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Gearing up for hoops season

Still enjoying what's left of the fall sports season, mind you, but as we move into November, the sound of squeaking sneakers is getting louder.

Sly thinks it's going to be a bounce-back year for the area on the girls basketball side. Look for experienced teams like Batavia and St. Charles East to take a big step forward this year. You heard it here first: at least one of those two teams is going to win 20 games this year.

You know what you're going to get from the Geneva girls - lots of Ws. That most definitely should be the case again this year for a Vikings team that returns plenty of key pieces from last year's 24-win squad.

Kaneland's also going to be a force on the girls side. The Knights' top inside and outside threats are back from last year's team that advanced to a sectional final.

On the boys side, there's not quite as much proven talent back this year, though St. Charles East has a heckuva returning backcourt to build around and could be a team to watch.

St. Charles North returns Quinten Payne but has some retooling to do without the big fella.

Geneva doesn't bring a ton of returning production back but could be a sleeper. The Vikings had a nice sophomore team and has a couple role players coming back.

Batavia has a new coach and is coming off a rough season. The Bulldogs might not be conference-contending material but it should be an interesting transition year.

The Kaneland boys are going to have to outwork people this year without a marquee, go-to player on the floor.

Bottom line: The girls are probably going to outperform the fellas overall, but it's going to be fun to watch it all take shape in the coming weeks.

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