Posted Online: Feb. 11, 2013, 7:11 pm
Rockets, Titans on track to share WCC North crown
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The last week of the boys' basketball regular season is here, and with it comes the business of finishing up the area conference title races.
More photos from this shoot
Photo: Gary Krambeck|
Rockridge's Darren Southwell (3) tries to pass the ball around Riverdale's Cade Sharp (40) and Drew Beale (50) during a nonconference game in Edgington on Jan. 29. The Rockets are on track to share the West Central Conference North Division crown with Monmouth-Roseville.
Of the three, the Lincoln Trail Conference is the only one that has been all but wrapped up. Galva's 67-64 win over LTC Tournament champion Wethersfield last Tuesday, followed by Friday's 88-77 overtime win at Annawan, puts the 20-4 Wildcats at 8-0 in the league with only Sciota West Prairie (6-15, 1-6) and United (1-21, 0-8) left on their schedule.
The defending regular season LTC champs have already assured themselves of no worse than a tie for the title, as second-place Stark County (11-14, 7-2) and third-place Wethersfield (21-5, 6-2) each have two losses and have both lost to Galva. Mercer County (16-9) and Ridgewood (15-11) are both out of the running with their 5-3 league marks.
However, the issue is still in doubt in the West Central Conference's North Division, where Monmouth-Roseville and Rockridge (both 20-4) are tied for first with identical 7-2 records; and the Three Rivers Conference, where Kewanee's (21-4) 13-0 league mark has it just a game up on second-place Sterling Newman (22-3, 12-1).
WCC North: Rockridge had a chance to all but lock up the conference crown last Friday when it welcomed Monmouth-Roseville to the Rockets' pad. However, the much-improved Titans spoiled those plans with a hard-fought 69-65 victory before a packed house that created the deadlock, with each having one division game to play on Friday.
Monmouth-Roseville wraps up its league slate at home, welcoming Sherrard (6-19, 1-8) to the Shoebox for the Titans' senior night. However, the Tigers' record could be misleading, as coach Barry Jackson's club has scored a pair of impressive one-point wins over Kewanee (68-67) and Carthage Illini West (71-70).
The latter victory by Sherrard also has a bearing on the race, as it knocked Illini West (14-12) into third place at 6-3. Had the Chargers won, they would have forged a three-way tie with only a Friday road trip to Orion (16-11, 3-6) remaining.
Rockridge hits the road to Macomb (5-16, 3-6) to wrap up its final season of WCC North competition before joining the TRAC-9 next winter. Although going through a down season, the Bombers still could be a formidable test as Macomb has traditionally been a tough road trip for any team.
Three Rivers: An earlier 58-56 homecourt win over Newman at Brockman Gymnasium is the difference-maker for Kewanee in the TRAC-9 standings.
The Boilermakers wrap up conference play tonight as they celebrate Senior Night by welcoming a tough Bureau Valley squad (19-10, 7-6) that is looking to mark former Storm standout Jason Marquis' first year as head coach with a winning conference record.
With Newman closing league play against last-place Morrison (4-23, 0-12) tonight at home, that almost makes a Kewanee win over BV an imperative task if the Boilers are to earn the outright championship.
Riverdale (13-13, 8-5) looks to take a winning record into next week's Class 2A regionals with a Senior Night win this evening against Fulton (6-22, 3-9). Erie (15-13, 6-6) travels to Prophetstown (13-13, 6-7) in a rivalry matchup of teams wrangling with Riverdale and BV to land in third place.
Contact Area beat reporter Terry Duckett at firstname.lastname@example.org