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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gary Smith- The Defensive Coach w/ 132.4 Points

Top Scoring Teams

132.4  Redlands, 2004-5
126.5  Denver Nuggets, 1981-2
126.2  Grinnell, 2003-4
122.4  Loyola Marymount, 1989-90

Something I have always enjoyed in coaching was the opportunity to “network” with other coaches. I have enjoyed the relationships with other coaches, I guess it is sometimes a form of group therapy for us.


“Playing for championships or titles is very overrated. It always stuns me when someone outside our team fabric comes up before a critical game and assumes that the team’s going to be motivated because of the event. In my experience, teams aren’t motivated for a championship game; they’re motivated for each other.”                     
Anson Dorrance, N.Carolina Women’s Soccer
(North Carolina has won 20 of 22 ACC titles, and 20 of 28 NCAA titles under Dorrance.)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mark Massey & Bill Walton

Mark Massey with Bill Walton
Happy birthday to brother Mark. His birthday is November 30. He is very age sensitive. When the team went to Clinton, Jessica Howard (with some guidance) asked my brother if he was my father. His reaction was priceless! Let's just say that brother Mark was born a little before one of the presidential assassinations- you guess which one!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Megan Young Interview

My first awareness of Megan Young was when my Assistant Coach Steve Peachey had watched Megan play on a travel team. He told me,”You are really going to like Megan Young, she plays so hard.” When she was playing on the freshmen team, it was obvious she was the most intense player in our entire program. Megan is just non-stop.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Trouble Letting Go

 It may seem like I am having trouble letting go of our first game vs. Illini West. It was definitely a tough loss. There were 23 fouls called on us in that game. In the next five games we are averaging only 11 fouls per game. At the very least, I guess our players are very quick learners. Our defense without fouling has been very impressive!

More Alumni

It is alway a lot of fun to see former players come back and get to talk to them. Shanell Jackson (01), Rita Tiehen (84), Rachel Bicego (01) and Jenna Bicego (04) were back. Jenna was picked by Mr. Wolfe to do the half-time shoot out for Hammer's Pizza. Jenna was successful and won the contest. And it was really good to see Jenna after the Badgers had clobbered Ohio State this year!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tim Engebretson-The Leader

If you are a parent, this about a coach you would want your son or daughter to have. If you are a player, this is about the kind of coach you would like to play for. And for us coaches, this is the kind of coach we would aspire to be like.

Tom Loewy and I had an interesting relationship as writer and coach. I think I interviewed him more than he interviewed me. I enjoyed Tom covering my teams because after we got done talking about the game, we then just talked about sports and politics. The general theme of our conversations about sports was always about what each of us thought made for successful teams, programs, and coaches. The name that kept coming up in Tom's conversation was Tim Engebretson, the football coach at Monmouth Warren at the time. So that is how Coach Engebretson become my choice for an interview.

First I asked Jay Redfern for information on Coach Engebretson. Jay's reply---
“Here are a few things I dug up on Tim Engebretson, who I consider one of the best coaches around, and a really nice guy. He has guided the United Red Storm/Warren Warriors to the playoffs in 17 of his 18 seasons at the helm. Tim Engebretson has a (147-53) record as head coach at United and the former Monmouth Warren (now a part of United). He led the Red Storm to a Class 1A state championship in 2004, the first year of the school's existence.”

Work More Than Yap

Interesting story in Sports Illustrated about the New York Jets offensive line. The basic theme is that in an NFC that is pretty balanced, it may not be the traditional QB or running backs who are the stars and determine the champion. Rather it may turn out to be the five offensive linemen of the Jets. The article describes in a big overtime win, it was clearly the offensive line that just wore down the defense and allowed them to win. But despite the great win, the linemen were not jumping around or screaming. Just like businessmen finishing a day's work. A teammates quote, "They work more than they yap. They beat you up and walk off the field."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

More On Brenna Saline

Missouri Western went 1-1 at the Quincy University Tourney. The highlight was that Brenna got a double-double. Her success this season rebounding is a great example of the spirit Brenna has always had for basketball. As talented as she was, she always remained so coachable. When I asked Brenna about her new found rebounding stats early this winter, I thought she was going to mention something about her hops. But she simply said that rebounding was an area the team had trouble. I think Brenna saw this as an area to focus on-- and there you go--- a double double. I am really, really happy to see Brenna's success. She always has worked so hard as a student and as an athlete, and then she was part of an absolute Division I horror story at SIU. So to see things working out because of her toughness, it is great!!

