ROCKTON - The Hononegah Indians are red-hot. Peaking at the right time. Gelling as a team. All those axioms apply.
But the Indians are also well aware that they mean nothing if they fall short in their IHSA Class 4A regional semifinal Wednesday night against the host Auburn Knights.
Hononegah (20-8) will face a much different team than the one they destroyed 66-40 back on Feb. 7. The Knights were missing three starters that night and simply weren't competitive against a Hononegah team that was hitting on all cylinders.
The first time the teams met, Auburn (17-11) eked out a 51-50 victory.
Indians coach Mike Miller said the way his team is playing, they are ready for anything.
"I'd walk down any alley with the guys I've got right now," Miller said. "Really since Christmas, I love the way we are playing. Guys have figured out their roles, and everybody knows exactly what to do on this team."
On the other side of the regional bracket sit Rockford East and Guilford, two more teams the Indians have beaten recently.
Winners of 10 of their last 11 games, with the lone loss coming to NIC-10 champion Jefferson, Hononegah is led by Kameron Kolberg, the NIC-10's third-leading scorer at 15.3 points per game.
The emergence of Caleb Donaldson has been perhaps the primary reason for Hononegah's sparkling finish to the regular season.
Donaldson is averaging 11.4 points per game while finishing in the top five in the conference in assists at over three per game.
"Caleb is doing everything you'd want a point guard to do right now," Miller said. "He's creating off the dribble, finishing at the rim, hitting free throws. He's been great for us for a long time now."
Brayden Hennis is third in the league in 3-pointers made with 59 and is averaging 8.6 points per game.
The Knights finished the regular season with a big win over Boylan, then ran way from Belvidere North in the second half Monday in the opening round of the playoffs.
Auburn is led by Yahmir Mumammad, who is third in the league in scoring at 16.1 points per game. Jamus Neal is the only other Knight in double figures, but Auburn's defense is its calling card.
"They've got great pride and they play extremely hard," Miller said. "They have great talent, so it'll be a tough regional for everybody. But I think our guys have done a great job being in tune to scouting reports and being able to execute, and we've had plenty of time to go over everything. Our guys are going to be ready."