Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2013, 5:57 pm
Rock Island (14-3, 3-1 Big 6) at Quincy (12-3, 4-0)
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Tonight: The Western Big 6 Conference game at Blue Devil Gym begins at 7:30. Sophomores start at 6.
Twitter updates: @danmak57
Saturday: Rock Island is idle; Quincy travels to Hinsdale South for a 7:30 p.m. contest.
Rock Island: G: C.J. Carr, 5-6, Jr. (13.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg), Brian Richardson, 6-0, Sr. (12.0, 3.1) & Trey Sigel, 6-1, Jr. (10.2, 3.0); F: Rob Johnson, 6-2, Sr. (5.5, 4.3) & Keenan Shorter, 6-3, Jr. (10.2, 3.0)
Quincy:G: Cole Abbey, 6-0, Sr. (13.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg), Martin Kvitle, 6-3, Sr. (16.8, 3.6) & Mason Fairley, 6-0, Sr. (6.2, 3.8); F: Connor Mellon, 6-3, Jr. (6.9, 3.9) & Jason Salrin, 6-7, Sr. (4.7, 8.1)
Why watch: Rock Island looks to tie Quincy in the Western Big 6 Conference standings as the league schedule reaches its halfway point. A Quincy win would give it a two-game lead with five to play over the preseason favorites, making this a must-win game for the Rocks. "I hate that term," Rocky coach Thom Sigel said. "The only must-win games are in the postseason. But we've talked about the mentality of thinking that if we want to win the conference, we need to win out. We lost one on the road (at Galesburg); we need to try to get one back." ... Sigel said senior forward Raahsaan Brown "probably" will play. Brown has missed the previous 3 1/2 games with a sprained ankle. ... These two have claimed 35 titles in the league's 43-year history, including the last three. Quincy leads the all-time series 57-41, but the Rocks have won six of the last eight meetings. "This has been a great rivalry over the years," Quincy coach Sean Taylor said. "Our players are looking forward to competing against a very good Rock Island team." ... The Blue Devils have dropped two of their last three games — against East St. Louis (60-52) and Chicago Heights Marian (60-39). Quincy is 7-2 at home this year; the Rocks are 2-1 in true road games.
Rock Island coach Thom Sigel: "We've talked all year that we're going to get teams' best shots. We've got to use that to try and play at a higher level each game. I'm sure there will be a big crowd in blue and white down there waiting for us. We've got to show toughness."
Quincy coach Sean Taylor: "Rocky can hurt you in many ways. They are very quick defensively, they have multiple players who can score the ball, and they are a good rebounding team."