Some not-so-random thoughts on DuPage County boys basketball as we head into the meat of the regular season...
A handful of teams ended their holiday tournaments on a high note, some on a championship note.
Any carry-over effect? Not so much.
For whatever reason the momentum gained came to a crashing halt last week when most teams returned to action.
Naperville Central launched an impressive run to the Wheeling Hardwood Classic title behind sophomores Nick Czarnowski, Austin Pauga and Ryan Antony. A week later, the Redhawks suffered a 68-51 loss to Glenbard North that sent them back another notch in the DuPage Valley Conference standings.
Interestingly, Naperville Central bounced back the next day to beat Wheaton North. So after winning four games in four days the Redhawks won the back end of a doubleheader weekend.
Perhaps the rhythm of repetition helps the Redhawks?
"I thought we were flat as could be (against Glenbard North)," said Redhawks coach Pete Kramer. "Our timing was off. We were just out of sync."
Glenbard West, meanwhile, ran its record to 10-0 after winning the championship game of its holiday tournament. The Hilltoppers, however, since have lost back-to-back games against Bolingbrook and York.
Like Naperville Central, losing that rhythm in the schedule hurt a bit.
"Schedule-wise, it wasn't great," said Glenbard West coach Tim Hoder. "After playing four straight days we had to give them a little time off. I'm confident we'll bounce back."
How important was Naperville North's road sweep of Glenbard East and West Aurora last weekend? It'll all depend on how well the Huskies defend their home court.
With a 5-0 record in the DuPage Valley Conference record after the two weekend victories, the Huskies (10-4) are alone atop the standings with two of their toughest games behind them.
Although Naperville North still has road games remaining against Glenbard North Wheaton Warrenville South and Naperville Central, the key for the Huskies winning the league is success at home against six DVC opponents.
That's because the inability to defend the home court is the reason why Naperville North sits in first place. Two-time defending champion Glenbard East has lost twice at home, West Aurora lost to the Huskies and Glenbard North lost to West Aurora.
In fact Naperville North is the only team without a home loss in the DVC. But the Huskies have had only one home game.
The Huskies begin their quest to defend the North side in Friday's cross-town game against Naperville Central.
Hat's off to Metea Valley, which on Wednesday lost for the first time this season.
Breaking out to a 14-0 start is impressive for anyone, but it was even more impressive for the Mustangs in just their second varsity season.
District 204 big brother Waubonsie Valley ended the streak with a buzzer-beating shot in overtime. Regardless of the loss, expect Metea Valley -- which hosts a Class 4A regional -- to be a player in the playoffs.
Speaking of the playoffs...:
The good news for the traditionally DuPage-heavy East Aurora sectional is that it doesn't feed into Simeon like it did two years ago when the Wolverines won the first of two straight 4A titles.
The bad news, however, awaits in the Schaumburg sectional.
Whichever team emerges from East Aurora -- a list that includes about seven legitimate contenders -- has a good chance of facing Proviso East. The Pirates enter the weekend 13-0 and ranked second in 4A behind Simeon.