GALESBURG -- Before the high school girls basketball season started, Rock Island senior Shavonne Brewer said she wanted the Rocks basketball team to make history.|
On Thursday night they did, beating Galesburg in Thiel Gymnasium for the first time in 20 years, outrunning the Streaks, 86-78.
At times it was ugly, the teams combining for 60 fouls and 73 turnovers in the 32-minute game.
But at times, the action was sensational asRocky, ranked No. 8 in class 4A, moved into first place in the Western Big 6 at 3-0, while Galesburg, ranked No. 5 in class 3A, drops a game behind.
Both Galesburg and Rock Island went on runs that showed why they are both ranked in the state in their respective classes.
Galesburg went on a 10-2 run to start the third quarter, but Rocky answered with a shocking 20-0 run to end the quarter.
The Silver Streaks got as close as 75-73 before Rocky went on another 9-1 run to end any hopes of the home team coming all the way back.
Brewer picked up her fourth foul with just over a minute to go in the first half but wasn't benched to start the third. Rather, she played cautious, but was effective, scoring 15 of her game-high 21 points in the final two quarters.
Rallying the team in the third, she dished out a pair of assists and got a raucous Rocky section on their feet and into the game.
"I like to show my emotion in a positive way, so that the other girls can feed off me," Brewer said. "Everyone was getting involved and we were really clicking."
Along with Brewer, sophomore Mercedes Jackson had a career night, pouring in 19 points while also pulling down eight rebounds. The Twing sisters also had career nights, as sophomore Morgan scored nine and senior Jacqueline scored a career-high 10 points. Cairece Allen seemingly never left the court, filling the stat sheet with nine points, seven rebounds, a team-high 4 steals, and three assists.
"We needed every kid tonight," Rocky coach Thad Hoover said. "Every kid played, and played significant minutes and that's what we needed. Then when it was crunch time, the seniors came through."
With both teams subbing four or five girls at a time, keeping up was a hard thing to do.
"Neither of us were really a true system team tonight," Galesburg coach Evan Massey said. "They answered our run, and we failed to answer theirs."
The Rocks also kept Galesburg star Jessica Lieber in check as the 1,000-point scorer only attempted three shots through three quarters. She made her way to the free-throw line and was the hub of the Streaks rally in the fourth, finishing with a team-high 16 points.
"They had us jumbled at the end of the third quarter," Lieber said. "We had a couple turnovers and a few possessions where we just didn't make a shot when we needed it."
Galesburg, which typically relies on making 3s, shot just 4-for-22 in the second half, and just 24-percent for the game. Rocky shot 41-percent from the floor and just over 30-percent from behind the arc.
While the win may have been historic for Rocky, there's still a lot of work to do if the Rocks want to win their first outright WB6 title since 1986, but Thursday night was a pretty big step.
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