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  • Boys basketball/Fox Valley roundup Dec 26, 2013 10:31 PM
    St. Edward 56, Westmont 47: DaVontae Elam scored 23 points to lead St. Edward (11-1) to a win in the first round of the IC/Westmont tournament. Nick Duffy added 11 points and John Butzow had 10 for the Green Wave. Hampshire 99, Belvidere North 91: Matthew Bridges led five Hampshire players in double figures with 25 points as the Whip-Purs (4-8) won for the first time at the Chuck Dayton Tournament in DeKalb. Trey Schramm added 18 points for Hampshire, while Drew Doran had 16 and Austin Spaeth and Ryan Cork 14 each. Burlington Central 66, Somonauk 46: Reed Hunnicutt had 17 points and Brett Rau added 14 for the Rockets (8-2) at the Plano Christmas Classic. Cary-Grove 50, Crystal Lake Central 34: Cary-Grove outscored the Tigers 17-6 in the third quarter to turn a 1-point halftime lead into a 38-26 advantage through three quarters of this pool play victory at the Hinkle Holiday Classic at Jacobs. Junior guard Jason Gregoire led the Trojans with 22 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, and senior guard Tyler Szydlo scored 15 points for Cary-Grove, which won consecutive games for the first time this season to finish 2-1 in pool play. Wheeling 63, Streamwood 48: The Sabres stayed within 3 points of the Hardwood Classic hosts for a half, but they were outscored 34-22 in the second half of this consolation bracket game. Junior forward Max Draper (6-foot-4) scored a game-high 15 points for junior forward Cole Segar scored 10 points and guard Jacob Siewert added 9 points for Streamwood (1-9), which next faces Chicago Alcott on Friday at 10:30 a.m.

  • N. Aurora teacher wins top award in agriculture Dec 22, 2013 8:00 AM
    Cathy Britts-Axen of North Aurora was named the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year for an agriculture unit she started at Central Middle School in Burlington three years ago. But she deflected the glory. “It’s a group effort — it’s really a team effort,” she said. “I think I had the vision, but all the teachers put in their vision and had a big impact on this whole project, so really the award goes to the whole eighth-grade team.”

  • ECC, faculty reach tentative 3-year deal Dec 20, 2013 4:12 PM
    A tentative agreement for a new faculty contract at Elgin Community College was reached, officials said. Negotiating teams for the college’s faculty association — which represents 526 part-time and full-time instructors — and the college board reached a tentative agreement on Thursday for a new three-year contract. Details of the agreement will not be released until it is ratified by union members and the board of trustees.

  • Genoa-Kingston upends Burlington Central Dec 19, 2013 10:14 PM
    Despite heading into the fourth quarter with a 5 point lead, the Burlington Central boys basketball team couldn’t sustain the advantage Thursday night and fell at home to Genoa-Kingston, 62-59, in a Big Northern East contest.

  • New Hinkle Holiday Classic format more fan-friendly Dec 19, 2013 9:41 PM
    The schedule makers at Jacobs High School have redesigned their boys basketball tournament with the high school fan in mind. Previously, teams in the same pool played their games back to back. That system made it convenient for coaches to scout upcoming opponents, but the casual fan had to pick and choose the most attractive matchups to see over a 12-hour span. In an effort to maximize attendance this Saturday, the opening-day schedule has been adjusted to showcase four of the day’s most compelling matchups consecutively, beginning at 3 p.m.

  • Charger Classic at Dundee-Crown strong as ever Dec 18, 2013 9:24 PM
    Teri Rodgers calls it “a litmus test.” The New Trier girls basketball coach also says being the No. 1 seed at the Dundee-Crown Charger Classic Christmas Tournament really means little. “Calling someone a No. 1 seed is kind of silly,” Rodgers says. “There's 16 great teams. It's a great test because you know you're going to go out and play really good teams. It's a litmus test. You come away from Dundee-Crown knowing your strengths and weaknesses and you can work on the weaknesses for the rest of the year. You can only have that true test when you're playing quality teams, which is what you get at Dundee-Crown.” New Trier is one of the last originals of the Charger Classic, now in its 31st year. And while others — most recently Montini — have put together good tournaments, Dundee-Crown has stood the test of time of being one of the top holiday tournaments year in and year out.

