MOLINE 59, QUINCY 55
MOLINE — Cadence — “A sequence of notes comprising the close of a musical phrase.”
Kadence — A sequence of key 3-point field goals comprising the close of a Western Big 6 Conference girls’ basketball battle at Wharton Field House on Thursday night.
Indeed, the defining moments of Moline’s 59-55 victory over Quincy were supplied by Moline freshman Kadence Tatum, her heroics coming from back-to-back 3s to open the fourth quarter. That turned a three-point game into a double-digit lead, the cushion the Maroons needed to finish off the win.
Tatum added one more for good measure midway through the final quarter to finish with 12 points, going 4-for-4 beyond the arc.
“Our sophomore coach (John McBride) tells me that when I’m wide open, I should shoot it,” said Tatum. “When we started the fourth quarter, I saw that the score was close (51-48), and that we needed something to go in. I passed the ball into the post, they kicked it back and I was open.”
Quincy coach Martin Pazanin said the Blue Devils had no choice but to switch to a defense in which Tatum could find open shots.
“We had switched to a zone, because we had four fouls each on Kaileigh Carothers and Sarah Nelson,” the Devils’ two inside players, the coach noted. “We want those two out there as much as possible. We failed to do some things that we would have done under normal circumstances.”
With Moline keeping the lead at 10 points at 54-44, Quincy showed it had some 3-point firepower in its arsenal to provide an exciting finish. Sophomore Kate Chevalier hit a pair of 3-pointers and Olivia Edwards added another and suddenly it was a one-possession game at 55-52.
Though Moline hit just 7-of-13 free throws in the fourth quarter, it was enough to keep the Blue Devils (18-6, 2-4 in the Big 6) from getting any closer than three points in the final minute.
“Right now, we are playing as a team,” said Moline coach Tracy Sant Amour, whose Maroons are 14-10, 5-2 in the WB6, good for second place. “Everybody has to be an offensive threat. We want them to shoot, but we also want to take advantage of two phenomenal inside players,” in Megan Pittington and Cierra McNamee.
Pittington and McNamee dominated inside play, combining for 22 rebounds, Pittington leading the way with 13.
The Maroons also had great balanced scoring. Bralee Trice led the way with 14 points, and Tatum joined Pittington and McNamee with 12 points apiece.
“it was a good basketball game,” said Pazanin, who got 13 points from Stephanie Anders and 11 from Chevalier off the bench. “It just became a challenge to guard their two bigs. We just had nothing to go up against them,” with Quincy’s bigs getting their fourth fouls each within two minutes of each other very early in the second half.