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Sports Editor Matt Daniels’ three reasons we love sports this week.
1. Yes, the Rantoul Township High School boys basketball team was bitterly disappointed it didn’t beat Prairie Central Saturday night to win the 41st annual Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Thanksgiving Tournament. But this year’s junior-heavy team showed it will play a hard, aggressive style of basketball all winter. Don’t sleep on the Eagles, who took a 3-1 record into Tuesday night’s game at Monticello.
2. Junior high girls basketball is in full postseason mode. The Fisher seventh-grade team will play in a Class 2A sectional championship game tonight, Wednesday, at St. Matthew in Champaign. Also watch out for the St. Malachy eighth-grade girls basketball team. The Tigers are 21-1, host their own regional and sectional, and return many key players from last year’s team that placed second in state as seventh graders in 1A.
3. If you’re a wrestling enthusiast, head out to Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Elementary School on Thursday night. The GCMS/Fisher co-op squad will take on Bismarck-Henning in a match that starts at 6 p.m. The showcase match of the dual meet will come at 285 pounds, where GCMS/Fisher junior Josh Wallick, who took third last year in Class 1A, will likely square off against Bismarck-Henning senior Morgan Supergan. The two tangled on three straight weekends last February in the 1A regional, sectional and state meets, with Wallick winning each time. No doubt each wrestler will try to gain the upper hand in a match that could have considerable weight on how the state rankings play out the rest of the season.