Boys Basketball: Larkin vs. Neuqua Valley
Game Date/Time: Friday, Jan. 10, 7:15 p.m.
Broadcast Dates/Times: Saturday, Jan. 11, 12 p.m. and 4 p.m.; Monday, Jan. 13, 7 p.m.
Where: Neuqua Valley High School, 2360 95th St., Naperville.
Records (as of 1/8/14): Larkin (13-2 overall, 5-0 Upstate Eight River), Neuqua Valley (10-3 overall, 5-0 Upstate Eight Valley).
Key players: Larkin: Taylor Boley, Sr. G; Drew Jones, Sr. F; Kendale McCullum, Sr. G; Christian Negron, Fr. F; Brayden Royse, Sr. F; Derrick Streety, Sr. F. Neuqua Valley: Demond George, Jr. G; Zach Incaudo, Sr. C; Josh Piotrowski, Sr. F; Connor Raridon, Jr. G; Elijah Robertson, Sr. F.
Fast Facts: The top two teams in the Upstate Eight's two divisions meet up in this conference crossover. Neuqua started off conference play quickly in December, but Coach Todd Sutton wasn't pleased with his team's loss to Geneva -- one of Larkin's main competitors in the River Division -- in the finals of the East Aurora tournament last week. Raridon, the brother of former North Central College All-American Derek Raridon and son of NCC coach Todd Raridon, is a sharp-shooter on the outside, averaging 12.2 PPG, and an underrated defender. Piotrowski (10.3 PPG) is undersized at 6-feet, but very effective. Robertson, who leads the team with 12.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, is a raw talent who can be explosive at times. Larkin has been a team on the rise under Coach Deryn Carter for a few years now, and many of the building blocks are now very experienced seniors. The balanced scoring attack is led by McCullum and Jones, who average nearly 13 points per game apiece. Negron has made an immediate impact as a freshman, leading the team with 7.2 rebounds per game. Boley opens things up on the inside with his three-point shooting. The Royals are very familiar with Neuqua; they lost to the Wildcats twice in an eight-day stretch at the end of last season.
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