Originally Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2012, 8:34 pm
Last Updated: Dec. 13, 2012, 8:41 pm
Hoops preview: Quincy (6-1, 2-0 Big 6) at Moline (3-4, 0-2)
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Tonight: 7:30 at Moline's Wharton Field House. Sophomores start at 6. Radio: Quincy's WQCY-FM offers an Internet feed at 1039thefox.com. Twitter updates: SteveTappa_DA.
Saturday: Moline meets Iowa 4A-rated Bettendorf in the second-to-last game (6:45 p.m.) in the Genesis Shootout at Augustana College. Quincy hosts Illinois 2A-rated Monmouth-Roseville at 7:30 p.m.
Quincy: G Martin Kvitle, 6-3 Sr. (19.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg), Mason Fairley, 5-11 Sr. (9.0, 3.0) and Cole Abbey, 6-0 Sr. (10.0, 4.0); F Connor Mellon, 6-3 Jr. (7.6, 6.0) and Jason Salrin, 6-7 Sr. (3.7, 6.9).
Moline: G Drew Owens, 6-0 Sr. (14.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg), Jed Wood, 6-0 Sr. (10.7, 2.6) and Devin Struble, 5-9 Sr. (2.6, 2.0); F Derrick Stabler, 6-4 Sr. (4.7, 3.0) and Brandon Vice, 6-6 Jr. (8.4, 6.4).
Why watch: Moline, the Western Big 6 Conference boys' basketball champ six times since 2001, looks to avoid its first 0-3 start in league action since the 2006-07 season. The Maroons have dropped three straight heading into their last home game for a month. ... Quincy, twice the circuit's co-champ the last three seasons, hopes to remain atop the league by extending a six-game winning streak. However, the Blue Devils are just 1-4 in their last five trips to Wharton, and 4-7 in their last 11 meetings with Moline. Quincy leads the all-time series 70-40. ... Moline must contend with the leading rebounder (Connor Mellon, 8.5 rpg) and second-best scorer (Martin Kvitle, 16.5 ppg) in Big 6-only action. ... The Maroons tweaked their starting lineup again this week. Coach Jeff Schimmel said Devin Struble has been rewarded with the start for playing well last week in Derrick Stabler's absence because of illness. Stabler returns this week, so 6-foot-7 Josh Larson takes a step back to come off the bench. Schimmel hopes the move allows the Maroons to matchup better with the Blue Devils.
Moline coach Jeff Schimmel: "We know it's going to be a tough weekend for us. We're going to find out what it takes for us to compete against really good teams. We have to start having better possessions, value the basketball more and keep other teams on defense. We're focused on just getting better. Quincy's guard will certainly challenge us. They're the engine that makes them go. They're very quick, very physical and they make you pay for your own mental mistakes and turnovers. That said, they have some big guys that can hurt you on the glass, too, if you don't limit them to one shot on offense.''
-- Steve Tappa, firstname.lastname@example.org