In his early coaching days Mark Smith used to worry about the inactivity that comes with winter weather canceling school, practices and games.
But now the Burlington Central girls basketball coach realizes everyone's in the same boat.
"No one has an advantage and there's not much you can do about it," Smith, who is also the former boys coach at St. Charles North, said Tuesday. "We'll just pick it up (Wednesday) and move on."
Smith's Rockets, 15-4 on the season, haven't played since their Jan. 18 loss to Fremd in the McDonald's Shootout. Their game last Saturday at Genoa-Kingston was postponed, as was Tuesday's game at Harvard. Central, undefeated in the Big Northern East, will return to the court Friday night at Richmond-Burton. The G-K game will be made up Monday with the Harvard reschedule still to be determined.
In the meantime Smith, as is the case with all coaches, has to trust his players are staying sharp.
"I can't meet with them or do anything at school so they're kind of on their own," he said, noting that when the cold snap canceled school earlier this month some of his players met at The Centre of Elgin to "practice."
To Rockets' junior Alison Colby, it's just a matter of doing whatever is possible while waiting for school to resume.
"Last time we got together and played at the rec, and this time I went and did that on my own," she said. "You just have to make sure you work out, run, go play if you can. It's hard not being with each other but there's nothing you can do about it.
"We have a group text, we talk to each other and we're a really close team. We're all friends off the court but not seeing each other and not being with each other is tough."
Smith does see one advantage to the time off.
"It's a long season," he said. "There's always a time during the year when the kids need a mental break. Hey, you live in Illinois, it happens."
Getting back to it: Assuming the schedule resumes Wednesday night, the top game on the docket has South Elgin playing at Neuqua Valley in a battle for first place in the Upstate Eight Valley. Neuqua is undefeated in the division and South Elgin has one loss. The two meet again Saturday at South Elgin. Friday night, Elgin and Larkin meet for the third time this season, this one at Larkin. They have split the first two meetings. Also on Friday, Huntley plays at Prairie Ridge in a key Fox Valley Conference Valley Division battle. Huntley is unbeaten in the division while PR's only Valley loss was its 49-35 setback at Huntley on Dec. 14. Friday will be Huntley's first game since Jan. 17. And, if South Elgin would defeat Neuqua Valley on Wednesday, it would put some added importance to Neuqua's trip to Bartlett on Friday. Bartlett has two losses in the division.
More reschedule news: Streamwood's scheduled game at St. Ignatius was postponed Tuesday but will be played at noon on Saturday. That means Sabres' coach George Rosner, who currently has 396 career wins, will get to coach again at his alma mater. Streamwood's scheduled nonconference game at Hoffman Estates on Wednesday has been postponed as Hoffman will be making up Tuesday's postponed MSL game at Barrington.
Postseason timeline: Class 1A and Class 2A seeds for the postseason are due to be released by the IHSA on Thursday, with pairings out on Friday. Class 3A and 4A will follow the same timeline next week.