Alleman's Cutkomp making impact during return


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Posted Online: Nov. 29, 2012, 6:28 pm
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A season away from the basketball court was something Dan Cutkomp knew he needed, but the absence took its toll.

Storming the court at Wharton Field House last December after Alleman's 41-40 win over Moline was the first indication.

"I kept getting chills up and down my spine," said Cutkomp, then an Alleman junior. "I wished I was part of it."

Needing a year away from the game to focus on baseball, Cutkomp understood there would be moments that provided pain. Each one of them reminded him how much he missed basketball.

When his baseball future became solidified after signing with John A. Logan College, the basketball door flew open again.Actually, Cutkomp knew he would restart his career that night at Wharton Field House when the Pioneers snapped a 25-game Western Big 6 Conference losing streak.

"I wanted to be out there. I wish I would have played," Cutkomp said. "That's made me want to come out and work harder this year."

So far, Cutkomp has made an impact.

The sample size is small, but he has averaged a team-leading 13.7 points in three games this season.

"He's a strong, heady player with no fear," Alleman coach Pat Rangel said. "I've seen him play since he was a seventh-grader. From that standpoint, I knew what I was getting."

Rangel, though, did not know he was getting a scorer.Nearly 40 percent of the Pioneers' points this season are from Cutkomp.

"I didn't have that high of expectations," Rangel said.

On the other end, this is no shock.

"I prepared myself as best as I could," Cutkomp said.

Between a stint with the Rock Island Post 200 baseball team and a fourth-place finish in the Class 2A state golf meet, he worked on refining his basketball skills. Cutkomp played pick-up games and took countless shots to make sure he was ready when the season started.Each time he took the court in preparation, there was no looking back.

Three games at the Geneseo Thanksgiving Tournament reaffirmed Cutkomp's thinking.In the opener against Chicago Raby, he scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. The next day, he tallied 20 points.

"Fun," Cutkomp said of the start. "It was good to get back in the swing of things."

Those in the Alleman camp saw a player making up for lost time.

"He took over a game from a leadership role and from an active role when we needed it," Rangel said. "That's being a senior and knowing the situation. Without having to say anything or do anything, he took charge."

Off the court, Cutkomp is making a mark.

Asked if the Pioneers can depend on Cutkomp each night, Rangel tells a quick story. Earlier that day, he opened the Don Morris Gym doors so Cutkomp could get a quick shootaround before school. Moments after Cutkomp completed a two and a half hour practice, he trudged to the weight room for another workout.

"He's that dedicated," Rangel said. "In order to be a factor and a leader, he's got to set an example. He's setting an example."

All that started a year ago while sitting in the stands.

Absence made Cutkomp determined not to have any regrets.

"When they got those wins and had such a good year," Cutkomp said, "I kept thinking about being out there."

The Pioneers are thankful he did.
Metro boys' basketball writer Daniel Makarewicz can be reached at danmak@qconline.com or follow on Twitter @danmak57

Big 6 boys' standings

School W-L Conf.
Rock Island 4-0 0-0
Quincy 2-1 0-0
Galesburg 3-2 0-0
Moline 3-2 0-0
Alleman 1-2 0-0
UTHS 1-4 0-0
Tonight's games (all 7:30)
Galesburg at Moline
Quincy at UTHS
Rock Island at Alleman (Carver Center)












 




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  Today is Monday, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2014. There are 121 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: We are informed by J.H. Hull that the reason the street sprinkler was not at work yesterday settling the dust on the streets, was because one of his horses was injured.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Bonnie McGregor, a fleet-footed stallion owned by S.W. Wheelock of this community, covered himself with glory at Lexington, Ky, when he ran a mile in 2:13 1/2. The horse's value was estimated as at least $50,000.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Troops are pouring into Paris to prepare for defense of the city. The German army is reported to be only 60 miles from the capital of France.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The German army has invaded Poland in undeclared warfare. Poland has appealed to Great Britain and France for aid.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Publication of a plant newspaper, the Farmall Works News, has been launched at the Rock Island IHC factory and replaces a managerial newsletter.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Officials predict Monday's Rock Island Labor Parade will be the biggest and best ever. Last minute work continues on floats and costumes for the parade, which steps off a 9:30 a.m.




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