Tonight: 7:30 at Moline's Wharton Field House. Sophomores start at 6. Radio: WGIL-AM 1400 & www.wgil.com & WAIK-AM 1590 & www.1590waik.com. Twitter updates: SteveTappa_DA.
Saturday: Galesburg at Metamora (7:30 p.m.); Moline is off.
Lineups: Moline: G Drew Owens, 6-0 Sr. (13.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg); G Jed Wood, 6-0 Sr. (11.8, 3.2); F Derrick Stabler, 6-4 Sr. (4.6, 2.8); F Josh Larson, 6-7 Sr. (6.6, 4.4); C Brandon Vice, 6-6 Jr. (8.6, 6.2).Galesburg: G: Travon Diggins, 5-10 Sr. (8.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg); G Carson Cheesman, 6-1 Sr. (1.8, 1.0); F Grant Gibson, 6-2 Soph. (24.6, 4.6); F Marcus Ross, 6-4 Jr. (6.8, 1.6); C Ryan Carl, 6-5 Sr. (4.8, 2.6).
Why watch: The Western Big 6 Conference opener for both teams corresponds with the league varsity debut of Moline coach Jeff Schimmel, who took over the top job this season after a successful sophomore run at his alma mater. ... Both clubs played in the Galesburg Thanksgiving Tournament last weekend, with Moline coming up a bucket short of claiming the title in a head-to-head finale with champ Chicago Westinghouse, ... Galesburg has won twice at Wharton in four previous seasons under Mike Reynolds, a former standout at nearby Orion. "So we've got some guys who know they can win there,'' Reynolds said. ... Galesburg star Grant Gibson is the only Big 6 player to enter league play with more than 100 points to date. The sophomore scored 123 points last weekend, going for 45 and 34 points in two of those games.
Moline's Schimmel: "Obviously, we've got to stop Gibson. But he's not their only player. That's a physical, strong, solid group. (Tonight) is going to be all about adjustments, with both of us very familiar with each other. For us, it'll be key to handle the ball better against pressure. We had too many turnovers leading to opponent points last weekend, and we can't make it easy on Galesburg.''
Galesburg's Reynolds: "Moline likes to play at a slower pace than they have in the past, while we're more uptempo than before. But if we want to get out and go, we're going to have to get stops on defense. If they get baskets, it's tough to score on their (1-2-2) zone, which they're able to pack in even more than the past because this is their biggest team I can remember, even as a kid. We're going to have to find a way to get the ball into the paint, so we can make them collapse on the ball, and we can get better looks on the perimeter. Otherwise they can make it a long night, getting rebound after rebound after each bad shot you take.''
Today is Wednesday, Aug. 20, the 232nd day of 2014. There are 133 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: Quite a number of Negroes have lately been brought here by abolition offers returning from the army in violation of the laws of the state. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Miss Tillie Denkmann, of Rock Island, was making plans to accompany a Davenport family on a tour of Europe. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The German advance into Belgium was going apparently without serious check. The American ambassador at Berlin published a denial of the charge that Americans had been ill-treated in Germany. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Seventy-two members of Rock Island High School's 1939 graduating class are preparing to enter college — 34 of them at Augustana. 1964 -- 50 years ago: One of the oldest buildings in Milan, which for a number of years has housed the Milan Hotel, will be razed to make way for a modern, two-story office structure. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Some are blaming it on the sudden influx of insects and the extreme humidity. Still others say the invasion was inspired by a recent movie. But whatever the reason, the Quad-Cities is swarming with bats.