South Beloit’s girls suffer growing pains

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Josh Flickinger/Beloit Daily News South Beloit’s Abigail Castor dribbles against the pressure of Woodstock’s Lena Vogel Tuesday night.

SOUTH BELOIT — In a season full of learning, the South Beloit girls basketball team was taught a rather painful lesson by Woodstock Tuesday night.

The Blue Streaks had an apt nickname, as Woodstock ran roughshod over the SoBos defense, defeating the young squad 84-36.

Senior Shian Galbreath was the lone offensive threat in the game. The four-year starter, who recently eclipsed 1,000 career points, poured in 27 points to lead the way.

It was ugly from the beginning for the SoBos, who saw Galbreath forced to the bench with two early fouls.

By the time the first quarter was done, the Blue Streaks already had a 26-7 lead, with Galbreath accounting for all of the SoBos points.

By halftime, the lead had grown to 50-15 and South Beloit was well on its way to a 2-4 record.

First-year coach Larry Blake knows his team, made up of a group of freshman plus Galbreath, is facing a steep learning curve.

“That Woodstock team was full of juniors and seniors,” Blake said. “I’ve got mostly freshman, so what I find myself doing is a lot of teaching. I can’t get into the winning games thing, because I will lose their focus on the game. I have to teach basketball instead of saying ‘You girls need to win games.’ Instead, I’m saying ‘You girls need to learn how to really dribble, pass and pivot.’ These girls haven’t been taught that, and they have only played school basketball. I have to get them to play all year round.”

Galbreath, who hit four three-pointers and went to the free throw line 10 times (making five), said this season has been a difficult adjustment for her.

“It’s hard because when these girls were coming up, I don’t think they were taught what they need to know,” Galbreath said. “They have trouble with basic things, and it’s been tough feeling like you have to do everything. But I’m trying to learn to deal with it better.”

Blake said he’s challenged Galbreath to be the best leader she can be.

“Shian gets frustrated out there and I understand why,” Blake said. “But she has to know that as she goes, so the team goes. If they see her out there not giving her best effort or being upset, then they are going to do the same thing. She’s always going to be in the top three players on the court, for both teams. And if we don’t have her on the floor, it’s tough to even get a shot off. So she’s always got to be in the game, physically and mentally.”

Brecken Overly led the Blue Streaks with 20 points, 16 of them coming in the first half.

The SoBos will host Winnebago Jan. 11 in their next scheduled game.

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