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|Third Time the Charm for Galesburg Against Rocks?
|POSTED 11:45 a-m 3/5/10 Galesburg hopes its third meeting with Rock Island Friday night in a do-or-die game is more like a contest played last season on the Rocks home floor instead of the two previous match-ups this season.
The Western Big Six rivals will battle for the Class 3A Geneseo Regional championship and the right to advance to next week's Ottawa Sectional. The Rocks beat the Silver Streaks 48-45 at Rocky back on December 11th and 56-42 on February 5th at Thiel Gym. Galesburg shot 2-for-12 at the free-throw line in the first loss. The Streaks have had trouble getting off to good starts against Rock Island. The Rocks have outscored GHS 24-12 combined in the first quarters of the two games this season and 52-32 in the first halves of the games.
Galesburg has lost three straight to the Rocks and 17 of their last 20 games dating back to the 2002-03 season. The last win was an impressive one, 68-62 at the Rock Island Fieldhouse during the teams' first game last season when the Rocks were ranked in the top five in Class 3A. Rocky won the next meeting in Galesburg 64-52.
Rock Island, currently ranked 6th in the state and the co-champion of the Western Big Six Conference this season, has won five of its last six games and 12 of 14, including a 45-29 victory in the regional semifinals against Geneseo. The only losses the Rocks have suffered have been against Peoria Central (64-58) on January 30th and Quincy (57-55) on February 19th.
Galesburg had its second highest scoring output of the season in the regional semifinals against Dixon. The Silver Streaks outscored the Dukes 25-6 in the second quarter and cruised to a 76-47 victory. Four Galesburg players scored in double-figures, led by Brandon Thompson's 19 points, and Dalton Davis just missed making it five Streaks in double-figures when he scored all nine of his points in that big second quarter. The Silver Streaks need Thompson to be more of a scoring threat against Rocky. He averages nearly 11 points per game this season but has just nine points in the two losses against the Rocks.
All-stater Chasson Randle leads the Rocks in scoring. He's coming off a 17-point performance against Geneseo. Randle has received help from senior post D.J. Anderson, sharpshooter Jordan Hathorn and Devon Jones in the games against the Streaks. Victor Davis leads Galesburg in both scoring and rebounding. He had 15 points in the first loss - all of those points in the second half - and 10 points in the second game.
Galesburg last beat Rock Island in a regional game during the 2000-01 season. The Rocks lead the all-time series against the Streaks 97-84. Pregame coverage of tonight's game begins at 7:06 on WGIL AM 1400 and online at www.wgil.com.