Saturday, November 20, 2010

Galesburg HS gets on track with first victory of the season

Congrats to coach Evan Massey and the Galesburg (Ill.) High School girls' team, which beat East Peoria 67-58 Friday night in the Galesburg Thanksgiving Tournament. The Streaks now are 1-1 and face a tough game Saturday at home against the No. 2-ranked team in Illinois, Springfield HS, which features highly touted point guard Zahna Medley.

That's the next game, however. Let's talk about the victory and get right to the Formula stats for Galesburg in this one:

- Attempted 79 shots (goal is 72)
- Attempted 58 3-pointers (goal is 36)
- Rebounded 49 percent of its misses on offense (goal is 40 percent)
- Forced 36 turnovers (goal is 26)
- Attempted 32 more shots than East Peoria (goal is a shot differential of 20)

My simple math tells me the Streaks were 5-for-5 on the goals, which in this case translates to a victory. Last season, with Coach Massey's team finished 17-14, they were 6-1 when reaching all five. Make that 1-0 this season.

The shooting was a bit better in this one, too, after Galesburg finished 6-for-60 from behind the line in the opener. Against the Raiders, the success went up to 12-for-58 (25 percent), which isn't where any coach would like to be but it was an improvement. It should continue to move in that direction as the players get more accustomed to the fast pace required by The System.

Jessica Howard, who is closing in on 1,000 points for her career, had a team-high 19 points in this one, and on his blog, Coach Massey listed many others who contributed. I'll go ahead and give them props (do people still say that?) here:

- Sadee Hamilton finished with six offensive rebounds, six steals and four blocks. According to Coach Massey, he had a few conversations with Olivet Nazarene coach Doug Porter in the past week about Hamilton's position in the press, sometimes called the "safety." Coach Porter encouraged him to change this to the "flyer," and as Coach Massey put, "Sadee was most certainly a flyer tonight."

- Megan Young, who is listed at 5-foot-6, had to play exclusively in the post because of an injury to Myra Diggins. Young got after it and totaled 10 offensive rebounds. Coach Massey again: "I am sure GHS has had some kids play as hard as Megan but not any harder." Nice.

- Point guards Tai Peachey, Paige Klinck and Baylie Boyer had stellar games running the offense and helped keep the turnovers down to 12. According to Coach Massey, that total would have been great back when his team's played more traditionally, with about 60 possessions per game. The Streaks had more than 100 Friday night and still had only 12. Nice going.

- Each Galesburg player has a goal for each game of six offensive rebounds and four steals. Last season, the first with The System, there were games where no one reached these totals. So far in 2010-11, through two games, 10 players have accomplished this. Simply amazing.

Good luck to Coach Massey and the Streaks against Springfield. I'll be rooting for them.

Remember, we have two teams in action today, with NCAA Division II Glenville State facing Millersville on the road at 4 p.m. EST, along with the Galesburg game at 8 p.m. EST. I plan to have updates on these as quickly as I can.

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