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Quincy can’t get shots to fall in loss to Alton

 SPT_QHSALL

By ANDRES MARTINEZ
Sports Writer | 217-221-3366
sports@whig.com | @WhigSports

QUINCY — Cameron Gay and the Quincy High School boys basketball team couldn’t buy a shot Saturday; Alton could hardly miss.
“It was rough,” Gay said. “We work in practice on finishing with contact, and the ball just wouldn’t go in.”
Quincy finished 14 of 47 from the field, including a 5 of 23 effort in the second half, as the Blue Devils fell 57-38 at Blue Devil Gym.
Alton shot 21 of 37 from the field.
“Tonight they were hot,” Quincy coach Andy Douglas said. “But part of that reason was because we didn’t close out the right way. We allowed them to get open looks, and those are things you can’t do against a team like Alton.”
The Blue Devils (11-7) can’t allow as many second chances. The Redbirds had eight offensive boards, which turned into 13 second-chance points, as Alton beat Quincy on the glass 29-16.
“We’ve got tall, athletic kids,” Alton coach Eric Smith said. “We usually have some pretty good success when it comes to rebounding.”
Alton’s shooting gave Quincy fits. The Redbirds (18-4) shot 6 of 12 from beyond the 3-point line, where Quincy had felt Alton might struggle.
“I thought defensively we played solid,” Douglas said. “We gave up too many wide open looks. Those are looks that going into a scouting report, we knew they weren’t great percentage-wise and from the stats from the outside.”
The Redbirds also had success defensively. Alton shut down guard Lincoln Elbe and forward Jacob Jobe. Elbe was 1 of 10 from the field with 3 points, and Jobe was 3 of 8 with 8 points.
“They were face guarding us all night, me and (Elbe) they wouldn’t give us anything,” Jobe said. “When we did get open, we didn’t hit the shot, and that was pretty frustrating throughout the game.”
The Redbirds especially frustrated Quincy in the third quarter. The Blue Devils shot 2-14 from the field in the third quarter and didn’t make their first shot of the second half until a 3-pointer from Gay with 2 minutes, 58 seconds left in the quarter.
“We knew that last few games that their shooters have had some good nights, especially (Jobe) last night,” Smith said. “We just tried to make them try to make some plays and try to do some things against our athletes. Obviously it worked out a little bit better for us tonight.”
In the first quarter, Gay helped spark QHS, scoring all of the Blue Devils’ 10 points in the opening quarter.
“I felt pretty good during warmups,” Gay said. “I showed up here around 4 (o’clock) to get some shots up. I was just working on my shot the whole time.”
Alton had an answer. Gay hit a 3-pointer with 3:26 left in the first quarter to give Quincy a 10-8 lead, but Alton scored the next seven points of the quarter to take the lead. The Redbirds never looked back.
Quincy could get another shot at Alton. Both teams were drawn in the Class 4A Edwardsville Regional, and Alton will likely be the top-seed, having beat the other two teams — Edwardsville and Granite City — in the regional.
“It was pretty tough,” Gay said. “This might be one of the most athletic teams we’ll see this year, besides like Rocky, but we’ll see them again in regionals. Hopefully, it’ll be a different outcome.”