Rockford, Illinois-The boys basketball teams at Winnebago and Lutheran have been eyeing each other all season. Thursday night the stateline's two premier small school teams will finally come together in one monster matchup.
It's a game so big that it'll be played at
"At the end of the day its about the kids, and the kids are going to remember 20 years from now that they worked so hard their senior year that they actually had to move the game to Rock Valley," says Lutheran Coach Tom Guse. "Win or lise it'll be a memory that they have, and that's what it's about."
Winnebago's players feel the same way.
"We're going to be on a bigger stage..there will be a lot more people there. I think that's what we need going into the postseason," says Winnebago senior Matt Reinke.
Both of these teams expect to be playing deep into the postseason. Both are state ranked...Lutheran in Class 3A and Winnebago in 2A. Winnebago is 18-0 this season. Lutheran is 14-2. The Crusaders two losses were close calls against larger Dundee-Crown and
And both teams are 5-0 in the Big Northern West. So it's understandable the tremendous interest in this game.
"From our point of view it's a chance to maybe win conference," says Winnebago coach Joe Murphy. "If we win the ballgame. We'd like to win the game for that reason. Plus we get a lot of confidence in a game like there. "
"It's kind of turned into a rivalry and we're definitely up for this game a little more than other regular season games," says Reinke.
Expect an uptempo game. And one matchup to watch for will be at point guard where Lutheran's Terance Roby and Bago's Jacoby Posley will go head to head.
"They play 11 guys. They want to press the whole game," says Guse. "They want to wear you out. "
"They're as good as they were last year if not better," says Murphy of Lutheran. "I've known Tom for a long time the way he coaches, se we want to come out and play them real hard."
"For us we can't try to do anything magical tomorrow night," says Guse. "We need to come out and play our style of basketball."