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`May Day:' UT holds off Alleman rally


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Posted Online: Feb. 08, 2013, 11:34 pm
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By Steve Tappa, stappa@qconline.com
United Township's Trevor May had seen enough.

A nine-game losing streak. Growing pains all season. A second-half comeback by Alleman.

The only returning starter from last season's Panthers did something about all of that Friday night, erupting for 13 of his team-best 15 points in the fourth quarter to help the hosts hold off the Pioneers, 57-47.

The Western Big 6 Conference boys' basketball win at East Moline's Panther Den was the second this season over Alleman (6-16, 1-7) by UT (4-19, 2-6), breaking a last-place league tie between the two.

"We've been so close so many times this season, it was about time we pulled it off,'' May said, pointing to a series of near-misses last month.

"It's been a frustrating season, but we have a group of guys who don't like to lose and that keep coming back to work hard every day to get better and tonight it finally paid off.''

The junior made sure that happened with a fourth-quarter flurry to answer Alleman's rally from a 16-point, second-half deficit.

Behind senior guard Adam Hoogerwerf and his game-high 22 points, the depleted Pioneers clawed back to within two points with 5 1/2 minutes remaining.

That's when May hit a pair of 3-pointers, giving the Panthers just enough cushion on a night when UT inducted its 1970 boys' basketball state runner-up into the school's Hall of Fame.

"Both of them came on set plays,'' May said. "I came off screens and they sagged off me. They didn't want me to get to the basket, so I just took the open looks. Those gave us the confidence we could win.''

UT coach Marc Polite said May was an appropriate hero for the Panthers.

"Trevor has been huge in this stretch, when we started playing good basketball,'' Polite said. "He's the soul of our group, taking care of the ball and playing solidly on defense. He can make shots. He's worked real hard at becoming consistent, and it finally paid off tonight.''

The setback was Alleman's seventh straight without the injured senior duo of Dan Cutkomp and John Tracey. The Pioneers also were missing season-starters Alec Diab (flu) and Joey Mihm (ineligible) this weekend.

Despite the short bench, the Pioneers were not short on effort, rallying from a game-starting 13-0 run by the Panthers.

"We had a handful of kids who haven't seen much playing time, and we started very tentative,'' Alleman coach Pat Rangel said. "But we played hard, and really stepped up in the second half and made UT beat us. They had to knock down some shots and they did.''

Besides Hoogerwerf, Rangel was most pleased with first-time varsity starter Aaron Murray, who added 10 points and a game-high 8 rebounds.

Keegan Wenskunas and Evan Spurgetis also had nine points each for UT.

"We came up on the short end,'' Rangel said, "but it's been awhile since we've seen that kind of intensity and group effort.''

















 




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  Today is Saturday, Aug. 30, the 242nd day of 2014. There are 123 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: A large pair of elk, captured in Iowa, were exhibited in Market Square today.
1889 — 125 years ago: The Rock Island Arsenal dam was being constructed under the supervision of Charles Frances, of Lowell, Mass.
1914 — 100 years ago: Mrs. Frank Mixer, of Rock Island, was the winner of the final preliminary for the women's handicap golf cup at Rock Island arsenal links.
1939 — 75 years ago: Sixteen hundred persons — many from war-fearful Europe — arrived in New York aboard the German liner Bremen. For two days on the trip, passengers were cut off from the world with both incoming and outgoing radio messages banned.
1964 — 50 years ago: Police reported five youths have been involved in the theft of about seven cars in recent weeks. Three of the youths were arrested Saturday afternoon, one was in custody as the result of a previous arrest, and the fifth is expected to be arrested today.
1989 — 25 years ago: The Rock Island/Milan School Board is asking the city to tear down Franklin School and allow the school district to pay back the estimated $100,00 cost during 10 years.






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