Since you are home Brenna (and I know you won't be helping your mom around the house), come by practice tomorrow. We are after school at 2:30pm.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Streaks at Tennessee

Streaks this summer at University of Tennessee Camp with Coach Jason Shay. 

Alums Back

Thursday we had a special surprise as Molly Fordyce (Watson), her mother, and her two children came to practice. It was certainly fun to see her. She got as much of a workout in Thiel following her son around the gym as she did as a player. We had her speak to the team. It is unusual in that our players were not even in school when Molly played. She spoke about importance of enjoying relationships with teammates and being a role model. Her message was inspiring and well received because of the tremendous humility Molly always exhibits. Her husband was unable to come to Galesburg because he was busy taking care of setting up Yankee Stadium for tickets for the Notre Dame football game. He was the ND rep responsible for getting it all organized.

Then after Saturdays game got to talk to two of our alums at Knox- Stef Baker and Kelly Ricketts. We exchanged insults. I must admit that Stef got in the best shot. She had read the blog where a player said that I was too old to go on facebook. Stef said that was not true,"My grandmother is on facebook, but then she isn't as old as you Coach Massey." Good to see that the Knox education is sharping up Stef's mind.

John Wooden

“There are no shortcuts, no easy way. the cornerstone of success, of coming close to reaching your own level of competence, is hard work. There is no substitute for that. You have to work hard, and you have to enjoy what you’re doing. If you don’t enjoy it, no matter how hard you seem to work, you’re not going to be working as hard as you can because you’re not enjoying it.”
John Wooden, UCLA Men’s Basketball


Bob Knight is not a "system coach" but his perspectives on coaching often apply to lots of different coaching situations. When your team loses, Coach Knight says that all too often the coach's and fan's reaction is that they need to change their style of play, their set plays, or the defensive schemes. So the coach who plays Bob Knight style mm defense, panics and puts in a zone defense. The coach who has been a motion offense coach, watches some ESPN games and puts in some new set plays.

In the mid-'80's, I had some teams that struggled to win (but they played hard). As a result, it seemed like everyone we played would slap a full court press on us. And we struggled vs. pressure. So every Sunday I would call coaching friends and ask them about pressbreaks. We kept putting in pressbreak after pressbreak looking for the "magic pressbreak." One summer Dan Sullivan took me to Milwaukee to work a basketball camp. Don Casey, a pro assistant was at the camp and spent each evening diagraming x/o's for us. After 2-3 hours one night going thru pressbreak after pressbreak, Don Casey made the important comment, "Coach, if your kids can't handle the ball and executre, it really doesn't matter what pressbreak you run."

Sometimes when we struggle it is easy and convenient for me to blame it on the "system." The reality is some of our best teams in the '90's were "system-like." Our '96 team pressed all over, looked to fastbreak, and played 10 players regularly. Last summer I watched some of the old tapes, our '96 team averaged a shot within 12 seconds of getting the ball.  So yes, the system can work on a high school level, we have already proven that. It is not the "system", it is the execution of the "system". There is no short-cut to success, success is the result of repetition until execution is automatic.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Howard Goes Over 1,000

Jessica Howard scored 17 points tonight to become the 13th players in GHS girls basketball to go over 1,000 points for her career. She presently rests with 1,006 points. She has been on the varsity all 4 years of her career at Galesburg. All-time career points at GHS are:
1- Sarah Larson       1,906
2- Tiffany Sibley     1,806
3- Megan Pacheco   1,445
4- Molly Watson      1,430
5- Brenna Saline      1,414
6- Sarah Pacheco     1,260
7- Stefanie Mitchell  1,135
8- Debbie Roberts    1,090
9- Ann Henderson    1,080
10- Taylor Young     1,014
11- Shannon Johnson 1,012
12- LaToya Wright    1,010
13- Jessica Howard   1,006

Jessica has certainly had an outstanding career at GHS. We have had many girls at GHS who worked hard and were committed to the basketball program. Jessica is one of the hardest workers and most committed players we have had. I am confident with the amount of time she has invested shooting in the off-season that no one has shot more in Thiel Gym. Her success is no accident, she has spent hours working to become a great basketball player. Congratulations to Jessica. The good news is that she still has a lot of games left to play for the Streaks!!

