Allen, Brewer key Lady Rocks' chemistry


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Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012, 8:51 pm
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By Marc Nesseler, nesseler@qconline.com
Nearly a decade ago, a Rock Island youth coach suggested that if one was starting a team, enlisting Shavonne Brewer and Cairece Allen would be a cornerstone of success.

While that then was for summer softball -- and Brewer and Allen haven't played that sport for several years -- they still form quite a tandem of successful sports promise.

For the first time in their high-school careers, the two will be starters together for the Rock Island girls' basketball team. The fact that the two know each other so well could translate in what the Lady Rocks need to repeat a 20-win season, going 21-8 with a group that had four senior starters.

"We have played together since the second grade," said Allen, who will be counted on as a backcourt mate of Brewer.

"I know her like the back of my hand, better than she knows herself," Brewer said of Allen. "The chemistry is just there. We are like twins."

Thus, what the Rocks lost in varsity experience they gain in senior-class chemistry.

"There are five of us -- the two of us, Jacqueline Twing, Harmonee Trice and Olivia Brooks -- who have played together since the third grade at the YMCA," said Brewer. "My dad coached Cairece and me and the others were on other teams. So we've stuck together as a team for a while."

Chemistry, alone, though, won't put points on the board. Still, RI coach Thad Hoover isn't concerned that of the eight Rocks who scored in games last year, Brewer nearly doubles all of the rest combined in scoring average -- 12.6 to 6.7.

"We lack varsity experience and we are not a huge team, but I think this team, in some ways, will be better than last year's," said Hoover. "We have much more depth and I feel good about the kids we have playing."

In the post, the Rocks will look to Shamia Clark, a 5-10 junior who was part of last year's sophomore team that went 25-2, as well as Mercedes Jackson, a 5-10 sophomore.

Next to Brewer's double-figure scoring average in '11-12, Allen and Clark are next among returnees with 1.5 points per game, Allen in 27 games and Clark in 13.

Hoover says his team also is stocked with outside shooters, among them Allen, the Twing sisters (Jacqueline and sophomore Morgan), sophomore Jazmin Quinn, his daughter Carlee Hoover and Mystique Thompson.

"Mystique is thought of as a defender, but she is developing a nice 3-point shot," the coach noted of the latter.

Allen says she's been told that she's being counted on to be more aggressive.

"They want me to shoot more," she said.

"Yeah," Brewer added, "like in the Red-Gold Game," in which Allen hit 5-of-6 shots for a double-figure scoring game. "Believe me, she'll shoot the ball more, or else."

Of course, crunch time should be all Brewer's, as it was in much of last year's successful season.

"When it's go-to time, we will look to her," said Coach Hoover. "But we still feel good about the other players around her. Our biggest challenge, I think, is that we are going to have to rebound collectively."


Meet the RI Lady Rocks

Coach: Thad Hoover (237-164 in 17-year career; 64-58 at RIHS).
Assistants: Henry Hall and Janice Watts (varsity assistants), Matt Hoeppner (head sophs), Julie VanErstvelde (soph assistant), Jarrod Parker (head frosh).
Last season: 21-8, 7-3 Western Big 6.
Returning letterwinners: Srs: Shavonne Brewer (5-5 G), Cairece Allen (5-8 G), Jacqueline Twing (5-7 G), Olivia Brooks (5-5 G), Harmonee Trice (5-7 F). Jrs: Carlee Hoover (5-7 G), Shamia Clark (5-10 C).
Newcomers: Jrs.: Mystique Thompson (5-3 G), Jacklyn Young (5-7 G), Charlesreka Singleton (5-3 G), Mariah Ramsey (5-5 G). Sophs: Mercedes Jackson (5-10 C), Angel Parker (5-4 G), Morgan Twing (5-6 G), Cynthia Myers (5-8 F), Shyteria McDuffy (5-7 G), Jazmiah Quinn (5-6 G).
Schedule (All games 7, unless tournament or where noted): Nov. 16-17 at Aurora IMSA Invitational; Nov. 20 Alleman; Nov. 27 Sterling; Nov. 29 United Township; Dec. 6 at Galesburg; Dec. 8, 10, 14, 15 at Abingdon/Knoxville Tournament; Dec. 13 at Moline; Dec. 18 Geneseo; Dec. 26-29 at State Farm Holiday Classic; Jan. 3 Quincy; Jan. 5 at Iowa-Illinois Shootout; Jan. 10 at Alleman; Jan. 12 at Sherrard, 2:30 p.m.; Jan. 17 at United Township; Jan. 24 Galesburg; Jan. 26 at Peoria Notre Dame; Jan. 31 Moline; Feb. 4 Peoria High; Feb. 7 at Quincy












 




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  Today is Thursday, April 17, the 107th day of 2014. There are 258 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Journeymen shoemakers of Rock Island struck for higher wages yesterday morning, asking 25 percent increases. Employers have acceded to their demand.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Lighting struck wires of the Merchants Electric Light Co. during a furious storm, and many Rock Island business houses were compelled to resort to gas as a means of illumination.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Members of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, decided to erect a new edifice at a cost of about $60,000.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Willard Anderson, junior forward for the Augustana College basketball team, which won 17 out of 22 contests, was elected captain of the quintet.
1964 -- 50 years ago: John Hoffman, Moline, president of the Sac-Fox Council of Boy Scouts, will be honored for his 50 years in scouting by members of the council at a dinner Thursday evening.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Quad-Cities has what is believed to be the area's first elite-class gymnast. It's the stuff upon which Olympic competitors are made. Tiffany Chapman, of Rock Island, not only has earned the highest possible gymnast ranking, she won the honor at age 11.






(More History)