ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — My Sweet 16 field of ‘NIC-10 Madness’ has been sliced in half. Now it’s on to Elite 8 action. Today the 2003-04 Jefferson J-Hawks take on the 2005-06 Freeport Pretzels. Here’s a brief look at both teams.
The 2003-04 Jefferson J-Hawks had a remarkable mix of size and athleticism. 6’7 sophomore Robert Eppinger and 6’9 junior Pat Nelson provided the size and high-flying guards L.C. Robinson and Ricky Ellis the athleticism. The J-Hawks were conference co-champs, claiming Jefferson’s first conference championshp in school history. Their postseason run was a short one though, they lost in the Regional Championship game to Sycamore.
The 2005-06 Freeport Pretzels were led by All-State forward Willie Veasely. The future Butler University standout was head and shoulders above everyone else in the NIC-10 that season. He averaged 23.6 points and 11 rebounds per game. With help from Martin Trainer, Gavin Taylor and Matt Weik, Veasley and the Pretzels went 14-2 in the conference and 24-5 overall. They blasted Sterling and Belvidere to win a AA Regional Champoinship. Their season ended at the hands of Rock Falls in the Sectional.
You can vote now for the team you think would win this game. Vote by going to the sport page our MyStatelne.com. You’ll see the spot to vote in the right hand column. https://www.mystateline.com/sports/local-sports/