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Tri-County Press, Forreston Journal / • Friday, December 21, 2018



LEFT: Polo’s Draven Wells shoots against Pearl City during Dec. 15 action at the Forreston Holiday Tournament. ABOVE: Polo’s Lane Hopkins (center) fights for the ball against Pearl City’s Lucas Peterson and Jayden Kempel. Photos by Earleen Hinton


Forreston tournament lived up to its tough billing Oregon, Polo, and Forreston all drop first round games


ometimes, it is difficult to be time-sensitive when compiling this column. Generally, it is put together Monday or Tuesday to allow for plenty of time for it to be formatted into this week’s paper, which most of you don’t get until Friday. In regard to the Forreston basketball tournament, I am going by what took place on Saturday’s first day. However, by the time you read this, the championship games will be taking place later that evening on Friday. A lot will take place during this week that I don’t have privy to, so please bear with me if what I have to say is outdated. What’s not old news is the fact the tournament is loaded with quality teams and Saturday proved that out. Could this be the best Forreston tournament ever or at least the most

COMMENTARY Andy Colbert balanced? Though seeded No. 3, Byron could be the team to beat. I was surprised to see Le-Win ranked one spot ahead of the Tigers. Defending champ Winnebago appears to be in for a down year. How about No. 10 seed Milledgeville putting up 92 points on No. 7 Stillman Valley? That isn’t an upset, as the Missiles with star sophomore Treyton Selman proved to be the better team. Oregon got hammered by a solid River Ridge team. The bigger issue for the Hawks is being mentally prepared to play in this tournament. In recent years, Oregon has not had the fortitude to be competitive, even with comparable teams. Could that change at all this week? Sterling Newman has big man Devon House and one of the hardest-working coaches around in Ray Sharp. That’s a solid base to build

around and they Comets will get as much out of their talent as any team in this tourney. Maybe the two best games of day one were Eastland-Forreston and Pearl City-Polo. No. 11 Pearl City beating Polo demonstrates the overwhelming depth of the 16 teams. Forreston and Eastland could have gone either way and is how an 8-9 seeded game should play out. Bottom line - I’m sure the rest of the week was a lot of fun with this intimate gathering of geographic rivals. Some holiday tournaments attempt to draw teams in from other areas to create interest. Forreston doesn’t need to do that. In fact, outsiders would ruin the Mid-Northern feel, with a little Northwest mixed in. Tourney officials at Forreston has the right ideal - keep it simple with a nice mix of 1A and 2A. Yes, SV is 3A, but for practical purposes, they should be 2A. There are no all-star teams, though some may dispute Newman’s ability to draw talent. For the most part, this is homegrown talent with a rural feel to it. The Forreston Tournament is old

school basketball, reminiscent of the era of long ago when people had more passion for the IHSA tournament. ••• Besides basketball, I occasionally like to offer a cooking tip during the holidays. This one should have got in before Thanksgiving, but there was too much going on with the local football scene. My time and space-saving suggestion is to thaw out your turkey at room temperature in a sink overnight. That way it is not clogging up room in the refrigerator. Be sure, to leave it in its wrapping for better circulation of thawing process. Unbeknownst to the Butterball Turkey hotline, I’ve been doing this for years and it makes the whole process of turkey roasting easier. Depending on the size of your bird, adjust the amount of time to thaw out. As always, put carrots, celery, onion and bay leaves in bottom of pan for better-flavored gravy. Do not baste with butter, as the skin has plenty of fat on its own.

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