Elana Wells is a big part of a bright future at Burlington Central.
The future, it seems, is now.
Wells, a 5-foot-6 freshman point guard, burst onto the scene with 20 points in her high school debut. She had a clutch 3-pointer to force overtime in a 58-54 win over McHenry in the championship game of the Burlington Central Thanksgiving Classic.
She's a big reason why the Rockets (6-0) have blasted off to a fast start with a big week ahead.
"She's a peretty dynamic little point guard," Rockets coach Mark Smith said. "She played with us all summer, so we were well aware of her. She's picked things up pretty quickly. She does whatever it takes to win."
Smith plays six sophomores and three freshmen, but don't be fooled by the youth. The kids can play.
Kathryn Schmidt, Burlington Central's super 6-foot sophomore post, is averaging close to 20 points per game. Wells is at 15 per game. Just as impressively, she is boasting a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
"She can not only score, but she can distribute," Smith said. "She has a nice shot but what's really impressive is how she attacks the basket and draws contact. That's something you can't teach."
Burlington Central plays at defending Kishwaukee River Conference champion Johnsburg Dec. 12, but first things first. On Dec. 8 the Rockets host Marengo, who's already beaten Johnsburg.
"Marengo will be a handful, for sure," Smith said.
Hitting the boards: Geneva, without Grace Loberg around, has stressed rebounding by committee this season.
Maddy Yelle has taken it to heart.
Yelle, Geneva's 5-foot-9 senior, grabbed 11 rebounds to go with 15 points in the Vikings' 70-33 win over Streamwood on Nov. 28.
"Maddy is just playing with confidence," Geneva coach Sarah Meadows said. "She has worked on her game and honestly it shows. She's our best defender and she's rebounding; that was an area we knew we needed to fill."
Meadows noted that another senior, 5-4 Bri Borkowicz, has "just played six solid games."
"She's a little guard playing our two guard. She's quick, she can get to the basket quickly and she plays up in our press," Meadows said. "She is just a competitive guard, is feisty and hustles. Her hard work is paying off this year."
Geneva (6-0) gets St. Charles North in its home opener Dec. 8, and the Vikings know to be ready.
"North always plays us super tough – they beat us last year," Meadows said. "They play with confidence against us. I'm expecting a great game."
Batavia goes 2-0: Batavia had a good week this past week. Erin Golden had 13 points and 12 rebounds and Hailey Orman and Ava Sergio 12 points apiece in a 55-43 win over St. Charles North on Nov. 28. Sergio scored 15 points to lead the way for Batavia (5-3, 2-0 Upstate Eight River) in a 51-34 win over Elgin on Nov. 30.
Shootout pairings released: Pairings were released this week for the 28th Annual Coach Kipp's Hoopsfest (formerly known as the McDonald's Shootout), to be held Jan. 13 and Jan. 15 at Willowbrook High School.
Geneva will play Loyola at 8 p.m. Jan. 13, the last of eight games that day. In the first game, at 9:30 a.m., Batavia will play Willowbrook. Eight more games are on tap for Jan. 15.
Geneva will also play Maine West in January at the Chicagoland Hoops Showcase at Benet – a rematch of last year's supersectional.