FREEPORT -- In a moment in which the Moline boys' basketball team needed some clutch shooting, Devin Struble found his form.|
The rest of the Maroons then followed his lead.
Struble's made jump shot inside the 3-point arc from the left corner midway through the third quarter on Saturday night ignited a Moline run that featured sizzling shooting and nearly flawless play. After the basket from the senior forward, the Maroons hit 11 of their final 15 shot attempts in a 47-30 nonconference victory over Freeport.
"I don't know where they came from," Struble said. "When they called my name, I was ready to put them in."
Leading 19-16 halfway through the third, Struble connected from the outside to extend the lead to five points. After that basket, Moline (8-7) received two buckets from Derrick Stabler and another from Vashaun Newman on the next three possessions to increase the margin to 27-21 with 90 seconds left.
For an encore, Struble ended the quarter with a 3-pointer from the right wing and a layup off an inbounds pass to push the Maroons' advantage to 32-21 heading into the fourth.
"Devin is a pretty good shooter. He gave us a nice spark," Moline coach Jeff Schimmel said. "And it gets contagious."
Before Struble's first basket, Moline was shooting 40 percent (eight of 20) from the field. After that, it made 12 of its final 18 shot attempts.
"Everything seemed like it was going in," Struble said. "It was fun to watch."
During one stretch, the Maroons scored on 10 consecutive possessions and hit seven shots in a row to build a 36-21 lead early in the fourth.
Keep in mind that they scored 13 points in the first half.
In the third quarter alone, they scored 19.
"I wouldn't say they were bad shots in the first half -- they just weren't going in," said Schimmel, whose team shot five of 17 from the field in that span. "We concentrated on getting the ball inside and getting higher-percentage shots."
With an emphasis on penetrating the lane and making the extra pass, Moline lived in the paint throughout the second half. Brandon Vice, plagued by foul trouble in the first half, scored 10 points - all coming within eight feet of the basket -- in the final two quarters and Drew Owens had 10 assists in that time.
However, Schimmel praised the performance of the Moline bench for turning a 13-all halftime score into a double-digit win.Struble and Tyler Biscontine each had seven points, and Josh Larsen added six rebounds and three points. All three played a reserve role for the Maroons, who received 22 points from their bench.
"We need games like that where guys give us a spark," Schimmel said. "Every team wants those guys who are ready to come off the bench."
One bench player helped set the tone for Moline's fifth win in six games.
"It was great," Struble said. "Everybody was knocking down shots, rebounding and taking care of the ball. We were doing everything we needed to do."