Prep Boys Basketball

Defense carries Devils to WB6 road victory

Special to The Herald-Whig
Posted: Feb. 20, 2019 1:40 am

EAST MOLINE, Ill. -- It took 39 days and three postponements, but this much we know from the two matchups between the United Township and Quincy High School boys basketball teams in a five-day span.

The winner would be the survivor of a points shortage.

With Quincy winning what was the third-lowest scoring Western Big Six Conference game of the season last Friday, the two teams reached a new scoring low Tuesday night as the Blue Devils won 40-39 at the Panther Den.

The game was originally scheduled for Jan. 11, postponed to Feb. 5 by wintry weather and then again to Feb. 11 by cold and snow. More ice and snow forced the teams to postpone the matchup for another week.

The wait didn't change the way the game was played.

Credit that to stingy defense or struggling offense. Take your pick.

"You're going to have that when these two teams go at it," said Quincy coach Andy Douglas, whose team improves to 13-11, 5-4 in the WB6. "This was one of the toughest nights we've had, but it was from what they were doing."

UT coach Ryan Webber had low-scoring frustrations of his own.

"We turned the ball over 19 times and couldn't make shots," he said. "We give up 40 points and get beat again. We couldn't put the ball in the basket, and we couldn't go to the line."

The Panthers (16-10, 3-6 WB6) took just 36 shots, making 19. They were 6 of 7 from the free-throw line.

Still, UT had a chance to win the game after Quincy's Jirehl Brock split a pair of free throws with 20 seconds left to put the Blue Devils up 40-39. UT got the rebound on the miss, got the ball to midcourt and called timeout with 15 seconds left.

The Panthers missed a 3-pointer, a tip-in and another 3-pointer that came up short at the horn.

"We passed up a 2-footer, missed a 3 and missed a point-blank layup," Webber said, replaying the finish.

The Panthers were without 6-foot-6 Daveon Ellis who had fouled out with 10 points. Webber said he would have been "one of the options" had he been on the floor.

"We couldn't let them get more than one opportunity, and they got a couple," Brock said. "We practice and practice on tipping if we can't grab it."

As for the two teams having two of the four lowest-scoring conference games of the season, Brock noted, "The ball just was not falling for either team. They had a lid on the basket for the first half, and we couldn't make shots in the second half."

What Brock, who had a game-high 12 points, did do was put the crowd in awe with two dunks, the second one being what teammate Jaeden Smith calling "the best one all year." With UT leading 32-27 at the start of the fourth quarter, Adonte Crider missed a 3-pointer near the Quincy bench, and Brock came soaring down the lane and one-handed the rebound through the rim.

Jean Luc Wilson matched Ellis' 10 points for the Panthers. UT had a 26-15 rebounding edge, with Ellis getting seven boards and Griffin Ronnebeck six.

However, Quincy piled up 15 steals to UT's three, and the Blue Devils committed only 11 turnovers with none in the fourth quarter.

Quincy 40, United Township 39

QUINCY (13-11, 5-4 WB6)

Reis 4-7 0-0 9, Crider 1-6 1-3 3, Smith 3-5 2-2 10, Brock 4-10 4-7 12, Talton 0-4 0-2 0, Nicholson 1-4 0-0 2, B. Rupert 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 14-38 7-14 40.

UNITED TOWNSHIP (16-11, 3-6 WB6)

Geadeyan 1-1 0-0 2, Wilson 3-8 4-5 10, Ronnebeck 3-8 0-0 9, Agot 3-9 2-2 8, Ellis 5-9 0-0 10, Taghon 0-0 0-0 0, Solis 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-36 6-7 39.

Quincy 12 5 10 13--40

United Township 7 10 13 9--39

3-point field goals--Quincy 3-12 (Reis 1-4, Smith 2-3, Crider 0-2, Brock 0-1, Nicholson 0-1), United Township 3-12 (Ronnebeck 3-8, Wilson 0-2, Agot 0-2). Rebounds--Quincy 15 (Talton 7), United Township 26 (Ellis 7). Assists--Quincy 4 (Crider 2), United Township 12 (Agot 4). Steals--Quincy 15 (Crider 6), United Township 3 (Wilson 2). Turnovers--Quincy 11, United Township 21. Fouls--Quincy 10, United Township 13. Fouled out--None.