-- Galesburg High School coach Evan Massey picked up his 700th career victory Monday night when the Silver Streaks dominated throughout to beat Canton 87-65 on the road. It made Coach Massey only the third girls' coach in Illinois history reach that figure, joining Dorothy Gaters of Chicago Marshall and David Power of Oak Park Fenwick.
According to The Galesburg Register-Mail, a throng of fans made the 45-mile trip to Canton to help Coach Massey and his team celebrate the historic victory. They gave the team a standing ovation as the final seconds ticked off the clock, improving the Streaks to 8-6 this season.
And it gave Coach Massey another chance to enjoy a milestone.
"With all of the others, I thought in my mind there was going to be another," he told The Register-Mail. "I'm at the point in my career where this might be my last one so that makes it special."
After a brief visit to the locker room, Coach Massey and the team returned to the court, where he posed with his son, Allen, for a picture and then accepted a kiss and a cake from his wife, Amy, according to the paper.
Way to go, Galesburg.
-- Congratulations also to the women's team at Olivet Nazarene University, a NAIA school in Bourbonnais, Ill. The Tigers traveled down to Pikeville, Ky., over the weekend to win the Pikeville Classic. After a 97-83 victory in the opener over West Virginia Tech, ONU beat host Pikeville College 108-101 in the final.
Coach Doug Porter began this, his 11th season with the Tigers, with a career record of 243-167, and he has led them to three Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference titles since 2000. ONU also has advanced to the national tournament twice in that span.
What is so interesting about both of the victories in the tournament is ONU really didn't shoot the ball that well. Against West Virginia Tech, the Tigers finished 32-of-97 (33 percent) from the field, including 20-of-69 behind the 3-point line. They did force 34 turnovers while grabbing 31 offensive rebounds, two keys of "The System."
West Virginia Tech's Shyla Jones went off in the loss, totaling 25 points and 30 rebounds. Yep, that's right, 30 rebounds. Wow.
The next night, ONU shot a bit better overall (38-for-90, 42 percent) but made only 12 of 46 shots from beyond the arc. Simone Coburn was the star for the Tigers, going for 29 and 11. They survived another monster night from an opponent, too: Natiera Hinton of Pikeville scored 37 points and dropped eight dimes (assists, for those not hip to hoops lingo).
ONU now is 7-7 and is off until the Trinity Christian Classic on Dec. 30-31 in Palos Heights, Ill. Good luck to Coach Porter and his team.
-- Finally, coach Jeff Belanger at Windham Technical High School in Willimantic, Conn., is off to a 1-1 start in his second season running "The System" with his boys' team. The season-opening 102-92 loss to Vinal Tech last Wednesday was doubly tough to take, since one of his brothers is the head coach at Vinal and another one is the assistant. No word if they're both named "Darryl."
Still, Windham Tech hit all five goals:
- 86 FG attempts
- 47 3s attempts
- 26 offensive rebounds
- 26 forced turnovers
- 28 more shot attempts than the opponent
Vinal Tech shot 71 percent for the game, which is a by-product of "The System." Two days later, Windham Tech won 80-45 at Parish Hill. The next game on this schedule appears to be Monday, Dec. 28, at Somers High School. I'll keep you updated.