  • Images: Daily Herald prep photos of the week Dec 17, 2013 2:38 PM
    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.

  • Burlington Central rolls over Harvard Dec 16, 2013 10:06 PM
    Burlington Central 77, Harvard 30: Sam Pryor had 16 points and Shelby Holt added 13 as the Rockets rolled to another Big Northern East win. Becca Gerke added 12 points and Katleen Ratzek added 11, including 3 3-pointers for Central (9-0, 3-0).

  • Burlington Central chalks up easy win Dec 16, 2013 9:44 PM
    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.

  • Burlington Central about to embark on the big-time Dec 14, 2013 7:53 PM
    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.

  • Elgin celebrates college grads this weekend Dec 14, 2013 5:34 PM
    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.

  • 2013-2014 Fox Valley Leadership Team honorable mentions Dec 13, 2013 5:45 AM
    2013-2014 Fox Valley Leadership Team honorable mentions

  • 2013-2014 Fox Valley Leadership Team Dec 13, 2013 8:34 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.

  • Girls basketball/Fox Valley roundup Dec 14, 2013 12:17 AM
    Crystal Lake South 54, Woodstock North 36: It was a team effort that made Crystal Lake South (7-4) victorious while competing in the Northern Illinois Holiday Classic Friday at Richmond-Burton. Sara Mickow finished with 15 points, Chanel Fanter had 10 points, and Hailee Massie added 8 points for the Gators. Westminster Christian 59, Christian Life 53: The Warriors (9-1, 5-0) remained undefeated in Northeastern Athletic Conference competition and coach Ken Flickinger earned his 100th career win. Claire Speweik led the Warriors with 23 points and 12 rebounds. McKaila Hays scored 13 points, Maddie Versluys finished with 10 points, 7 rebounds and 5 steals. Burlington Central 71, Genoa-Kingston 26: The Rockets (8-0, 2-0) continue to dominate the court, defeating Genoa-Kingston in the Big Northern East Division matchup. Shelby Holt led all scorers with 13 points. Alison Colby and Rebecca Gerke scored 11 points apiece, while Samantha Pryor had 10 points. Kayla Ross and Samantha Cruz added 8 points each for the Rockets.

  • New Trier top seed at Dundee-Crown Dec 12, 2013 7:54 PM
    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.

  • Surging Bartlett ready to battle South Elgin Dec 12, 2013 7:06 PM
    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.

  • Former heroin addict to give ECC graduation speech Dec 12, 2013 4:01 PM
    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.

  • A look at the Fox Valley’s biggest news stories in 2013 Dec 26, 2013 10:31 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.

  • Girls basketball/Fox Valley roundup Dec 10, 2013 11:08 PM
    Crystal Lake Central 46, Hampshire 31: Only scoring 9 points in the second half, the Whip-Purs (5-4, 1-2 Fox Valley Conference Fox Division) are still looking for consistency from game to game after another loss in which they failed to score more than 40 points. Emma Benoit was the most efficient player for Hampshire, hitting 4 baskets, going 3 for 3 from the line for 11 points and grabbing 7 rebounds, while Becky Dumoulin and Nikki Dumoulin had 11 and 7 points respectively. Elk Grove 44, Bartlett 42 (OT): Despite sending Elk Grove to the line 12 more times than themselves, the Hawks (4-5) almost scrapped out a nonconference win on the road in overtime. Leading Bartlett with 12 points, Ally Giampapa scored 9 in the fourth quarter to force the extra period. Kaitlin Brohan had 9 points for Bartlett, while Kelly Harris added 8. Burlington Central 41, Rockford Christian 35: To remain unbeaten, and to pick up their first conference win, the Rockets (7-0, 1-0) used a big second half from a sophomore in this Big Northern East tilt on the road. Samantha Pryor had 10 points on the night, with 8 coming in the third quarter, to help erase what was a 3-point halftime deficit. Another sophomore, Shelby Holt, led Central with 13 points.

  • Images: Burlington Central vs. Elgin boys basketball Dec 10, 2013 9:49 PM
    Elgin hosted Burlington Central in a boys basketball matchup Tuesday.

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