Lyons sophomore Galassini feels comfortable at point guard
La Grange, IL - Friday, January 4, 2013: Lyons Township's Victoria Swift (10) drives towards the basket vs Oak Park-River Forest's Emily Vachon (25). | Steve Johnston~for Sun-Times Media
Boys basketball: vs. Hinsdale Central, 7:30 p.m.
Lyons (6-7, 1-3) must find a way to stop 6-foot-7 sophomore Matt Rafferty, who was Hinsdale Central’s best player at the Proviso West Holiday tournament. Rafferty scored at least 14 points in each tournament game for the Devils (6-5, 3-1), who are among three teams chasing Oak Park-River Forest for the West Suburban Silver lead. Lyons plays at Prospect at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Saturday Girls basketball: vs. Proviso West, 2:30 p.m.
Girls basketball: vs. Proviso West, 2:30 p.m.
Updated: February 11, 2013 7:01AM
LA GRANGE — One thing seemed apparent watching Lyons’ fourth place finish at Wheaton North’s Neibch Holiday Classic last month.
Lyons’ point guard position seems in capable hands for the next two years.
There may have been doubt a year ago. Former point guard Colleen Connors, the only member of last year’s Lyons team to make all-tournament at Wheaton North, graduated last spring.
Her replacement, sophomore Gaby Galassini, spent last year playing the point for the sophomore team. She knew she was up to running the varsity offense after spending time with the team over the summer.
Galassini, a La Grange resident, had one of her best games of the season Friday night against visiting Oak Park-River Forest, registering 10 points in a 60-48 West Suburban Silver victory. She was among the five starters to score in double figures for second-year coach Katie Meyers, a former standout player herself at Lyons.
“That (news) gives me chills,” Meyers said. “I’m proud of the team. That’s the best news that we got a single contribution from everyone.”
According to Meyers, the feat was a first in her coaching stint.
Galassini scored eight points in the first half and converted two free throws in the second half. She is the least likely starter to be counted on for scoring; the starting five includes multi-dimensional scoring leader Ashanti Davis, 3-point specialist Victoria Swift and post player Sara Beck.
There is still much for Galassini to learn. Against OPRF, she was called for a 10-second violation and, in another sequence, she lost control of the ball while driving unaccosted down the lane.
“Probably her best (trait) is court vision as a basketball player,” Meyers said. “She’s not laid back or lazy. She’s poised.”
The Lions are proving to Meyers they have the depth to replace Connors. Galassini did not start the second quarter against OPRF while taking a rest and Davis took over at point guard.
“I feel more confident each game,” Galassini said. “I feel very confident. The girls tell me what to do. They are great girls, even though they are older. It’s getting easier.”
Before playing Hinsdale Central again during the Neibch tournament, Galassini watched video from Lyons’ previous two losses to the West Suburban Silver leading Red Devils. Lyons won the third meeting, 52-47 Dec. 27 in the quarterfinals.
“I could see what were the right plays (on video),” Galassini said. “The varsity (game) is a lot faster than the sophomores.”
Whether it’s on or off the court, it seems hard to believe Galassini can ever give an embarrassing performance. But she admits to one occasion.
In the fall, Galassini dressed up as Frida Kahlo as part of a Day of the Dead celebration in her Spanish class. Members of her class dressed as dead Latino celebrities and it was her photo in costume that was published in Pioneer Press newspapers.
“It was embarrassing,” Galassini said.