Unselfish play helps Hampshire move into FVC contention
The title-contending Hampshire boys basketball team has its pronouns in proper order.
The Whip-Purs' 11-game winning streak was halted Wednesday in a 54-40 home loss to Burlington Central. Nonetheless, the senior-led squad has won 11 of 15 games this season. Its 5-1 Fox Valley Conference record is good for a second-place tie with Huntley, a game behind Friday opponent Cary-Grove (13-2, 6-0).
Hampshire is succeeding under first-year coach Mike Featherly, in part, due to a team-first, unselfish attitude.
"We over me," senior Jeremy Rosa Jr., said of the key to Hampshire's improvement from last year's 15-17 record. "To me and to all of us that means I'm here for him and he's here for me. Always. We're always going to have each other's back regardless instead of just playing for ourselves and trying to score as many points as we can."
The Whip-Purs like to get the ball inside to 6-foot-7 senior Nick Erickson. The team's leading scorer, in turn, likes to share the scoring load by getting the entire lineup involved.
"It really doesn't come down to stats," Erickson said. "It really comes down to what's in the win column and what's in the loss column. We do it together. Everyone is together. I think that is why we have been successful so far this season."
Featherly echoed that sentiment.
"When these guys share the basketball and play together, we are tough to defend," he said.
Hampshire opened the season playing 1-3-1 zone defense but soon switched to straight man-to-man. During the 11-game winning streak the Whip-Purs scored 57 points per game and limited opponents to 41.
"They've been buying into it," Featherly said of a defense led by starters Erickson, Rosa, seniors Collin Woods and Jackson Milison and sophomore Keynan Davis.
Hampshire has an opportunity to shake off Wednesday's loss and regain a share of first place in a Friday road test at Cary-Grove.
"I think we'll bounce back," Hampshire's coach said. "That's the nice thing about having some senior leadership. It's one game. I think it starts from the top down. We as coaches have to move on from it. We can't dwell on it. Just learn from it and move on."
Inductees assemble: Previous inductees of the Elgin Sports Hall of Fame are invited to help celebrate the organization's 40th anniversary at Elgin High's Chesbrough Field House Friday night.
ESHOF inductees will be introduced between games of the Larkin vs. Elgin girls/boys basketball doubleheader. The girls game begins at 5 p.m., followed by the boys game at 7 p.m.
Additionally, previously recognized ESHOF honorees -- scholarship recipients, outstanding achievement recipients and Vic Masi Service Award recipients -- will be asked to stand.
Admission is free for all inductees and 2019 ESHOF members via the pass gate.
Inductees are asked to sign in at the hospitality tent before 6:30 p.m. so a complete list of attendees can be made. There will be snacks and a social area for pictures and mingling.
A postgame gathering will be held at Dog's Paw Brewing, 74 S. Grove Ave. in Elgin.
Storm shooter sidelined: South Elgin played its fourth straight game without shooting guard Lane McVicar Tuesday.
The 6-foot-3 sophomore injured an ankle against Jacobs in a pool play game at the Hinkle Holiday Tournament on Dec. 26. The team was awaiting MRI results this week to learn whether McVicar would be available for Friday's home game against rival Bartlett (6-11, 3-3). South Elgin (5-11, 2-4) has dropped 6 straight games.
"He may or may not play based on the results," South Elgin coach Brett Johnson said after Tuesday's 43-42 home loss to Upstate Eight Conference leader Glenbard East. "He's able to get up and down the court and practice but his health is the most important. We'll see what the MRI says. He has a lot more basketball to play in his career and it's not worth reinjuring himself."