It didn’t really start out that way, but by the time the game was over Thursday and Moline was posing for pictures with Alannah Crompton, it was clear: It was Crompton’s night.
Not only did Crompton set a Moline girls single-season rebounding record by adding 18 to push her total to 328 and counting, but the queen of the double-doubles finished with 24 points, helping Moline to a 56-44 Western Big Six road win over United Township. It was her 20th straight double-double.
Just for good measure, the ball was often in Crompton’s hands in the fourth quarter, when the Maroons (16-10, 5-2), went to the four-corners offense the entire period. The same ploy had worked in overtime in a December win over UT. This time the Maroons also did it to attack UT’s Izabella Sims who had 17 points but fouled out in the fourth.
Crompton made 14 of 18 free throws, including 10 of 14 in the second half.
“I can’t say enough about Alannah,” said Moline coach Tracy Sant Amour. “Even the last game we had where she got her 1,000th point, she’s very humble.
“I think she was shocked again tonight (when the team presented her with a picture and notation citing her rebounding record). She had no idea.”
Sant Amour also cited Crompton’s determination.
“She’s 5-foot-9. And the way that she gets up for her size and comes down for the rebound, she’s just very determined that she’s going to get that rebound,” Sant Amour said.
Crompton was happy, too, to win the battle with UT's Ryleigh O’Brien, who finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds, compared to Crompton’s 24 and 18.
“We play against each other in every sport in high school,” Crompton said. “She’s always great competition. We really challenge each other on the court and on the field. It’s always really fun to play against her.”
It was a strange game. Moline jumped to a 10-0 lead but still trailed at halftime 32-26. Yet the Maroons held UT to 12 points and three made field goals in the entire second half.
“It was a wild game,” Sant Amour agreed. “Conference games, we don’t take any of them for granted, but we need to learn how to relax.”
At one point in the second half, the two teams shared five straight turnovers. UT alone had nine in the second half, contributing to Moline’s rally, which included a 20-7 outscoring of the Panthers in the third quarter. Crompton scored nine, turning a six-point haltime deficit into a 46-39 lead.
O’Brien had all seven of the Panthers’ points. UT (11-11, 4-4) only took eight shots, hurt by five turnovers as Moline closed with a 13-0 run and even added two more points to start the fourth for a 48-39 lead.
“We didn’t execute,” said UT coach Carie Walker, who did like her team’s effort. “We would make a mistake, and there would be two or three in row. And then they started capitalizing on it. When it comes down to it, that’s really the difference in the ballgame.”
Letecia Bllups added 11 points for the Maroons.
“I think we have had trouble finishing games in the past," Crompton said. "And I think today we finished this game.”