Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2013, 9:50 pm
Boys basketball preview: Moline (9-8, 0-4 Big 6) at United Township (3-14, 1-3 Big 6)
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By Steve Tappa, email@example.com
Tonight: 7:30 at UT's Panther Den in East Moline. Sophomores start at 6. Twitter updates: SteveTappa_DA.
Special: UT's Interact Club is hosting its annual fundraiser, a Chili Supper tonight from 4:30 to 7:30 in the cafeteria. Cost is $5 for a bowl of chili, chili dog or hot dog, a dessert and a beverage.
Saturday: UT visits Mississippi Athletic Conference leader Bettendorf (11-0) at 6:30 p.m. Moline hosts a Martin Luther King Tournament on Saturday and Monday at Wharton Field House. State-rated Washington (14-1) is favored. Rochelle, Marengo and Chicago Noble Bulls also are in the field.
Moline: G: Drew Owens, 6-0, Sr. (11.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg), Jed Wood, 6-0, Sr. (9.2, 2.4) & Tyler Biscontine, 5-10, Soph. (9.3, 1,6); F: Mitch Reeves, 6-3, Soph. (3.0, 3.8) and Brandon Vice, 6-6, Jr. (9.2, 6.9).
United Township: G: Trevor May, 5-8, Jr. (4.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg), Ryan Merideth, 6-2, Soph. (3.9, 2.8) & Cody Vroman, 5-10, Jr. (2.3, 1.5); F: Lamont Mitchell, 6-3, Soph. (8.1, 5.1) & Dalton Oakes, 6-3, Jr. (0.7, 1.8).
Why watch: The steadily improving UT Panthers try to keep Moline's 10-time Western Big 6 Conference champs winless in the league. ... Derrick Stabler, a starting forward through much of this season for Moline, returns to a reserve role after missing two games last weekend. The senior hyper-extended a wrist last Wednesday in practice, and is called 90-percent healthy by Maroons coach Jeff Schimmel. ... UT is playing without sophomore Javen Goodwin, who started earlier this season, Panthers coach Marc Polite said, because of academic troubles. ...This holiday weekend marks a stretch of five games in four days for Moline. ... The Panthers have lost four straight, but missed upsets of Galesburg and state-ranked Pekin in their last two games.
Moline's Schimmel: "We know their record doesn't reflect the kind of team they have. They've played tough people and have some heartbreaking losses. They're young, but they always play hard, and they're continually getting better. Now they look at us, and we're at the bottom of the conference, so we should be the hungrier team. But they're playing with a lot of confidence, and we have to match their intensity. We also have to handle the ball, and value our possessions, because they will guard you hard."
UT's Polite: "Moline is a solid basketball team. They have size, they have a couple of good guards, and they can shoot it. They do a lot of little things well, and can beat you at several phases of the game. Our challenge is to play our tempo and style. When we defend like we can, we can compete with anybody. But we're not a very offensive team, so we have to create turnovers and easy baskets."
-- Steve Tappa, firstname.lastname@example.org