True Grit: Amanda Gunther gets the job done for Streaks

by John Ring

If you want to check out which Silver Streak player has the most bumps and bruises and is the most black and blue, look no further than Amanda Gunther.

At first glance, that would be hard to understand. Aside from being likable and a quiet, unassuming sort of person, Amanda looks to be just your average teenager you'd find in Galesburg on any night.

But on the court, Amanda Gunther has no fear factor. At 5'9'' tall, she never has a height advantage. She routinely goes up against taller, stronger players who have a reputation for blocking shots, scoring and squashing troublesome players from one of the best basketball programs in Illinois.

Gunther is very aggressive and not afraid to the ball to the basket. Call it whatever you want-- moxie, grit, determination. Amanda Gunther's got it.

In fact, Gunther-- along with Jenna Bicego and Ali Bauchman-- spend a considerable time on the floor of the basketball court. All of them like to mix it up and play physical and like a lot of Silver Streaks, they don't hesitate to dive for a loose ball on the court.

''It's been rough on the court but I haven't really noticed that it's been worse than the last two years,'' said Gunther after the Streaks knocked off Rock Island Alleman Monday night at Thiel Gym. ''Like tonight, Alleman was physical with us. They always are. They did a good job of taking us out of our offense. We have a lot of respect for them because of the way they play.''

Despite being undersized in the post (at 5'8''), Gunther is staying aggressive and her offense has been on the rise. Amanda has had a torrid stretch of late. She's averaged 22.6 points over the last five games, using a strong combination of her outside three-point shooting and post moves inside.

''I've been on kind of a roll,'' said the senior post player. ''I've been shooting the ball real well and the coaches have been trying to have me get the ball a little more.''

Just thirteen games into the season, Amanda has been the victim of two intentional fouls-- against Quincy and East Moline-- in which she took blows to the head. And in Galesburg's loss to Buffalo Grove last Saturday, Gunther was floored at least three times in physical play under the basket.

''It's always more physical up there,'' said Amanda ''but of those intentional fouls, the first one against Quincy hurt a lot more than the one at East Moline.''

As the Streaks embark to the State Farm Classic in Bloomington with an 11-2 record, Gunther said that the Streaks aren't resting on any success they have had so far this season.

''It feels good to have the record that we have but we still feel like we have something to prove. We can play basketball better than we have so far this year.''

So don't be deceived by appearances. Looks can be deceiving.

Her shot may be soft with a nice rotation, her personality may be quiet and she may be quick with a smile but make no mistake about it.

Amanda Gunther is one tough cookie on the court.

Uploaded to The Zephyr website December 23, 2002

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