It will be John Mason Night Friday at Hinckley-Big Rock when the Royals play host to Paw Paw in a Little Ten Conference game.
Mason, the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Famer (2011) who coaches the H-BR sophomore team for varsity coach/athletic director Bill Sambroookes, is in his 50th year of coaching basketball.
“He loves the game, loves the kids and likes what he’s doing,” said Sambrookes, who brought the long-time Hinckley resident back this year after he spent the previous season coaching the Genoa-Kingston girls varsity.
Mason began his career in 1964 at Hinckley’s junior high, teaching and coaching fifth through eighth grade teams until 1980. Before returning to coach H-BR’s freshman boys in 2009, he had stops in Dwight, Sandwich, Malta, Aurora Central and Ohio, where he coached either boys or girls varsity basketball.
“I don’t care what level he coaches, he’s prepared and takes it as seriously as any varsity coach. He doesn’t take time off,” said Sambrookes.
The time has flown by, said Mason.
“I don’t know where those 50 years went. It’s just amazing how fast it went,” he said, noting that he would coach all four levels (fifth-eighth) in his first stint at Hinckley. We’d have fifth and sixth grade teams practice before school and seventh and eighth after school. I’ve always been crazy, I guess, but it’s been very rewarding.”
Sambrookes will host a ceremony between the sophomore and varsity games to honor Mason and then a reception with cake, coffee and punch will be held following the game in the school cafeteria.
East Aurora will play host to the 4th Annual Kivisto Shootout Saturday with a tripleheader beginning at 4:30 p.m. with Waubonsie Valley (13-7) facing Lemont (9-9). The second game will feature Aurora Christian (11-8) and Bloomington (7-6), starting at about 6 p.m.
A matchup of local teams from different conferences will cap the night’s action when the host Tomcats (4-14) of the Upstate Eight Valley play visiting Oswego East (6-11) and senior guard Mike McAllister of the Southwest Prairie.
McAllister, younger brother of former East standout and Connecticut junior, Ryan Boatright, started his prep career at East High.
Makeup dates for three boys basketball games cancelled due to sub-zero temperatures that closed area schools have been announced:
Kaneland at St. Edward, Thursday, Jan. 30th at 7:30 p.m.
Neuqua Valley at Waubonsie Valley, Friday, Jan. 31st at 7 p.m.
Romeoville at Oswego, Tuesday, Feb. 4th at 6:30 p.m.
Little Ten Tourney
Seeds and pairings have been released for next week’s Little Ten Conference Tournament at Somonauk.
No. 2 Newark opens Monday at 6:30 p.m. against 7 Lamoille-Ohio, followed by 3 Paw Paw vs. 6 H-BR at 8 p.m. with the winners meeting in a 7 p.m. Thursday semifinal.
No. 1 Indian Creek meets the winner of Monday’s 8 Leland-Earlville-9 Hiawatha matchup on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.with 4 Somonauk and 5 Serena following at 8 p.m. Those two winners will meet in Thursday’s first semifinal at 5:30 p.m.
Title game is set for 8 p.m. Friday.
Conference Challenge Classic
Mooseheart will play top-ranked Curie Sunday, Feb. 16th at Northside Prep, 5501 N. Kedzie, Chicago, in the fourth and final game of the Conference Challenge Classic.
Earlier games include Payton-Latin at noon, Schurz-Niles West at 1:30 p.m. and Notre Dame-Uplift at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10.