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Bravettes not about to 'Shirk' their duties in Elite Eight return


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Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2013, 7:34 pm
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By Terry Duckett, tduckett@qconline.com
It was a fact Annawan girls' basketball coach Jason Burkiewicz was anxious to discuss with his players, so that it wouldn't be news to them.

"I knew it would come up, so I brought it up with the girls," Burkiewicz said of the Bravettes' 0-3 drought during his three-year stint at Annawan at Illinois Wesleyan University's Shirk Center, the site of tonight's 7:30 Class 1A Bloomington Super-Sectional showdown with Gilman Iroquois West (22-9).

"I figured someone would find out and run with it, but it's not going to have any effect on the game we're going to play (tonight). That's our main focus."

Instead, Burkiewicz prefers to shift the focus from the 28-2 Bravettes' three previous Shirk losses -- to Kankakee Bishop McNamara and Rochester at the State Farm Holiday Classic; to LeRoy in last year's super-sectional showdown -- on to the success they've enjoyed on other collegiate courts.

That includes Illinois Valley Community College in Oglesby, where Annawan won twice last week to earn its second consecutive sectional championship, and where Burkiewicz's club has competed in a summer shootout of increasing strength and competition over the last three years.

"We haven't lost at the (Bloomington's U.S. Cellular) Coliseum, and we took care of business at IVCC this past week," he said. "It was neat to win a sectional title on the same floor where I played.''

What's more, he also prefers to play up the experience factor in tonight's return to the Shirk floor after last year's Elite Eight experience.

"We'll definitely know what to expect from the time we take the floor," he said. "Each game is different; you've just got to come out and play. We'll have more than enough motivation for this game. I think it'll be a good night for us."

Last year's 56-53 super-sectional loss to LeRoy is the last time the state's second-ranked Bravettes have lost to a 1A team. If they get by tonight's showdown, they could square off with the top-ranked 1A team in Illinois in Friday afternoon's state semifinals at Redbird Arena in Normal. Freeport Aquin takes on Elgin Westminster Christian in tonight's DeKalb Super-Sectional.

"Last year's run was awesome," said Annawan junior forward Megan Foes. "Just the atmosphere of it, and how happy everyone was after our wins. I think last year showed us what we could accomplish coming into this season."

Like the rest of her teammates, Foes is also looking at tonight's game as more of a personal mission, especially after last February's near-miss.

"Personally, I think of mistakes I made in that game," she said. "That pushes me to work even harder to overcome that. I know what it felt like last year, and it shows me that every little thing counts in these kind of games. We had high hopes last year, and we let ourselves down. We're not going to let ourselves down again.

"Like anything else in life, things have to get bad before they get better. Sometimes it's good to experience those things, and I think last year was our bad time."




















 



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  Today is Monday, Sept. 22, the 265th day of 2014. There are 100 days left in the year.

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1914 -- 100 years ago: The Rev. R.B. Williams, former pastor of the First Methodist Church, Rock Island, was named superintendent of the Rock Island District.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Abnormally high temperatures and lack of rainfall in Illinois during the past week have speeded maturing of corn and soybean crops.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Installation of a new television system in St. Anthony's Hospital, which includes a closed circuit channel as well as the three regular Quad-Cities channels, has been completed and now is in operation.
1989 -- 25 years ago: When the new Moline High School was built in 1958, along with it were plans to construct a football field in the bowl near 34th Street on the campus. Wednesday afternoon, more than 30 years later, the Moline Board of Education Athletic Board sent the ball rolling toward the possible construction of that field by asking superintendent Richard Hennigan to take to the board of education a proposal to hire a consultant.






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