The conference basketball races will come to a close in the next few weeks, but not without a little excitement.
Eyes on Five looks into some of what's going on in area conferences.
1. The topsy-turvy DuPage Valley:
No, we're not talking about realignment here. Not yet anyway.
We're talking about the past week in the DVC's girls basketball standings.
Wheaton North handed Wheaton Warrenville South its first DVC loss last week when it defeated the Tigers for the first time in four years, taking over first place because it had more wins and the same number of losses.
But the Falcons couldn't sustain that momentum, falling Saturday to upstart Naperville North, putting the Tigers back in first place.
The Tigers were to face another challenger in two-loss West Aurora on Tuesday, but that game had to be rescheduled when school was canceled due to subzero temperatures. It will be played next Wednesday in Wheaton.
But first the Tigers hosted Naperville North in only their third home game of the season on Thursday night. After how the Huskies took down Wheaton North, WW South knew better than to look past them, winning 66-42.
2. It's Huskies weather:
Naperville North's girls lost coach Jacquie Discipio and graduated All-Area guard Zoe Swift after last season, but they didn't lose their way.
New coach Jason Dycus has the Huskies with a 14-8 record after Thursday's loss at DuPage Valley Conference leader Wheaton Warrenville South, 5-4 in the conference. It's the best season at Naperville North in years and includes some quality wins over teams like Benet, Metea Valley and last weekend's stunner against Wheaton North.
"The girls get all the credit, no doubt," Dycus said. "It's just been a team effort."
Junior forward Kayla Sharples leads the team with 18.6 points a game, but she's had help from the likes of Morganne Freeman, Laurel Pereira, Caleigh Corbett and Cece Pope. Freeman is the only senior in the starting lineup.
"We're seeing some real positive things in the program right now," Dycus said.
3. Then again...:
About those conference realignments.
When Kevin found out Glenbard North's investigating leaving the DVC for the Upstate Eight Conference, the red flags flew everywhere.
What would cause the two-time defending DVC football champions to even consider the thought?
We mention football because no matter how much folks may suggest otherwise, these decisions are almost always based on football.
Why? Because football remains the only IHSA sport requiring a certain number of victories for playoff qualification.
A tough conference means tougher playoff qualification. And we can agree the DVC is a tougher football conference than the UEC.
It'll become even more brutal when the District 204 trio of Metea Valley, Neuqua Valley and Waubonsie Valley leaves the UEC to join the DVC in 2015-16. If Glenbard North stays, creating a DVC of nine schools, it'll be by far the state's toughest top-to-bottom football conference.
Glenbard North's possible departure to the UEC actually weakens the DVC. Not just in football but in many sports.
Competitively speaking, this is a much different situation than when West Chicago, Glenbard East and West Aurora announced they were leaving the DVC. It'll be interesting to see how Glenbard North's community reacts.
Given the Panthers' athletic success in the DVC, a move to the UEC might be a tough sell.
4. Oh yeah...:
What happens to Lake Park if Glenbard North leaves the DVC for the UEC?
Flash back to early last school year when the Lancers joining the DVC seemed like the perfect counter to West Chicago's departure to the UEC. Now, however, Lake Park is looking at a much different competitive field than the one for which it signed up.
The Lancers planned on deepening rivalries with Glenbard East and Glenbard North. They expected to compete across the board with West Aurora.
Now Glenbard East and West Aurora will leave for the UEC at the end of this school year and Glenbard North's thinking about leaving for 2015-16. Instead of the three schools they planned on facing, the Lancers are faced with the three District 204 schools.
These changes can't be going over well with Lake Park administrators.
You really couldn't blame the Lancers if they're looking at shifting back to the UEC.
5. The stat:
We tried and tried and couldn't find a better number than the $1,500 check Naperville North's girls presented to Wheaton North sophomore girls basketball coach, and varsity boys golf coach, Mike Pribaz, his son, Jack, and the Jack Pribaz Foundation.
Jack Pribaz has the rare KCNQ2 gene, which has been linked to epilepsy. The foundation raises money for research in this area.
"That was a special day," Huskies coach Jason Dycus said. "It was important to us to help out."
Follow Kevin on Twitter @kevin_schmit@orrin_schwarz;[/URL]