foot-9 center Duncan Ozburn while Sycamore relies on an experienced lineup that goes 10 to 12 players deep and doesn't take off any plays.

Conference championships are far from being decided and playoff seeding has yet to take place, but almost certainly the place to be come playoff time will be in Genoa.

Ross Jacobson is the sports editor of the Daily Chronicle. He can be reached via email at rjacobson@shawmedia.com and follow him on Twitter @RossJacobson.

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