The United Township girls basketball team will take it any way it can get it as the Panthers beat Moline to stay one game back in their hopes of defending the Western Big 6 Conference title.
The Panthers grinded out a 35-26 win over the Maroons, holding Moline to just 18.8 percent shooting from the field.
It wasn't as though UT (10-7, 4-1 WB6) shot the lights out, hitting just 23 percent. But it was enough to pick up the win.
Only four Panthers even made a basket, as sharp-shooting sophomore Tayler Dobrinske scored a game-high 12 points. The VanWatermeulen sisters, Jen and Jamie, each pulled down 10 rebounds. Jamie added six points and a pair of blocks, and Jen scored five and had four steals.
Fellow senior Katie Daggett added a game-high 11 rebounds.
The Maroons (7-14, 2-3 WB6) got just eight points from their starters who shot 8 percent as a group.
"It was a tough one to watch," Moline coach Steve Ford said. "Their defense was awesome, they really limited us and our shot selection.We didn't have anyone who wanted to step up and shoot with confidence."
Morgan Gerard led Moline with seven points, but she was just 3-for-13 shooting and 1-for-7 from behind the arc. The Maroons as a whole made just 3 of their 24 trey tries.
"I was happy with our defense," UT coach Justin Shiltz said. "Offensively, it was pretty ugly, but we're not giving it back."
The 2-3 zone put on by the Panthers had a hand in the face of every Maroon making it nearly impossible to get good looks.
The offensive stalemate hit full throttle in the second quarter when the teams combined for just nine points.
The Panther defense has limited opponents to 30 points or fewer seven times this season in their 17 games.
The win puts the Panthers just one game back at the midway point of the Western Big 6 season, a game behind the Rocks, whom they will host in two weeks.
"We're trying to prove people wrong," Jamie VanWatermeulen said about the Panthers who graduated 90 percent of their scoring and minutes from last season. "As sophomores, we all played well together and know we can now, too."
The loss drops Moline even further back in the Big 6 race, now fourth, but Ford is confident there can be improvement.
"We've just gotta keep working hard and keep having a great attitude," Ford said. "Scoring can be hot and cold, but there are fundamental things we can do right."
The Maroons' Emily Knight had a trio of pretty passes to set up Maroon scores, and sophomores Hailey Cook, Marley Patrick and Hannah Ford all made contributions, as well as freshman Lexie Gerard. None of them played on the Moline sophs team that doubled up UT in the prelim and moved to 16-2 on the season.
Today is Friday, Aug. 22, the 234th day of 2014. There are 131 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: The ferry boat, Rock Island, having been put in good order at the boat yard is now making her regular trips, much to the gratification of those who have to cross the river. 1889 -- 125 years ago: W.J. Gamble, for many years superintendent of the Moline & Rock Island railway, leased the Fourth Avenue Hotel and renovated and refurnished it throughout. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Pending the building of new public schools or additions to the present ones to provide adequate room for all the children, the board of education decided that pupils younger than 6 years old would not be accepted in Rock Island schools. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The fifth annual New Windsor Fair and Horse show, which has been delayed for two days because of unfavorable weather, got off to a new start last night. The parade was held this morning. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The Rock Island County Fair and Rodeo will celebrate its silver anniversary this year. The fair opens Tuesday and will run through Saturday and offers entertainment and activity for young and old. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Earl Hanson School, Rock Island, joins the Program to Assist Latch Key Student, which aids working parents. PALS is a before and after school program for grades 1-6 in certain Rock Island public and private schools.