Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2013, 10:34 pm
Maroons living through Groundhog Day
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By Dan Tomlin, firstname.lastname@example.org
LINCOLN -- Only one thing came to Moline boys basketball coach Jeff Schimmel's mind.
"Groundhog Day," the first-year Maroons' coach said.
Unfortunately for the Maroons, Saturday felt just like Friday, losing in overtime once again, this time to Lincoln, 49-46, a night after falling to arch-rival Rock Island in an extra session.
Drew Owens took a 23-foot try at the overtime horn and despite hitting the front and back of the rim, and the backboard, the ball rattled out, ending a scoreless overtime period for the Maroons.
"That shot was halfway down," junior forward Brandon Vice said. "I don't know how it didn't go in."
The Railsplitters only had one basket. It came as Moline was trying to pass the ball and hold for the last shot. Max Cook jumped the passing lane with 11 seconds left, drove to the basket and kicked out to Tyler Horchem.The junior guard was perfect, draining the deciding bucket with 3.9 seconds left. Horchem had been 0-for-5 from the field, all on 3s, until the game-winner.
"They're a good shooting team, that's why they're state-ranked," Schimmel said of 3A's No. 8 ranked team that is now 23-4. "We gave ourselves a chance, we just came up short. And I hate saying that."
The Maroons (17-12) trailed by as many as 11 to start the third quarter, but Vice took over the game, scoring eight of his game-high 17 points in the third to bring Moline back, trailing by just a bucket through three.
Moline also buckled down on defense. After Lincoln opened by making five of its first seven shots, four of them treys, the hosts went the rest of the game just 9-for-31.
Playing a second straight game against a ranked opponent, especially a night after losing to Rocky, the Maroons looked a bit slow out of the gate.
"We were exhausted and beat up from (Friday night)," Vice said. "We just kept fighting and we started to get some second-chance points. We were just going to keep fighting."
The Maroons never led until there was 5:13 to play in the fourth quarter when Owens missed a free throw but got his own rebound and laid it in.
The Maroons led by as many as 3 before the Railers hit another big bucket to tie things up.
The loss is a stinging one, but for Moline, the season's progress is happening at the right time.
"When we played good teams early in the year we would play with them for a half and then get steamrolled," Schimmel said. "Now, we're playing with them for four quarters. We just have to find a way to win."
Jed Wood added 11 points, but was held in check in the 4th quarter and overtime, attempting just two shots, both 3-point attempts.
"We know we're close," Schimmel said. "This late in the season, that's a good thing to see. It was a team effort and the guys are really playing for each other right now."