QUINCY — Kyle Taylor doesn’t have enough fingers and toes to count the number of times he ran around Blue Devil Gym playing out a scenario where he hit a big shot in the fourth quarter of a tight game.
Let’s just say he dreamed such a moment countlessly.
“Of course I did,” he said.
Tuesday night, such a dream became reality for the son of Moline boys basketball coach Sean Taylor, who spent the first 11 years of Kyle’s life coaching at Quincy.
The sophomore guard buried a 3-pointer from the left wing midway through the fourth quarter, extending the Maroons’ four-point lead to a 41-34 advantage.
A key basket from Brandon Stone and four free throws in the final 40 seconds allowed Moline to punctuate a season sweep of Quincy with a 47-38 victory on the road in Western Big 6 Conference play.
“Practicing here all the time, that’s what I did,” said Taylor, who had eight points, four rebounds and two assists. “Hitting a big shot and getting the ‘W’ felt great.”
It took discipline and poise to set that up.
The Maroons (15-10, 5-6 WB6) showed it despite not having a senior on the floor. The Blue Devils (15-9, 7-4 WB6) did not despite the presence of three senior starters returning to the lineup in the second half.
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Lucas Reis, Adonte Crider and Peyton Nicholson — Quincy’s starting backcourt and the top three in the 1-2-2 zone — did not play in the first half for a violation of team rules. Drae Humphrey, a junior who is typically the first guard off the bench, did not play at all for a similar violation.
With Quincy trailing 22-21 at halftime, the seniors entered the game at the start of the third quarter and pushed the Blue Devils to a 30-24 lead by scoring on four of the first six possessions. However, the Maroons scored on their final three possessions of the quarter with Ryne Schimmel hitting a 3-pointer from the top of the key to tie the game at 31.
“The key was when we answered right there,” Sean Taylor said. “We didn’t lose our composure.”
The Blue Devils did. They scored on only one of their first eight possessions of the fourth quarter, committed four turnovers and trailed 43-34 with less than two minutes to play,
“If you want to be disciplined and consistent on the court, what you do off of it matters and it matters a lot,” Quincy coach Andy Douglas said. “We can’t go out here and expect to be the most disciplined team on the floor when we don’t exercise some of those things off of it.”
Moline had no such issues, and Douglas was quick to note it.
“They worked to get the best shot,” he said. “They stretched our guys out. They executed really well. Defensively, they didn’t allow us get open looks. They played well enough to win.”
Schimmel led the Maroons with 14 points, while Jayden Jackson scored all eight of his points and had five of his six rebounds in the first half.
“We wouldn’t have been in the position we were in without Jayden,” Kyle Taylor said.
Nor would they have been there without patience offensively. Moline went 8 of 13 from the field (61.5 percent) in the second half and never rushed the offense despite the increased pressure from Quincy.
“We stayed level-headed and kept our poise,” Kyle Taylor said. “We’ve been in a lot of tough games. We have some experience with it this year, so it’s nothing new.”