Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2012, 10:19 pm

Big school blowouts on day 1 of State Farm

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By Dan Tomlin, dtomlin@qconline.com

Photo: Clark Brooks / PhotoNews
Getting behind Normal Community's Kristina Harvey on a fast break, Lady Rocks' Shavonne Brewer puts the ball up for two points in the second quarter at the State Farm Holiday Classic. The Lady Rocks pummeled the Lady Ironmen 72-31 in their tournament opener on Wednesday.
Photo: Clark Brooks / PhotoNews
Lady Rocks' Cairece Allen goes up for a offensive rebound against Lady Ironmen' Luci Weis during second half action at the State Farm Holiday Classic. The Lady Rocks pummeled the Lady Ironmen 72-31 in their tournament opener on Wednesday.
Blowouts were the Day 1 special at the State Farm Classic girls basketball tournament in Bloomington-Normal.

Rock Island and Peoria Richwoods each got running-clock victories and set up a winners bracket quarterfinal class that has a combined 96-10 record heading into today.

Rock Island 72, Normal Community 31: It's hard to say what was better, Shavonne Brewer or the Rocky defense.

Brewer had her most complete game of the year, shooting 10-for-12 for 24 points, pulled down a game-high seven rebounds, had a game-high six steals and added a pair of assists and a block for good measure. Oh, and she didn't play a second of the fourth quarter.

The defense? That was just as impressive. The Rocks held the Ironwomen (3-9) scoreless for 8:40 while going on a 30-0 run between the second and third quarters.

The Rocks (15-0) did that while playing all 16 girls on the bench, which also meant Brewer had substantial time off the floor.

"For us to be successful, we have to play everyone more minutes than we have been lately," Rocky coach Thad Hoover said. "We've gotten into some situations lately where we haven't been working enough people in."

Jacqueline Twing had 10 points for Rocky, while Carlee Hoover added 8 and Morgan Twing and Jazmiah Quinn each had 6 points.

"I had space to shoot tonight," Brewer said. "It wasn't like in conference when you hear, 'Get Brewer, don't let her shoot.'"

For the rest of the tournament, Brewer can expect a lot of defensive attention, especially considering the caliber of the competition left to face.Today, the Rocks will take on perennial power Morton, with a bout against top-seeded Richwoods waiting for them should they advance to Friday.

"We're gonna really get tested," Hoover said. "We know we're going to play three great teams whether we win, lose or draw."

Richwoods 60, Geneseo 21: It was a rude welcome back for the Geneseo Maple Leafs girls basketball team.In their first trip to the State Farm Classic Tournament since 2005, the Leafs lost a blow-out to top-seeded Richwoods, 60-21.

"It's what you would have expected from a 1 (seed) vs. a 16 (seed)," Geneseo coach Scott Hardison said. "There's a reason they're ranked No. 1 in the tournament."

The Leafs (5-9) had a running clock in the fourth quarter as they failed to stop the Knights (14-2) who got a game-high 17 points from Peoria Notre Dame transfer Olivia Elger and 16 points from track superstar Brenna Detra.

Geneseo got six points each from Anna Wise and Jamie DeFauw, but that's where the good news ended for the Leafs who had been playing at the Dixon Holiday Tournament since leaving the Bloomington-Normal Tourney seven years ago.

"They play as a team and as one unit on the court and that's where we want to get," Hardison said. "This is a time to bond as a team and prepare for the conference and post-season. Getting some wins would be nice, of course."

The Leafs will try for their first State Farm Classic win this morning at 9:30 when they take on Belvidere North.