MOLINE — It came down to the last possession, but Moline secured a win in its first game of the season with a 47-46 victory over Champaign Central in the Galesburg Tournament.
Ryne Schimmel led the way for Moline with 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field and 2-of-2 from the line and also hauled in three rebounds.
Schimmel scored the first six points for the Maroons, coming out of the halftime break after Central put up eight straight points. Those six points were business as usual for the junior.
“The mindset coming out of the half was to have the same energy from the first half,” Schimmel said. “We had the momentum at that point, and I wanted to take it back from them.”
Moline coach Sean Taylor had nothing but good things to say about Schimmel.
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“He’s the best shooter in the program,” Taylor said. “He might not shoot that effectively every night, but when that ball leaves his hands, every time I think it’s going to go in.”
Moline went 10-deep throughout the game and subbed out three or four players at a time. Taylor says that will be the case all year for the team.
“These kids are all so close in ability and talent level, but they each have different strengths,” Taylor said. “It’s tough to get them to buy into it, but if they compete well when they are on the floor, they each are able to bring different things to the game.”
Everyone who checked in for the Maroons scored at some point in the game, making it easy for Taylor to sell the squad on the rotations.
“The strength of it is that you can give everything you have while you’re out on the court and get breaks when needed,” Taylor said. “I’m sure they don’t like it sometimes, but it’s better than not having them play at all.”
Isaiah Jackson led Central with 23 points, including an 8-0 stretch to start the third quarter where he was the only scorer. Jackson also slammed down a dunk in transition, showing his athleticism. Taylor said he knew that Jackson would be a threat but was surprised by parts of his game.
“We knew he would be a great athlete, but we didn’t know how good of a shooter he was,” Taylor said. “He made us adjust midway through the game. We took away shots well from the rest of the team and prevented anyone from getting into a flow. We did a pretty good job of mixing up coverage.”