Reconstructed Wildcats still forging a winning path


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Posted Online: Jan. 01, 2013, 9:26 pm
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By Terry Duckett, tduckett@qconline.com
Last season was a renaissance event for the Galva boys' basketball program.

After winning just six games in head coach Chance Jones' first year at the helm, the Wildcats changed their direction last winter, going 22-6 and sweeping both the regular season and tournament titles in the Lincoln Trail Conference.

But, after the loss of his entire starting lineup, Jones was faced with the prospect of a rebuilding season in 2012-13 with a considerably less experienced team. As things have turned out, rebuilding has given way to retooling as Galva continues to forge a winning path.

Coming off a recent second-place finish to Elmwood at the Princeville Holiday Tournament -- coupled with a runner-up finish to Henry-Senachwine at the season-opening Williamsfield tourney -- the Wildcats head into Friday's LTC opener at Mercer County with a 10-2 record.

"We're pretty bummed out, having two opportunities to win a tourney title and falling short both times, but it's been a big learning experience that'll help us get hungry for the conference season,'' said Jones. "It's gotten us prepared and used to playing in big games.''

The most experienced Wildcat returning this year, senior point guard Dexter Ingels, has lived up to his role with 22 points, four rebounds and three steals per game. Classmate Reece Hoxworth has also stepped up his game, delivering 17 points and eight rebounds per night.

"Those two have definitely carried the load, and when teams key on those two, David Jeffries steps up,'' said Jones. "He's averaging nine points per game now, and our other guys have started to feed off of that.''

After last year's LTC title runs, Jones presented this year's Galva crew with a choice.

"Do you want to be a top team in the conference,'' he said, "or is it a case of, everyone's graduated, and it's all over? Do you want to stay in the upper level? I think our guys have worked hard and strived toward staying at the top.''

Boilermakers impressive at Marseilles:The debut of the Kewanee boys' cagers at the Marseilles Holiday Tournament was an impressive one. They reached the championship game before falling 76-63 to a 12-3 Peru St. Bede club that prior to the tournament outgunned the Boilermakers' crosstown rival Wethersfield 84-83.

Senior guard Dayton Ince continued his strong play, while talented freshman Donovan Oliver continued to break out, earning the tournament's Most Valuable Player award. With 10 wins in 13 games, look for Kewanee to make its presence felt in the Three Rivers Conference race.

Annawan boys building:First-year coach Brandon Christy's Annawan Braves built themselves some momentum for the upcoming LTC season, capping their stint at the Lanark Eastland Tournament by topping Amboy 50-37 for fourth place. The Braves opened league play at home Friday night against Princeville.



















 



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  Today is Friday, April 25, the 115th day of 2014. There are 250 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: Never in the history of Rock Island was there such a demand for houses as at present. Our city is suffering for the want of suitable tenement houses.

1889 — 125 years ago: The choir of Central Presbyterian Church presented a ladies concert under the direction of S.T. Bowlby.

1914 — 100 years ago: Miss Rosella Benson was elected president of the Standard Bearers of Spencer Memorial Methodist Church.

1939 — 75 years ago: Mrs. Nell Clapper was elected president of the Rock Island Business and Professional Women's Club.

1964 — 50 years ago: Gerald Hickman, of Seattle, Wash, will move his family to Rock Island to assume the position of produce buyer for the Eagle Food Center chain of food stores. This announcement was made today by Bernard Weindruch, president of Eagles.

1989 — 25 years ago: Care & Share, formed in 1984 to provide food to jobless and needy Quad-Citians, will disband because the major part of a crisis created by plant closings is over. Food for the needy is still necessary. So groups separately will continue to raise money and collect food.




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