For the Rock Island Rocks, good things happen in 3s.|
There's Trey, as in Sigel, and Trae, as in Babers, and the treys they make, as in the 3-pointers that often lead the boys' basketball team to victory. In Friday night's case, that was a 71-41 rout of the Moline Maroons at the Rock Garden.
"It was a game of 'horse' out there for a lot of their shooters. They were hot tonight," dismayed Moline coach Jeff Schimmel.
"Actually, it sort of felt like it," said Trey Sigel, who hit three 3-pointers, all well outside the arc, for his nine points.
Babers was even better. He hit 5-of-6 3s en route to a game-high 17 points. He called the game his "best by far," attributing it some to the Western Big 6 Conference rivalry with the Maroons.
Add in a pair of 3s by Keenan Shorter, who joined Brian Richardson as Rocky's other double-digit scorers with a dozen, and the Rocks nailed 10 treys for the night, and did so with 45-percent accuracy.
Attacking Moline's zone defense with their outside adeptness, the final margin made sense for the 13-3, Class 4A 7th-ranked Rocks, now 3-1 in the Western Big 6.
"Even the threat of the outside shooting spreads it out for our offense," said RI coach Thom Sigel. "A lot of our looks were inside out. It seems like every night we have somebody feeling it a little bit from the outside."
That made it necessary for Moline to play at the top of its game "to even stay close," said Schimmel.
"To stay close, we had to make free throws, make shots and take care of the ball," added the coach, his team now 8-8 but 0-4 in the WB6.
Moline did none of those. They were abysmal at the free-throw line, 7-of-16 (44 percent). They were worse when the clock was moving, 16-of-43 (37 percent). And with six of their 14 turnovers coming in the first quarter, that proved to be a booster-rocket for the Rocks in them bolting to a 19-6 lead.
"If we went to man (defense), they are just too quick and physical for us," Schimmel noted. "It's a double-edged sword there."
That made it seem like a game of can-you-top-this for Trae and Trey.
"They do have some competitive duels in practice; it can get going pretty good," Coach Sigel said. "And we want that. Even though it's against each other, they're still Rocks and you try to win."
Babers and Trey Sigel somewhat played down the notion of trying to best each other.
"It goes back and forth as to who wins," said Trey.
The ultimate winner, in this case, is Rock Island. When you consider that the Rocks got 24 points on eight of the shots by Trae and Trey, that's a third of the team's total.
"It starts in warmups, feeling it there," said Babers.
As for their Rocky destiny, it may have started well before that. When Coach Sigel came to Rock Island 12 years ago, he told the story of how his then 5-year-old son was named after the 3-point shot. "My wife loves to tell the story of how I had the name picked out," Thom said.
Babers doesn't quite have that meant-to-be christening among the clips in his baby book.
"My mom just like the name," he said, though it sure proved to be telling once Trae teamed with Trey after they joined forces on the Rock Island basketball team.
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