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|Galesburg Focusing on Alleman; Not Taking Pioneers Lightly
|Galesburg High School's boys basketball team will try again for its 18th win of the season, and more importantly, a Western Big Six victory.
The Streaks need to win their last two Big Six contests - Friday night's against Rock Island Alleman and next Friday's game at home against Moline - to equal last season's conference record of 4-6. Sandwiched between Alleman and Moline is a game next Tuesday night at home against a Peoria Notre Dame team that's beaten Galesburg four straight times going back to the 20058-06 season.
Galesburg would achieve its first 20 win season in more than 10 years with victories in all three remaining regular season games or by taking two out of three to end the regular campaign and beating Dixon in the Class 3A Geneseo Regional a week from Tuesday.
Galesburg hammered Alleman 58-38 in the teams' last meeting at Thiel Gymnasium on January 15th. The Streaks turned a close game in the first half into a blowout with a strong second half, outscoring the Pioneers 38-23 over the final two quarters. That win was the second of Galesburg's eight in a row that ended at Quincy. Coach Mike Reynolds' squad is 2-2 since that loss against the Blue Devils - the wins against Geneseo and Blue Island Eisenhower and the losses to Rock Island and East Moline - both at John Thiel Gymnasium where Galesburg is 11-4 this season.
Alleman enters play Friday night with an 0-9 record in Big Six play in coach Bob Szorc's first season and just five wins overall (5-18). The Pioneers have one win in their last three games, 52-46 against Peoria Woodruff, a game which Alleman's 6'6" senior standout combo guard/forward Keelan Prince pumped in 33 points. Galesburg held him below his 16.2 points per game season average (14) in the Streaks' last meeting against Alleman., which has lost two straight games: 62-41 against Quincy and 70-55 against Rock Falls. Prince followed up his 33 point performance with 21 against Quincy and 7 against Rock Falls.
Alleman is not a one-man show.. The Pioneers have another good player in sophomore guard Tyler Yeocum, who's averaging 10 points per game. Yeocum does a lot of his damage driving to the basket and finishing. He's also a respectable shooter capable of connecting from long-range. Yeocum scored 11 points against Galesburg in the game last month. He had 21 in the loss to Rock Falls.
Galesburg has two double-figure scorers and solid balance among the team's starting five.
Senior forward Victor Davis is coming off a 26 point, 13 rebound game in the 65-60 loss at home against United Township last Friday night. Davis is averaging just under 18 points per game. He battled foul trouble in the last meeting with Alleman and scored a season-low 3 points.
Junior guard Brandon Thompson is second on the team at 10.5 points per game and leads the team in free-throw shooting at 77 percent. He led the Silver Streaks with 21 points in the win over Alleman.
Chad Thompson, averaging 7.7 points per game, leads the Western Big Six with 48 three-point baskets. He scored 14 points against the Pioneers and combined with Brandon Thompson to make six of the team's eight three-point baskets.
Galesburg has beaten Alleman three straight times dating back to last season and owns a 51-33 all-time mark. Pregame coverage from Don Morris Gymnasium begins at 7:06 on WGIL and online at www.wgil.com.
The other Friday night Western Big Six Conference games are:
Rock Island (19-5, 8-1) at Quincy (13-6, 7-2)
Moline (12-9, 4-4) at East Moline (16-6, 5-3)
Knoxville at Bushnell-Prairie City/Avon
Elmwood hosts Havana
Lewistown hosts Midwest Central
Peoria Heights hosts South Fulton
Monmouth-Roseville hosts Sherrard
Farmington hosts Macomb
Rockridge at Orion
Lincoln Trail Conference
United hosts Mercer County
Galva hosts Annawan
Princeville at Ridgewood
Stark County at Wethersfield