Scouting the State: Galesburg junior forward on pace to join 2,000-point club

Posted: Dec. 3, 2013 12:01 am Updated: Jan. 14, 2014 12:16 am

Only three boys basketball players in the history of the Western Big Six Conference have scored more than 2,000 career points.

Could it become a foursome in the near future?

Well, Galesburg junior forward Grant Gibson is halfway there a little more than halfway through his prep career. Gibson eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau last weekend during the Galesburg Thanksgiving Tournament, leading the Silver Streaks to a 4-1 mark and second-place finish.

Gibson averaged 21.6 points in the tournament with a high-water mark of 28 points against Peoria Notre Dame, and figuring the Silver Streaks reach at least the regional championship this season, he could score around 600 more points this season. It would put the 2,000-point mark within his reach.

Galesburg all-state Joey Range is the WB6's career scoring leader with 2,390 points, while Rock Island's Chasson Randle (2,159) and Quincy High School's Bruce Douglas (2,040 points) are in the club.

Quincy fans will get the chance to see Gibson when the Silver Streaks visit Blue Devil Gym on Feb.14. The Blue Devils travel to Galesburg and John Thiel Gym on Dec. 20.

Austin, Lions take title: Two years ago, as a sophomore bursting onto the prep scene, Larry Austin Jr. earned MVP honors of the Team Soy Capital Turkey Tournament in Decatur by leading Springfield Lanphier to the championship.

It's only fitting then that he did the same thing in his tournament farewell.

Austin scored 22 points with nine steals and seven rebounds as the Lions beat Bolingbrook 73-58 in last Saturday's championship game. Austin finished the tournament with 77 points, 16 rebounds, 15 assists and 19 steals.

Austin recently signed to play at Tennessee.

Although their stars were no longer in the picture, Chicago Curie and Chicago St. Rita gave a standing room-only crowd Sunday at the Team Rose Classic everything it wanted.

After Curie forward Cliff Alexander was ejected for receiving two technical fouls, St. Rita closed the game on a 13-4 run to force overtime. However, Curie was nearly perfect from the free-throw line in overtime to escape with a 79-78 victory.

"The good thing about this is that it is our first game and we can correct these mistakes," Curie coach Mike Oliver told the Chicago Sun-Times. "Free throws killed us down the stretch and kept St. Rita in the game.''

Alexander, the Kansas-bound forward who spurned Illinois, had 18 points and 13 rebounds, but he was tagged for a technical for taunting with St. Rita's Victor Law, a Northwestern recruit. Alexander's second technical was for hanging on the rim. According to the IHSA rules, Alexander will be required to serve a one game suspension for his ejection.

Law scored 15 points before fouling out with 5:02 remaining. In his place, Dominique Matthews emerged. The St. Rita guard scored a career-high 39 points, netting 11 during that pivotal closing run and burying a 3-pointer with four seconds remaining that forced the game to go to overtime.

Changes in store for tourney: Conference realignments are forcing the directors of the Team Soy Capital Turkey Tournament to consider future changes.

Decatur Eisenhower and Decatur MacArthur are moving from the Big 12 Conference to the Central State Eight Conference next year. So it makes little sense for two other CS8 schools -- Springfield Lanphier and Springfield Southeast -- to remain in the tournament and risk playing a conference foe as many as three times in a season.

"We're anticipating a change," tournament director Mel Roustio told the Decatur Herald & Review. "One of the two Central State Eight schools has expressed a desire to go elsewhere. There's an understandable desire not to play so many games against conference opponents. But we always have people interested in coming into the tournament. We'll be in good shape there."

The bigger issue may be where games are played.

The tournament is currently played at Stephen Decatur Middle School, but Eisenhower and MacArthur are going to build new gyms in the coming years. Still, Roustio wants to keep the tournament where it is.

"There are wonderful advantages to hosting the tournament here," Roustio told the Herald & Review. "There's the large, spacious galleria that gives young people plenty of space, and that's important. And there's a plentiful parking lot. Those things do not exist at the other two facilities, even with the renovation. They're going to have to weigh shine versus practicality."

Unlike a freshman: Jordan Goodwin has the rest of the South Seven Conference concerned about matching up with Belleville Althoff.

That will be a concern the next four years.

Goodwin, a 6-foot-3 freshman, scored 19 of his game-high 25 points in the second half of a 67-57 victory over Mattoon last Saturday in the championship game of the Effingham St. Anthony Turkey Tournament. The Crusaders erased a six-point deficit in the third quarter to win their first tourney title in Effingham.

"I thought (Goodwin) got to the rim really well," Althoff coach Greg Leib told the Belleville News-Democrat. "I give a lot of credit to his teammates because they found him and put him in great situations to be effective. He took advantage of it and really forced the issue."

Goodwin was one of three Crusaders named to the all-tournament team.





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