Jessica is certainly a great representative of Galesburg as an athlete, student, and citizen. We really have a very good group this year that is lead by an outstanding group of seniors.

Video of Jessica's 1,000th point can be seen by going to the home page of

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Interview with Jane Miller

This blog is an excuse for me to talk to some of my “buddies” in sports. The first on my list is Jane Miller, sports reporter for the Peoria Journal-Star. This gives me a chance to reverse roles and ask the questions of her.

I have been very fortunate as a coach because I can only think of one sports reporter who was unfair toward my players in what they chose to write. So I have gotten to know and work with some great reporters. My three favorites to work with have been Jay Redfern, Tom Loewy, and Jane Miller.

Jane is a GHS grad (before I started teaching). She left Galesburg for the glamour of the big city (Peoria). Jane has the tough task of being the “hometown” reporter for about 20 schools each winter. And she does a fair job, understands the purpose of high school sports, and really cares about the kids she covers.

Massey-  If you were able to go back, what sporting event/game that took place when you were in high school, would you like to go back as a sportswriter and cover?
Miller- This will probably surprise you but one of the football games my sophomore year that Dave “Louie” Nichols played in. The basketball state tournament stuff was too intense and we always lost the big games. Dale Kelly’s 50-point game was before I was in high school or I might have said that.

 Massey- Same idea, if able, who would you like to go back and interview from the '60's in Galesburg sports?
Miller- Coach Thiel, of course. We were so in awe of him so I would have liked to get to know the person he was a little more.

Massey- What are some of the most exciting events/games you have gotten to cover in your career?
Miller-You won’t like this, but the coolest thing I have ever covered were the Formula One races in Indianapolis because it’s something I NEVER thought I would have a chance to see. But I also love the state cross country meet and state track. And there have been quite a few basketball games over the years which have been highlights.
Massey- I agree with your feelings about cross country. The state meet may be the most spectacular high school sports event in Illinois. But that car racing stuff I don’t get.

Massey- How in the world did you get involved in this auto racing thing?
Miller- There was a car in 1968 called the Lotus Turbine. It was a color of orange that can’t be reproduced on film. It was the coolest car I ever saw and it raced at Indianapolis. I got interested in the 500 from that and listened to it on the radio every year until I finally got to go there in 1975. As soon as I walked in to the Speedway, I felt like I was in heaven. I feel like that to this day every time I drive into that place.
Massey- Jane, this interview is not going the direction that I had hoped.

Massey- What are a couple stories of yours that you think were either the most interesting to write or you think turned out to be one of the best you produced?
Miller- One of my favorites was when I walked the cross country state course with Heidi Knapp and she described her strategy at each part. It was only two miles then. I always enjoy the stories I write from the Peoria TT because the riders are so great. My favorite preview that I ever did was the one for the sectional at Galesburg a few years ago when John (Gross) gave a scouting report on all the teams. I like feature stories on people most of all. The best compliment I ever get is from a parent who says I completely captured their child’s personality in my story.

Massey- Basketball gets much more attention than cross country. What do you think basketball players could learn from cross country runners?
Miller- Self-discipline, self-motivation. Those kids are the such dedicated and hard-working athletes who certainly get a much smaller share of the spotlight than most. And they run all year and work out on their own.  

Massey- How long have you covered girls basketball? How do you see it has changed during that time?
Miller- Probably 17 years – eight when I first started then nine in this last stint. Quality of play overall is much higher. And there’s more interest. But when I first started, the top players over here were Nora Lewis, Cindy Bumgarner, Jonelle Polk, Tracy Krick and Carla McGhee and I don’t think we’ve had a group of that caliber at one time since then. I do think I have the best winter beat.

Massey- When you come back to Galesburg what do you do?
Miller- I visit my mom and sister and eat at Gray’s, Taco Hideout and Pizza House.

