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  • Elgin’s Desmond Sanders is fouled by Burlington-Central’s Sean Fitzgerald Tuesday in Elgin.

    Images: Daily Herald prep photos of the week Dec 17, 2013 12:00 AM
    The Daily Herald Prep Photos of the Week gallery includes the best high school sports images by our photographers featuring boys basketball, wrestling, gymnastics and girls basketball.

     
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  • Burlington Central chalks up easy win Dec 16, 2013 12:00 AM
    By early in the second half, Rockford Christian had used all 13 players on its roster. None of them could stop Reed Hunnicutt. The Burlington Central senior had 12 points by halftime and the Rockets led 35-8. In fact, the only one who could stop Hunnicutt was Brett Porto. The Central coach gave Hunnicutt and the other starters the night off shortly after halftime. Even without them, the Rockets were well on their way to taming the Royal Lions, 57-34, in the Big Northern East boys basketball opener for both teams in Rockford Monday night.

     
  •  Keynote speaker Jake Goebbert addresses the graduates Saturday during the Judson University fall commencement ceremony at Herrick Chapel on the Elgin campus. Goebbert is a Hampshire High School and Northwestern University graduate, and is an outfielder in the Oakland Athletics farm system.

    Elgin celebrates college grads this weekend Dec 14, 2013 12:00 AM
    Elgin Community College and Judson University both held commencement ceremonies over the weekend to send their graduates out into the world. ECC held their ceremony on Friday evening and Judson held two ceremonies Saturday honoring their graduates.

     
  •  Burlington Central girls basketball coach Mark Smith is hoping playing in the Dundee-Crown Christmas tournament and the McDonald’s Shootout helps his team come postseason time.

    Burlington Central about to embark on the big-time Dec 14, 2013 12:00 AM
    Any basketball coach worth their salt does his or her best to play the most competitive schedule possible, especially in those years when they know they have special talent. Around the Fox Valley, most girls basketball teams — heck, not most but all — don’t have the luxury of year-in and year-out top talent like, say, Corry Irvin does at Whitney Young. So when that special team or group comes along, increasing the competitiveness of the regular-season schedule is paramount to getting your team ready for what you hope is a long postseason run.

     
  •  Meet the Fox Valley 2013-14 Leadership Team. Seated, from left: Cara Birschbach, Geneva High School; Allison Rychtanek, Larkin High School (seated sideways); Abigail Gust, St. Charles North; Hannah Rice, Dundee-Crown; Sally Heyob, Central High School. Standing, from left: Jacob Schmidt, Marmion Academy; Kristen Hartlieb, Marian Central Catholic; Claire Roehri, Cary-Grove; Alanis Krantz, Rosary and Jared Cebulski, Aurora Central Catholic.

    2013-2014 Fox Valley Leadership Team Dec 13, 2013 12:00 AM
    The students named to the Daily Herald Leadership Team sometimes amaze even those who know them best. "I have never seen a student do what Sally did last year ... (she) organized an entire school and literally an entire community to hold a Relay For Life," writes Jonathan Young, a counselor at Central High School on behalf of his nominee, Sally Heyob. The 39 members of the 2013-14 Fox Valley Leadership team, both winners and honorable mentions, have that kind of drive in common.

     
  • Emily Adams

    2013-2014 Fox Valley Leadership Team honorable mentionsDec 13, 2013 12:00 AM
    2013-2014 Fox Valley Leadership Team honorable mentions

     
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  • Sandra Hoston

    Former heroin addict to give ECC graduation speech Dec 12, 2013 12:00 AM
    Sandra Hoston's life was on a downward spiral from years of abusing alcohol and heroin starting in her late teens. At 16, Hoston was pregnant with her first child. Soon after graduating from a Chicago high school, Hoston started hanging out with the wrong crowd and began abusing heroin to fit in. “I was addicted for 25 years,” said the now 51-year-old Elgin resident. Hoston went back to school in 2010 to get her associate degree in human services at Elgin Community College. Friday she will deliver the commencement speech during the college's graduation ceremony.

     
  •  Dundee-Crown’s Melissa Barker brings the ball down the court against Cary-Grove last week.

    New Trier top seed at Dundee-Crown Dec 12, 2013 12:00 AM
    The Christmas tournament season is upon us and the pairing were released Thursday for the 31st Charger Classic at Dundee-Crown, as well as the Bill Neibch Falcon Classic at Wheaton North and for the Montini Christmas tournament. At Dundee-Crown, undefeated New Trier is the No. 1 seed, while Evanston, Prospect and Barrington also drew top four seeds.

