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.



















 



Local events heading








  Today is Tuesday, July 22, the 203rd day of 2014. There are 162 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Everybody is invited to go on a moonlight excursion next Monday evening on the steamer New Boston. The trip will be from Davenport to Muscatine and back.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The mayor and bridge committee let a contract to the Clinton Bridge company for a $1,125 iron bridge across Sears canal near Milan.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Injunction proceedings to compel the Central Association to keep a baseball team in Rock Island for the remainder of the season were contemplated by some of the Rock Island fans, but they decided to defer action.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The first of the new and more powerful diesel engines built for the Rock Island Lines for the proposed Chicago-Denver run, passed thru the Tri-Cities this morning.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The Rock Island Rescue Mission is negotiating for the purchase of the Prince Hall Masonic Home located at 37th Avenue and 5th Street, Rock Island.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Quad Cities Container Terminal is being lauded as a giant business boon that will save several days and hundreds of dollars on each goods shipment to the coasts. The Quad Cities Container Terminal is the final piece of the puzzle that opens up increase access to world markets, Robert Goldstein said.








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