Massey- The best part about growing up in Galesburg was what?
Miller- Everything. I couldn’t imagine a better place to grow up. But I guess I’d have to say going to basketball games with my dad from the time I was little. And hanging out at Lake Bracken.

Massey- Jane may have moved to Peoria but she still has strong feelings for her hometown. When we were able to pull off the big upset vs. Loyola in 1999, she certainly got caught up in the joy of the moment. But that is Jane, sportswriting is not just a job, it is a passion. On the outside she keeps her "professional face" but on the inside she jumps for joy when any of her 20 plus "hometown" teams succeed.


“We used to preach that everybody’s a leader. You’re either a negative or you’re a positive leader. Everybody contributes and everybody has to be a part of it.”
                Chuck Noll, Pittsburgh Steelers

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Streaks Alums

If you find your way to this site, please pass the word to other former Streaks. I am not on facebook, beyond my abilities. And when I asked one of the current players, her reply was, "Coach Massey, don't go there it would be too weird for someone your age." So after some research, here is blog on my basketball interests.

If I don't have your email address, please email me at

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Olivet Nazarene vs. Ashford

Saturday, November 13 the varsity took a road trip to Clinton, Iowa to watch ONU Run and Gun style go vs. Ashford. ONU racked up 108 points. It was a great lesson for the Galesburg girls in how intensely ONU played. Their defense was unbelieveable, generating turnover after turnover. They were able to create this tremendous energy by rotating 15 players into the game. Coach Porter of ONU is considered to be one of the top System coaches in America today. So to get to see his team up close and personal was great.

An added bonus to the trip was a stop at Manny's Too in Fulton. Manny's is considered the premier pizza place in northern Illinois. The girls loved the pizza and taco's and the hospitality. Coach Massey grew up in Savanna, where Manny's Pizza was born. Sadly, Saturday night Manny's in Savanna burned. We hope that Manny will be able to bounce back from this horrible event.

Great Summer

Streaks Basketball had a great summer.

At the beginning of the summer, three teams and about 35 girls attended camp at the University of Tennessee. Obviously it is exciting to be on the Tennessee campus with their rich tradition of women's basketball. But the extra bonus for the Streaks was to be able to interact with Coach Jason Shay. Coach Shay was an outstanding player at Galesburg HS before going to the University of Iowa. He is presently an assistant in the men's program at Tennessee.

Later in the summer, two teams of players attended a weekend camp at the University of Wisconsin. For Coach Gohlinghorst (Howard), it is a reunion of sorts as one of her college coaches, Ty Margenthaler, is now an assistant at Wisconsin. Besides great basketball in great facilities, the girls got to enjoy all of the wonders of Madison-- State Street, brats, the lakes, and of course Bucky Badger!

Finally, we had seven girls reach "milestones" for their individual efforts this summer. We had a shooting program modelled after cross country programs summer mileage programs. The girls were challenged to shoot, make and record three point shots. Congratulations to Tai Peachey, Mickey Rodriguez, Megan Young, Jamie Johnson, and Paige Klinck who made over 5,000 threes this summer. And to Jessica Howad and Jessica Lieber who made over 10,000 threes!


Welcome to Massey Basketball blog. I don't know alot about blogging, tweeting, or websites. As a coach, I wanted a way to share information about my basketball interests. After some reserach, I felt that a blog might be the simplest and most effective way for me to share information.

Forgive the title of the blog, "Massey Basketball." Using my name perhaps comes across as arrogant. The reason for choosing the name "Massey Basketball", is to make sure people understand this is not an "official blog" of Galesburg Hiigh School, District #205, or Streaks basketball. It is my hope to have this blog deal with a variety of topics. Obviously Streaks basketball is one of my interests and I hope to have information for fans of Streaks basketball. But it is my hope to include information about a variety of topics including:
* Camp information for the Massey-Purlee Shooting Camps
* Referral to information for coaches regarding "The System" style of basketball.
* Information regarding books, clinics, and tapes for coaches.
* Interviews with successful coaches.
* Interviews with GHS alums.

I don't know what I am getting into, but for now I plan to keep it simple. I hope there are somethings that you will find that will help you enjoy the sport of basketball. Thanks.