     
  •  Burlington Central’s Duncan Ozburn gets ready for a rebound against Elgin Tuesday night.

    Surging Bartlett ready to battle South Elgin Dec 12, 2013 12:00 AM
    New-look Bartlett (6-1, 0-1) hopes to parlay its early season momentum into a home win against South Elgin (3-2, 1-0) when the Upstate Eight Valley rivals clash Friday at 7:15 p.m. The Hawks have been an early season revelation following the graduation of eight seniors. The program’s only returning players were Justin Busch, a reserve point guard last season, and Ryan DeCanio, a shooter who joined the varsity as a sophomore in the final month of the 2012-13 campaign.

     
  •  The Batavia captains hoist the championship trophy following their Class 6A championship game in DeKalb.

    A look at the Fox Valley’s biggest news stories in 2013 Dec 11, 2013 12:00 AM
    The year 2013 saw at least a half dozen court cases across the Fox Valley came to an end, turnover in key political positions, progress on several construction projects and important property acquisitions. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair also made a trip across the pond to speak to a select group at Judson University and Batavia rejoiced when after more than 100 years its football team won the Class 6A state football championship. Those stories and the others that follow, had all of us talking.

     
  • Homeowners to pay $21 more with ECC tax levy Dec 10, 2013 12:00 AM
    Elgin Community College will levy roughly $55.5 million in property taxes to fund operations next year, officials said Tuesday. That's a roughly 1 percent increase from last year's tax request. The owner of a home valued at $250,000 would pay an additional $21 yearly, said Sharon Konny, vice president of finance.

     
  •  Elgin’s Ryan Sitter passes the ball around Burlington-Central’s Duncan Ozburn Tuesday in Elgin.

    Burlington Central upends Elgin Dec 10, 2013 12:00 AM
    Senior guard Reed Hunnicutt and the Burlington Central boys basketball team played the final four minutes of Tuesday’s 74-68 victory at Elgin’s Chesbrough Field House like they wanted to leave a lasting impression. Beginning with a jumper by Elgin senior Desmond Sanders with 16 seconds left in the third quarter, the Rockets and Maroons traded leads 10 times until they found themselves knotted at 59-59, courtesy of a 3-pointer by Elgin senior post Ryan Sitter. An immediate counter for a driving layup by Hunnicutt, who then sank 4 straight free throws on Central’s next 2 possessions, ignited a 10-2 run that helped the Class 3A Rockets improve to 6-1 with a quality road win against, arguably, the most athletic team they will face during the regular season.

     
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  •  Images from the Burlington Central vs. Elgin boys basketball game Tuesday, December 10, 2013.

    Images: Burlington Central vs. Elgin boys basketball Dec 10, 2013 12:00 AM
    Elgin hosted Burlington Central in a boys basketball matchup Tuesday.

     
  •  Accompanying the orchestra will be vocalist Elizabeth Norman.

    ESO continues holiday tradition with magical concerts Dec 10, 2013 12:00 AM
    When a show sells out, you know it’s got to be popular. So it is with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra’s Magical Holiday Concerts, which return to the Hemmens this weekend. Tickets, which start at $25, are still available for the 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. shows on Saturday, Dec. 14, but the performance on Sunday, Dec. 15 is sold out.

     
  • Soph McCurdy steps up for Burlington Central Dec 7, 2013 12:00 AM
    The Burlington Central boys basketball team overcame a cold-shooting first quarter and eventually turned on the heat to defeat Hampshire 64-51 Saturday on Pack the Place Night in Hampshire. Rockets’ sophomore Luke McCurdy led all scorers with 20 points.

     
  • Burlington Central downs Hampshire Dec 7, 2013 12:00 AM
    When expectations every night are high, and you’re well aware of your talent level, complacency may be the one thing you have to guard against most. Just ask the Burlington Central girls basketball team. The Rockets bolted out to a 29-14 lead on Hampshire at halftime Saturday night, extended it to 44-24 by the end of the third quarter, and then had what may have been their least productive fourth quarter of the season. But they came away with a 47-36 nonconference win on Pack the Place Night at Hampshire and to their coach, Mark Smith, the bottom line is the win.

     
  • St. Edward makes it 7-0 Dec 6, 2013 12:00 AM
    The St. Edward boys basketball team made it seven straight wins to start the season Friday night with a 62-46 win over Illinois Math and Sciences Academy in the third round of the Aurora Christian Classic.

     
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