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College basketball: Price, Guilinger making mark at Sandburg

A former Fulton Steamer is seeing her college basketball career get off to a good start.

Jordan Price is in her first season with Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, and has earned a starting spot with the Chargers.

Through 19 games, the 5-8 guard is averaging 9.4 points per game, second on the team only to 3-point sharpshooter Madison Lowe’s 13.1 points per game. Price leads the Chargers with 2.1 assists per game.

“I’m mostly looking for assists, but I know in dire times of need, I have to get to the basket,” Price said. “My drive is really what I look to do for the most part. I try to get to the [free throw] line and that’s where I’m best. That’s my game.”

Price took over the starting job at point guard Jan. 6, and since then has hit double digits in points five times in nine games, including the last two with 14 points against Sauk Valley and 10 against the Loras JV. Her career high in scoring came the game before she took over the starting job, putting up 20 points in a win over John Wood Jan. 3.

Though she leads the team in assists, her first career double-double came in points and rebounds, when she reeled in 10 rebounds in a win over the Skyhawks. She is also making her mark by getting steals, averaging 1.4 of those per game. She said that it’s really her defense that is keeping her on the floor.

“I really like defense more than I like offense, so that’s my strongest part of the game,” she said.

“I see a kid that’s still learning how to play, but a kid that plays extremely hard with a lot of passion,” Sandburg coach Mike Bailey said. “I don’t know that I’ve had as competitive a kid as Jordan in my program ever. If we can get her to understand a few more things, she’s had a great freshman year and we expect her to finish this year strong and be our leader next year.”

Price is not the only person with local ties with the Sandburg women’s basketball team. The Chargers’ team manager is Hayley Guilinger, a West Carroll graduate who is also on the women’s golf team at Sandburg.

“I played [basketball] all through high school so it was kind of weird not being out on the court,” she said. “I talked to coach Bailey and asked if I could hang out around the team.”

She is on the bench for games helping to keep stats for the team, normally just working at home games, though she did make a recent trip to Sauk Valley.

During the fall golf season, Guilinger quickly emerged as one of the Chargers’ top players. She averaged an 88.5 through the fall, opening her college career with a two-round total of 182 to tie for 14th at the Mt. Mercy Early Bird Classic. Playing the Millikin Dechert Classic to close the fall schedule, Guilinger has her 36-hole score down to 170.

From the fall golf season, she jumped into basketball, and will head back to the golf team for the spring season that opens April 7 with the Monmouth Invitational.

“Throughout high school I was a three-sport athlete, so I’m used to that schedule,” she said.

Guilinger is planning to go from manager to player next season, hoping to suit up for the Chargers in both golf and basketball.

That would put the former West Carroll player on the floor alongside Price. The last time Guilinger played basketball, Price was there too. Price’s Steamers knocked Guilinger’s Thunder out of the postseason in the 2017 regional quarterfinal.

“She’s a great player so it’d be nice to be on the same team as her instead of playing against her,” Guilinger said. “She’s a good player and she likes to drive and kick, and I’m a shooter, so I think we’d work well together.”

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