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|Early Season Game Takes on Importance for Streaks and Rocks
|A long-time boys basketball rivalry that's seen its share of big games over the years resumes with another important match-up Friday night in the Quad Cities.
Galesburg and Rock Island square off for the 180th time in the history of the two schools at the Rock Island Fieldhouse. Both the Fieldhouse and Thiel Gymnasium are being recognized for 50 years of hosting basketball games.
The Silver Streaks and the Rocks are off to 0-1 starts in Western Big Six play. Quincy beat Galesburg and United Township surprised pre-season league favorite Rock Island last Friday. The Rocks are 4-2 and the Streaks are 5-2.
Galesburg split with the Rocks last season, winning the first meeting at Rocky 68-62 when the hosts were ranked #3 in the state. Rock Island returned the favor at Thiel Gym with a 64-52 victory, then went on to the supersectional round before falling to Oswego and finishing with a 21-10 record.
The Rocks have one of the best players in the country in junior guard Chasson Randle. Randle is third in the Big Six in scoring at 20.7 points per game. He's behind league leader Victor Davis of Galesburg, who's averaging 22.4, and Moline's Thomas Lindauer's 22 points per game.
The Rocks bounced back from the loss against U-T by beating Geneseo 60-49. Junior guard Royce Muskeyvalley led the way for the Rocks with 19 points and Randle had 15. The Streaks rebounded from the Quincy game last Saturday and cruised past Metamora 78-53. Victor Davis led the way with 28 points and Chad Thompson added 15. Thompson connected on three 3-point field goals in the game and is among the Big Six leaders with 12 on the season, all coming in his last five games.
Rock Island's only other loss this season was against Chicago Bogan, 60-51, in the Rock Island/Milan Booster Club Thanksgiving Classic on November 27th. The Rocks have wins against Aurora West (53-52), Chicago Dunbar (64-47) and Peoria Richwoods (49-48). Rock Island comes in averaging 56.5 points per game while giving up 53.5. Galesburg is averaging 62.7 points and surrendering 49.7 on defense.
The Silver Streaks have taken 62 more free-throws than the opposition - 138 to 76 - but the team's only shooting 63.8 percent. Galesburg is taking better care of the basketball, committing 11.7 turnovers a game, while forcing opponents into 16 miscues.
Pregame coverage from Rock Island begins at 7:06 on WGIL AM 1400.
Western Big Six:
Galesburg (5-2, 0-1) at Rock Island (4-2, 0-1) - 7:30 p-m
Rock Island Alleman (1-3, 0-1) at United Township (5-0, 1-0) - 7:30 p-m
Moline (5-0, 1-0) at Quincy (5-0, 1-0) - 7:30 p-m
Around the area:
Knoxville at South Fulton
United at Abingdon
Williamsfield hosts Wethersfield
Monnmouth-Roseville at Macomb
Farmington at Rockridge
BPCA hosts Camp Point Central/Southeastern
Brimfield hosts Havana
West Central hosts West Prairie
North Futon at Rushville-Industry
Lewistown hosts Peoria Heights