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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

From Ottawa Paper

This is not completely accurate, this was our conversation in regards to the fourth quarter.
METAMORA — Imagine Phil Jackson telling Michael Jordan not to shoot or Shaquille O'Neal not to take advantage of his size on the inside.

That's probably what it felt like to Galesburg's Silver Streaks when they were told by coach Evan Massey not to shoot the 3.

In his halftime speech Monday night, the veteran coach told Galesburg — a team that broke its own state record for 3-pointers made in a season early in the second quarter — no 3-pointers were allowed, at least not for the time being.

"(I don't have to do that) very often," Massey said. "They don't like that. I try to keep them happy."

The Streaks may not have liked the method, but they certainly liked its result.

The lack of what has become the program's biggest weapon ironically developed into a significant strength in a huge third quarter that doomed Ottawa in a 61-34 loss in the Metamora Class 3A Sectional.

Galesburg threw up 28 3-pointers in the first half, but after making 5-of-9 to build a 15-0 lead, it went ice cold. The Lady Pirates found success guarding the 3-pointer, limiting the Silver Streaks to 3-of-18 the rest of the half. That allowed Ottawa to chisel away at the lead, pulling within 26-19 late in the first half.

It was still a single-digit game early in the third quarter when Galesburg put together a run that came almost entirely on the inside.

In a 23-1 run that took the game from a manageable 34-25 deficit out to 57-26, the Silver Streaks were relentless in the paint. 

Jamie Johnson, who was celebrating her birthday, scored a whopping 16 of her game-high 25 points in that period with most of that coming on the inside. She hit all six of her shots, and Galesburg as a team was 9-of-12 in the period.

"It wasn't anything we didn't practice against," said OTHS coach Mike Cooper. "They just kind of outexecuted us and got us into some situations defensively where we didn't do a very good job of defending and recognizing. Johnson had a humongous game today. She's a nice player. Boy, it's great when you play on the block and then step out and hit 3s."

Galesburg's defense did its part to make for some easy baskets in transition as well. Its intense pressure forced eight Lady Pirates turnovers in the third quarter, including five consecutive at one point in the run.

"We had opportunities there. It would've been a lot easier to prepare for Richwoods or East Peoria or just about anybody else. They're so unconventional that it makes it hard to simulate what they do in practice."

Galesburg bent on Massey's rule a little bit. In fact, the Silver Streaks hit three consecutive 3-pointers in that game-breaking run.

However, GHS didn't go overboard. In total for the half, it attempted just seven 3-pointers.

Galesburg also was 12-of-21 from the free-throw line in the second half after not having attempted a free throw in the first half.

"They know once there is no more 3s they've got to get it inside in order to score, and they did that," Massey said. "But to be honest, it's a crazy thing because you look at it and we press all over and we run, but our kids don't foul a lot. Throughout the year, you look and we get to the line a lot, and our opponents don't get to the line a lot. When our kids foul, they hear about it as far as it's a negative. And they're pretty good about doing the things they need to do."

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