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Rock Island and Galesburg streaking into showdown

Rock Island and Galesburg streaking into showdown

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Rock Island's Amarion Nimmers shoots against North Lawndale in the State Farm Classic. The Rocks have not lost since the start of the tournament, winning eight straight.

They like to score, and they can certainly defend. That describes both the Rock Island Rocks and Galesburg Silver Streaks. The one other thing they do is win.

One will have a long winning streak broken tonight at John Thiel Gym when the Rocks (14-3, 4-1 in the Western Big 6) and Silver Streaks (18-2, 4-2) go head-to-head in a makeup of Friday's postponed game.

Rock Island has not lost since the double-loss weekend in mid-December when the Rocks fell to Geneseo and North Scott. Since then, they have won eight straight, including the State Farm Classic title.

Galesburg has not lost since a setback to United Township on Dec. 13, winning 14 straight, including the Taylorville Tournament.

The big difference is the Rocks are very balanced on an offense that averages nearly 66 points per game. No one averages more the 12 points per game. Meanwhile, the Streaks are led by Jaylin McCants (22 points per game) and Eric Price (15 points per game).

Rock Island coach Thom Sigel believes his team's offense will be a big part of stopping the Galesburg offense.

"I think we have to make sure we have good offensive possessions," Sigel said. "That helps take away their transition. McCants gets a lot of rebounds and he is really dangerous with the ball in his hands and in the open court. Price is also very explosive."

For Galesburg coach Ryan Hart, his biggest worries seem to be everything when the Rocks have the ball.

"We have to defend their perimeter shooters but also not allow them to drive the ball to the basket," Hart said. "We also have to worry about their bigs. We have to keep their size away from the basket for easy baskets. We have been working hard on battling and identifying who the box-out guy is."

The Rocks will be without junior point guard Jordan Rice for the sixth straight game. Junior Colton Sigel returned Saturday night but struggled with his shooting. Coach Sigel hopes that changes.

"We also have to worry about Taurean (Holtam) with his injury Saturday," Sigel said. "He said it hurts, but I think he will play. I'm hoping getting that game under his belt will get Colton more comfortable. Jordan hasn't practiced yet, so we will probably get him back on the court next week."

There is no reason to ask Hart about the win streak, he didn't even know his team's record until someone told him Saturday night.

"I am a pure cliché guy, I play it a day at a time," Hart said. "I have no idea how many we have won in a row. I just know that we lost those two Big 6 road games and have really gotten better since then." 

Tonight's game starts at 7 p.m., following a 5:30 p.m. sophomore game. Follow the game on Twitter @jaydub_DA or listen online at QCSportsNet.com

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In 19 seasons as coach of the Rock Island boys basketball team, Thom Sigel's teams have finished above .500 in 18 of those seasons, tallied 20 or more wins seven times and won nine Western Big 6 Conference titles and 10 regional championships.

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