Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2013, 6:03 pm

Alleman (6-10, 1-3 Big 6) at Galesburg (11-8, 3-1)

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By Marc Nesseler, nesseler@qconline.com

Tonight: The first half of the Western Big 6 Conference season ends with Alleman's Pioneers visiting John Thiel Gymnasium to face the Galesburg Silver Streaks at 7:30, following a sophomore game at 6.

Twitter updates: @ness_da

On Saturday: Alleman hosts Peoria Richwoods with a 6:30 p.m. varsity start (@danmak57). Galesburg hosts its Martin Luther King Tournament.

Probable starters:
Alleman: G: Adam Hoogerwerf, 5-11, Sr. (11.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg) & Kevin O'Keefe, 6-0, Jr. (8.6, 3.9); F: Joe Boland, 6-0, Sr. (0.4, 2.1) & Joey Mihm, 6-5, Jr. (7.1, 3.1); C: Alec Diab, 6-7, Jr. (3.0, 4.5).

Galesburg: G: Travon Diggins, 5-10, Sr. (7.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg); Carson Cheesman,6-1, Sr. (0.9, 1.2) & Ethan Meeker, 6-0, Fr. (7.1, 1.0); F: Grant Gibson, 6-2, So. (22.1, 6.3); C: Ryan Carl, 6-5, Sr. (3.7, 3.4).

Why watch: Galesburg is in the hunt for a Western Big 6 championship, a game behind leader Quincy and tied with Rock Island. Yet, Coach Mike Reynolds says his ears won't perk up should a Quincy-RI score be announced during tonight's game. "Score-listening is not something that I am capable of doing," he said. "Certainly our guys understand that we want to finish the first half of the conference season playing as well as we are capable. The standings and the wins and losses will take care of themselves. It really doesn't matter until the end of the season." … Alleman has weathered a tough stretch, facing ranked or receiving-votes teams of St. Thomas More, Rockridge, Quincy and Assumption in its last five games. Outside of those, Alleman is 6-6. … The Pioneers also are weathering injuries. Daniel Cutkomp will miss a third straight game with a booted foot. John Tracey sat out the second half of Tuesday's loss to Assumption with leg injuries. Both Cutkomp and Tracey are averaging 8.2 points per game. … That means Alleman will need Mihm to play like he did against Quincy (5 of his first 6 3s) rather than Assumption (0-for-8 3s). "With Mihm's length and shooting ability, he causes some matchup problems for us," said Reynolds. … With Gibson, Meeker and Joe Williams, there often are times when the Streaks have two sophs and a freshman on the floor.

Galesburg coach Reynolds: His concerns lie inside and out. "Alleman has a three-year starter, Hoogerwerf, at point guard who really knows how to run a team and gets everyone the ball where they need it. He is a really impressive player. They are a tough matchup for us because they run a lot of multiple screens for their players and are very big inside. They pose a huge challenge on the glass for us."

Alleman coach Pat Rangel: On the Assumption struggles after the Quincy battle: "In the second half, we got good looks, but unfortunately the shots weren't dropping."

— By Marc Nesseler, nesseler@qconline.com