Saturday, November 27, 2010

Galesburg rolls again, Eisenhower plays well in loss, McQueen opens with W

The System keeps getting better and better for the girls' team at Galesburg (Ill.) HS. Of course, coach Evan Massey is one of the reasons why, along with solid efforts from his players.

On Friday night, the Streaks beat Metamora 78-47 at a neutral site, on the court at Knox College. Sadee Hamilton had 18 points and five rebounds, Jamie Johnson added 13 points and six boards and Galesburg forced 29 first-half turnovers on its way to the victory.

Here are your Formula goals:

- Attempted 75 shots (goal is 72)
- Attempted 40 3-pointers (goal is 36)
- Rebounded 51 percent of the misses on offense (goal is 40 percent)
- Forced 41 turnovers (26 is the goal)
- Attempted 34 more shots than Metamora (20 is the goal)

So despite making only nine 3s (23 percent), the Streaks roll by hitting all five goals. Nice effort. On his blog, Coach Massey called the first-half performance "without a doubt, the best half of defensive pressure we have had since going to 'The System.'" The score was 48-24, and only a bit of a stumble in the third quarter kept the final margin down.

Coach Massey also praised the defense of 1,000-point scorer Jessica Howard (six steals) and Tai Peachey (four steals), while also pointing out how well the point guards have been controlling the ball: in the past three games, Peachey, Paige Klinck and Baylie Boyer have a combined five turnovers, pretty impressive for this style of play.

Galesburg finishes out its Thanksgiving tournament Saturday against Rich East, with game time scheduled for 7 p.m. EST. Hope it continues to go well for Coach Massey and his team.

Elsewhere on Friday night, the boys' team at Eisenhower HS in Blue Island, Ill., lost the final game of its season-opening tournament 94-75 to Leo Catholic HS, a private school in Chicago that featured two 6-foot-7 players in the starting lineup, with a pair of 6-5 reserves on the bench. Tough matchup for any team.

Here are how the Cardinals (2-2) fared on four of their goals:

- Attempted 96 shots (goal is 80)
- Attempted 47 3-pointers (goal is 32)
- Rebounded 24 percent of the misses on offense (goal is 35 percent)
- Attempted 29 more shots than Leo

Not sure how many turnovers Eisenhower forced, but those four statistics look pretty promising for a first-year System team.

As always, here are the thoughts of coach Mike Curta:

Coach Curta: "What is really hurting us right now is our offensive rebounding and penchant for fouling. We turned over a pretty good team tonight, but the shot differential is skewed because of the amount of trips we are sending teams to the line. Also, this defeats our goal of wearing them down. It seems like when teams are on the verge of melting down, we let them off the hook and give them a rest. With a week of practice we are looking forward to correcting these areas.

"On the positive side, we would have never been in the game tonight playing conventionally. We let it get away in the fourth quarter, but would have been buried earlier the old way. Also interesting to see how more talented teams actually become defensive when playing against this system. (They) were sending two and three guys back to stop our rush. Best question I keep getting is, 'Are you really going to keep playing this way all of the time?' My response, 'Only if someone can find a way to play faster!' I also use the quote a former player of mine made famous everytime someone asks me why we are shooting so many 3s: 'Because there are no 4s.'

Coach Curta and the Cardinals are off until Friday when they play Thornton Fractional North from Calumet City, Ill. Good luck to them.

Finally, the girls' team at McQueen HS in Reno, Nev., opened its season with a 77-57 victory over Truckee. Coach Joe Bischopink was kind enough to share some details, including the fact that the Lancers averaged only 41 points last season. They hit 10-of-25 from the 3-point line and rebounded 40 percent of their misses on offense in the opener

After leading by only five entering the fourth quarter, McQueen pulled away down the stretch. Congratulations to Coach Bischopink and his team, and I'll keep you updated on their progress.

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