Boys basketball

Moline 56, Rantoul 39: His first game coaching back at his alma mater of Rantoul was more than a homecoming for Moline boys’ basketball coach Sean Taylor, Class of 1985.

It came jam-packed with emotion that meant way more than the win, which Moline got by a 56-39 score over a team that had nearly as many wins (six) as the Maroons had losses (five).

The players knew getting a win for their coach in his return to Rantoul was mandatory.

“We knew this was an emotional game for him," said junior Jeff McInnis, who led the Maroons with 15 points, eight in the fourth quarter. "We all worked hard for him, and are glad we are able to send him home with a ‘W.’”

Brody Harding was the only other Maroon in double figures, with 11 points. Ben Monroe had nine points and nine rebounds. It was an off-night for Deonte Billups, held to rare single digits (9 points) on 3-of-12 shooting.

— Marc Nesseler, Lee News Network

Richwoods 40, United Township 29: The roller-coaster ride of this United Township boys’ basketball season continued through Peoria on Saturday afternoon, unable to sustain its upward climb with a 40-29 loss to Peoria Richwoods in a second annual Winter Throwdown at Peoria High School.

In this loss, which followed two strong wins that again put the Panthers in a position to reach an elusive .500 mark, the positives came on the defensive end. They held a potentially explosive Richwoods team to just 40 points.

Delaney Little hit four 3-pointers early in the game, then didn’t hit another field goal in leading UT with 14 points. Shamar Grant, who led the Panthers with 15 points the night before, got good shots but couldn’t solve the scoring equation, making just 1 of 12 from the field.

— Marc Nesseler, Lee News Network

Rock Island 60, Alton 53: Randy Tucker poured in 23 points while Ben Ellis had 17 points and six rebounds to lead Rock Island past Alton in the Galesburg Shootout.

Guard JaMir Price played for the Rocks a day after his mother passed away that led to Friday night's game against Galesburg being postponed. Price had six points and five assists.

Muscatine 50, Clark County 46: After scoring just 26 points in the first three quarters, Muscatine erupted for 24 points in the final eight minutes to stave off Clark County in the Quincy Shootout on Saturday.

Joe Wieskamp finished with 34 points and Jackson Foulk had nine to lead the Muskies (10-6), who won an overtime game less than 24 hours earlier at home against Davenport North. Wieskamp pushed his career point total to 2,067, second best all-time in Iowa Class 4A.

Boys bowling

Fulton's Sikkema finishes 21st at state: Seth Sikkema used the seventh best score on the second day of the Illinois state bowling meet to vault up to 21st place Saturday.

The Fulton bowler had started the day in 56th place, but moved up after posting 661 and 670 series to move his overall total to 2,524. He finished 191 pins behind state champion Nick Sommer of Rockton Hononegah and 91 pins shy of the final state medalist position (top 12).

Consistency was the key for Sikkema, who was one of just two bowlers to top 200 in all six of his games Saturday. 

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