A large part of the continued success of the Annawan High School girls' basketball program has come down to each player knowing her role.|
One of those who knows it, and plays it well, is junior forward Megan Foes. She is -- quietly -- the second-leading scorer on a 27-2 Bravettes' team that is playing for their second straight Class 1A sectional championship Thursday night.
"We did lose three starters from last year, so we had some places to fill,'' said this week's Area Pacesetter for The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus."Each person has a specific role, and that's what works for us.''
Her understated, but equallycrucial,role has helped lift Annawan to the Sweet 16 for the third time in four seasons.In the Bravettes' three postseason outings this season, the 5-foot-9 Foes' role has been to help take a lot of the pressure off her classmate and post powerhouse Celina VanHyfte. She has done that in both the scoring and rebounding departments, averaging 13.7 points and seven rebounds in those three games.
In Annawan's 75-59 home-court win over Lincoln Trail Conference rival Wethersfield in the regional finals, Foes delivered perhaps the best single quarter of her two-year varsity basketball career. In that third frame, she hit on five of six shots after being held to just three first-half points, fueling a 25-5 Bravettes' run that broke open the game. She tallied 16 points and seven boards that night.
"I hate those games where I go home feeling that I could've done more to help my team,'' she said. "I just knew I had to step up. Anything I can do for the team, I'll do it.''
That means going into the trenches to relieve the pressure opposing defenses put on all-state center VanHyfte, the only one who tops Foes on the team in both scoring and rebounding. The two have close ties on the softball field, too.Foes, a three-sport standout, teams with VanHyfte as the pitcher/catcher combination for the Annawan-Wethersfield co-op program.
"We know teams are going to really focus on Celina in every game,'' said Foes. "We also know that if there's more than one on her, someone else is automatically going to be open.I know I have to help Celina rebound if she needs it -- although a lot of the time she probably doesn't. Plus, she has players banging on her all game, which puts a lot of strain on her, so we all try and make it as easier as possible for her.''
After losing those aforementioned three starters from last year's 30-2, Elite Eight team, some people thought the road wouldn't be any easier for Annawan this winter; the Bravettes head into Thursday's 7:30 p.m. Oglesby Sectional final against Hinckley-Big Rock with four juniors and a freshman for their starting five.
"I know a lot of people thought we'd lost a lot,'' said Foes, "but we know we've got something special here. We've played together in the past -- we started playing together in third grade -- and we know what we're capable of doing. We know how to relate to each other and pick each other up in tough situations.''
Going up against a Hinckley-Big Rock team that they beat in last year's sectional semifinals, Foes and the Bravettes also see a program whose recent accomplishments -- consecutive state titles in 2009 and '10 -- as something they wish to emulate.
But, that doesn't mean that after winning their first sectional title in 34 years last season thatthey are thinking ahead to another super-sectional opportunity. Last year's super appearance at Illinois Wesleyan University ended with a disappointing loss.
"It's helped we've played (HBR) before, but we've got to go hard for the next few days of practice, focus on them and them only,'' said Foes. "It (not looking ahead) is hard; we all want to get back to the super-sectionals, but we know there's a hard road ahead of us. It's been there all year.''
AREA PACESETTER MEGAN FOES
Favorite food: Shells and cheese.
Favorite movie: Pitch Perfect.
Favorite TV: Anything on the ABC Family network.
Favorite music: Country.
Favorite school subject: Math.
Grade-point average 5.0 (5.0 scale, 1st in class).
Favorite sport: Softball.
Role model: ``My cousin, (former Annawan football star) Chris Foes.''
In my spare time: ``I like to ride 4-wheelers and hang out with friends and family.''
Parents: Todd and Kim Foes, Mineral.
IN THE RUNNING:
Zach Nelson, Mercer County, wrestling: A previous Area Pacer, Nelson captured the 152-pound individual championship at the 1A Oregon Sectional, one of only two area gold medalists.
Ben Corlett, Sherrard, wrestling: The Tiger junior was the other area winner at Oregon, taking the 285-pound championship.
Martel Hunter, Monmouth-Roseville, basketball: Snared 11 steals to go with 21 points as the Titans topped Rockridge 69-65 to move into a tie for the West Central North lead.
Dexter Ingels and Reece Hoxworth, Galva, basketball: Ingels netted 53 points and Hoxworth 44 in wins over Wethersfield and Annawan that put the Wildcats in sole possession of the Lincoln Trail Conference lead.
Hannah Nimrick, Riverdale, basketball: Averaged 15 points per game in 2A regional wins over West Carroll and Sterling Newman as the Rams won their third title in four years.
Cassie Reiley and Riley Walters, Prophetstown, basketball: The Lady Prophets' senior duo both enjoyed solid 1A regional runs to help lead Prophetstown to its sixth straight regional championship.
Dayton Ince and Donovan Oliver, Kewanee, basketball: Senior guard Ince netted 33 points and freshman forward Oliver had 27 in two Three Rivers wins that kept the Boilermakers atop the conference.
Geneseo, IL Details
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