District 205 boys hoops team on historic pace

Heading into the MLK tournaments weekend, the Rockford Public Schools’ boys basketball team are tracking to have their most dominant season in the NIC-10 since Hononegah joined the conference in 1982-1983.

Jefferson is in first place at 7-1, while East and Auburn are tied for third at 6-2. The sophomore-junior-dominated Guilford Vikings are an improving 3-5, having already surpassed last season’s two NIC-10 wins. The four schools are a combined 22-10, a 68.8 winning percentage.

From 1982-1983 to 2008-2009, only four times did the schools – including West in the 1980s – win 50 percent or more of their conference games. Beginning in 2009-2010, Fred VanVleet’s sophomore year, the District 205 schools have combined to win at least 50 percent of their conference games every year. Jefferson, Guilford, East and Auburn already are virtual locks to extend that winning streak to nine in 2017-2018.

Halfway through the conference race, District 205 even is ahead of its most dominant conference season, 1999-2000. That year, Guilford won the conference at 14-2, Jefferson was second at 13-3, East fourth at 10-6 and Auburn was 5-11. That season was an anomaly. It was the only time in a span of 16 years where District 205 broke even or better in conference play.

There was some serious star power in 1999-2000. District 205 players claimed six of the 10 first team All-NIC-10 spots and three of those players, Jefferson’s Frank Richards and Shelton Little and Guilford’s Aaron Robinson, went on to play NCAA Division 1 college basketball.

This year, District 205 has a chance of claiming six of the 10 all-conference spots. Auburn’s Yahmir Muhammad, East’s Scott Gowan and Chris Burnell, and the Jefferson trio of My’Quion Garrett, Terry Ford and Quillin Dixon are going to be hard to beat out.

Posted on 01.12.18