Wildcats enjoying turn-around success
The last week of 2015 saw the Galva boys basketball program anchored in the lowest of possible lows.
The Wildcats were 2-8, without a head coach and withdrawn from the Princeville Holiday Tournament after temporarily suspending their season.
One year later Galva has regained stability, improved its record (8-4) and looks toward 2017 with a fresh outlook.
"We do try stray away from what happened last year," senior Trey Kazubowski said. "We've come a long way. It all started in the summer when we got in the gym as much as possible. It brought us together and (head coach Chance Jones) has been a major part of this. He's helped so much and put so much into us."
Jones, who went 51-32 as Galva's head coach from 2010 to 2013, reunited with Wildcats after three years at Black Hawk College East (BHE's program was dropped after the 2015-16 season). Jones said that though the surroundings are familiar, getting to know the new faces on the court has provided an interesting challenge.
"We're getting there. Everything has been new. I'm new to them, they're new to me. We've been chasing our tails as far as what's going to work best for us. We have certain things we'd like to do but it's trial and error," Jones said.
Early on Jones has harnessed the energy and toughness of the Galva lineup in a start that included a six-game win streak.
"We're probably at our best (playing fast) with our high energy guys but sometimes on offense we have to take a knee because we have really quick possessions. We're trying to find that balance between getting after it and slowing it down," Jones said.
Kazubowski believes the difference has been playing a full 32 minutes every night.
"Last year we would always play three quarters of a game and we'd have that one quarter that just brought us down. This year we're playing all four quarters and we're getting the wins because of it," he said.
During Jones' first stint Galva won two regular season conference titles and a conference tournament. He noted the Wildcats aren't putting a ceiling on themselves this year.
"They've had high expectations for themselves and that's a good start. In the conference we've got some teams that are solid and a bunch of teams that could beat each other on any night. We have high expectations, maybe nobody else does (for us), which is a sometimes a good thing," he said.