Harvest Christian Academy will be holding a #pcstrong Night in honor of 2016 graduate Paulina Castro on Friday, Feb. 3 when the Lions' girls basketball team hosts Alden-Hebron at 6 p.m.
Castro, who scored 1,432 points in her high school career, was a two-time all-area player and an all-state selection last season, is now a freshman at Northern Illinois and was recently diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.
At the #pcstrong Night, Harvest Christian will be selling T-shirts with all proceeds going to the Pediatric Cancer Research at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago, which is the family's foundation of choice.
To pre-order shirts, go to https://wakohwear.com/harvest-christian. They come in youth and adult sizes and sell for $15.
For more information, contact the athletic department at Harvest Christian at (847) 214-3500, ext. 3373.
FVC logjam: The Fox Valley Conference championship race is more cluttered than a Wal-Mart on Black Friday. Seven of the FVC's nine teams still have a legitimate shot at winning the league title as the regular season heads into the final two weeks. This is also the first time in many years the FVC has been one league and not two divisions.
Hampshire is the current FVC leader at 8-3, with three-time defending champion Huntley as well as McHenry right behind at 7-4. Huntley hosts Hampshire on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
But the next four teams in the standings can't be counted out. Dundee-Crown, Cary-Grove and Crystal Lake South are all at 7-5 and Jacobs stands at 6-5 heading into this weekend. Only Prairie Ridge (3-10) and Crystal Lake Central (0-11) are out of the race but PR, especially, could be a spoiler as the Wolves showed last week when they beat McHenry.
"It's crazy," said D-C coach Sarah Miller, whose team is on a 4-game winning streak. "There's no way to say whose going to win it; it's just so wide open right now. I have a good feeling about it if we can continue to compete like we have lately and play smarter basketball. We're finally starting to put things together."
A look at the schedule doesn't yield any clear cut favorite either. D-C does have three of its final four games at home but the Chargers have to play McHenry (Friday) and Hampshire (Feb. 6), teams they lost to the first time around, and then finish with District 300 rival Jacobs.
One could look at Huntley's schedule and say the Red Raiders have the inside track to their fourth-straight title as two of their remaining five games are against PR and CL Central. But it's no secret the Raiders are in a funk, having scored just 27 and 17 points in their last two games -- losses to CL South and Cary-Grove.
"We have a lot of work to do the rest of the way," said Raiders coach Steve Raethz after his team's 30-17 loss at Cary-Grove Wednesday. "We're in for an absolute battle every conference game here down the stretch. We've got to come ready to go these last five games. Every game is pivotal. We have to play better if we want to contend for a conference title. It will be nice to get back home and play four of our five remaining games. But at the same time we have to be better. It's that simple."
No doubt there will be a lot of scoreboard watching the next two weeks.
"Every night lately when you look at scores you're like 'Oh my God,' " said Miller. "It'll be very interesting the next couple weeks."
Seeding time: Class 1A and 2A seeds were released Thursday by the IHSA and, as expected, Harvest Christian and St. Edward are No. 1 seeds in their respective sub-sectionals, Harvest in 1A and St. Edward in 2A. Harvest, which has reached the Sweet Sixteen the past two years, will host both a regional and sectional while St. Edward is in the Guerin sectional, where 16 of the 21 teams are from Chicago. The Green Wave will likely be assigned to the Guerin regional when the IHSA releases pairings on Friday, as No. 2 seed DePaul Prep is also a regional host. In the 1A sub-sectional, Elgin Academy is the No. 5 seed and Westminster Christian No. 8 in the 10-team sub-sectional.
Class 3A and 4A seeds and pairings will be released next week.
By the numbers: It's no secret there's been some lockdown defense played in the Fox Valley Conference this year, and some low-scoring games as a result.
The latest example came Wednesday night when Cary-Grove held Huntley to a season-low 17 points in a 30-17 win.
Remarkably, Huntley senior Morgan Clausen averages almost as many points a game -- 15.3 -- as her team scored.
Or to put it another way, there's seven players in the area averaging more points than Huntley scored.
Cary-Grove's Katie Sowa just missed that group of seven. She averages 16.3 a game and had 13 points and 12 rebounds against Huntley.
"We played more as a team than we ever have," Sowa said. "It was great to see everybody step up and do what they are supposed to."
Two players are averaging over 20 points per game -- Larkin senior and Arizona-bound Marlee Kyles at 28.4 and St. Edward's Maddie Spagnola at 22.2.
Harvest Christian's Alyssa Iverson (19.1), St. Charles East's Sara Rosenfeldt (19.2), Bartlett's Kayla Hare (17.3), Aurora Christian's Tori Henning (17.3) and Streamwood's Jenejha Williams (17.1) also are averaging more than 17 a game.
Williams and Rosenfeldt are joined by Geneva senior Grace Loberg as the only players averaging a double-double. Williams leads the area at 12.5 rebounds a game while Loberg is averaging 13.1 points and 10.2 rebounds.
The versatile Kyles is in the top 10 in three categories with her 9.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists a game.
Burlington Central's Kathryn Schmidt (16.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg) and South Elgin's Mackie Kelleher (16.3, 7.4 rpg) are in the top 10 in both scoring and rebounding. Iverson (4.1 apg) joins Kyles as the only player in the top 10 in both scoring and assists.
Williams and Hare own big leads in both blocked shots and steals, respectively. Williams is blocking 3.7 shots a game while Hare is averaging 7 steals a game.
Hare also is tops in free-throw percentage at 85.2 while Geneva's Margaret Whitley not only has made 52 shots from 3-point range, she's shooting it at an area-best 50.5 clip.