|POSTED 11:58 a-m 12/24/09 Galesburg High School's boys basketball team's stretch of playing high caliber competition continues in the Streaks' first game of next week's Charleston Holiday Tournament.
Galesburg has lost three straight games: against state-ranked Rock Island (48-45), undefeated United Township (73-67) and Davenport Assumption (64-57), one of the top teams in the Mississippi Athletic Conference and a contender to make a run to the Iowa state tournament in Class 3A. The three teams have combined records of 21-3, and Galesburg had its chances in all of the games but couldn't get over the hump.
The Streaks, now with a 5-5 record, will have to play its best game of the season to have a shot at beating Edwardsville on the first day in Charleston at Eastern Illinois University's Lantz Arena. The Tigers are off to a 4-0 start, all four wins in the Southwest Conference. Edwardsville won at home against Collinsville (5-4) 49-36 in its season opener, then took down Belleville East (4-4) on the road 62-58, won at home against Belleville West (5-2) 59-53 then claimed a 44-32 victory at Granite City (1-6).
Edwardsville is led by all-conference performer Will Triggs. The 6'5" senior is averaging 16 points, 13.5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3.75 blocked shots and 2 steals per game. Brendan Wheeler, a 6'3" junior, is second on the team in scoring at 13 points a game. He's also Edwardsville's top long-range shooter, averaging four three-point baskets per game and is pulling down 5.5 rebounds.
Other big contributors for the Tigers are 6'1" senior guard Tommy Anderson, who averages 6.5 assists and 3.25 steals per game, both tops in the Southwest Conference. Quincy Morgan, a 6'1" sophomore is averaging 5.3 rebounds, 4 assists and 2.67 steals per game. Zach Sedlacek, a 6'7" junior post player, is grabbing about 7 rebounds per game and averaging 3.5 blocks - second in the conference behind Triggs. Rodney Coe, a 6'4" junior, is contributing 4.8 rebounds and 2.75 blocks per game for a team that is giving up just 44.8 points per game on defense and scoring 53.5.
Galesburg is averaging 60.8 points per game after 10 contests and surrendering 53.3 on defense.
The Silver Streaks are led in scoring by Victor Davis, who's averaging 21 points per game. Dalton Davis, who has scored in double-figures just once in his last four games, is second on the team at 9.4 points per game. Brandon Thompson has picked up some of the scoring slack lately. He's averaging 11 points in his last five games (9.0 overall) and is second on the team behind Chad Thompson (17) with 10 three-point baskets.
The Silver Streaks have struggled to rebound, giving up 25 offensive boards in the losses to U-T and Assumption, and shoot free-throws. Galesburg is shooting just under 60 percent from the stripe so far this season (105-176) while opponents are knocking down 65 percent from the line.
Edwardsville has won seven consecutive regional championships under long-time coach Mike Waldo, who's won 462 games in his 22-plus years as the Tigers' head coach. Waldo's teams have won 20 or more games 15 times during his tenure and appeared in the state tournament three times. The most recent appearance was in 2006, when the Tigers lost in the quarterfinals and finished with a 30-1 record. Edwardsville has had just one losing season in the past two decades.
The Silver Streaks will face Charleston, which is 4-4 (2-2 Apollo Conference), in the second game of the tournament (Tuesday at 12:15 p-m) and winless Taylorville (0-9, 0-3 Central State 8 Conference) in the third game (Tuesday at 5:45 p-m).
The 7th through 1st place girls and boys games will be played in two sessions on Wednesday between 8:30 a-m and 8:15 p-m.
The Galesburg/Edwardsville game is set to tip off around 5:45 p-m Monday after the Silver Streak girls basketball team (8-6) goes for its third straight win against Urbana in their tournament opener Monday at 4:30 p-m.