BLOOMINGTON -- A strong start by the Alleman boys' basketball team faded into another head-scratching finish.
Dominating play after one quarter on Friday afternoon, the Pioneers soon reverted to their season-long habit of inconsistent stretches. This time, Alleman struggled scoring points and could not key consistent defensive rebounds during a 43-29 loss to St. Joseph-Ogden in the State Farm Holiday Classic consolation semifinal at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum.
"We were clicking on all cylinders in the first quarter," Alleman coach Pat Rangel said. "For whatever mystifying reason, we stopped doing what we were doing and had those lapses. We never got out of the funk."
In the first quarter, the Pioneers (5-6) scored 13 points. In the final three quarters, they scored 16.
Alleman had five field goals in the second half.
"Just a total lack of effort," Rangel said.
Another issue was the Pioneers' inability to get a defensive rebound. St. Joseph-Ogden (11-1) grabbed 17 offensive boards. That, plus the lack of scoring in the last three quarters, carried Alleman to its second loss in three games.
"We aren't struggling for answers. It's all effort," said Rangel, who received nine points apiece from John Tracey and Adam Hoogerwerf. "It's not a question of talent or our gameplan -- it's just effort. We're looking for five guys who will give us consistent effort. Until we get that, we're going to continue to struggle."
Today is Wednesday, Dec. 11, the 345th day of 2013. There are 20 days left in the year. 1863 — 150 years ago: The message of Abraham Lincoln, read in congress yesterday, is published in full in our paper today, with a new proclamation relating the terms upon which states can return to the union. 1888 — 125 years ago: An appropriation has been made by congress for the improvement of the upper Mississippi River with $200,000 set aside for the portion of the river between Keokuk and the mouth of the Illinois River. 1913 — 100 years ago: Work of remodeling First Swedish Lutheran Church at 4th Avenue and 14th Street was nearly completed. 1938 — 75 years ago: An unexplained outbreak of tularemia (rabbit fever) in the state has Illinois public health officials puzzled. Ten persons have died, and 243 are officially reported ill with the infection. 1963 — 50 years ago: A dramatic, multi-million dollar riverfront improvement project for the downtown area of Rock Island was unveiled at a meeting of 200 civic leaders at noon today. 1988 — 25 years ago: For several supporters of the Dispatch Goodfellow/Argus Santa program their donation is a year long project. Emma Pugh and Anne Persinger spent a good part of their spare time this year knitting forty pairs of mittens and slippers.