By Matt Schuckman Herald-Whig
Posted: Jan. 16, 2016 12:05 am
GALESBURG, Ill. — Where the momentum went and why everything fell apart offensively is something the Quincy High School boys basketball team is going to chew on for the next week.
So is the fact the Blue Devils lost a chance to be sitting atop the Western Big Six Conference.
Despite trailing from the start Friday night, Quincy systematically erased Galesburg’s double-digit advantage and eventually took a 45-44 lead heading into the fourth quarter. However, the Blue Devils went seven minutes without a field goal, turned the ball over five times and self-destructed in a 63-56 loss at Thiel Gym.
“We got it to a point we were in control, where we felt we could do it,” senior Mike Dade said. “We were fully capable, but we fell apart on the offensive side.”
The Blue Devils fell back in the WB6 title chase, too.
With state-ranked Rock Island getting upset at home by United Township, there could have been a three-way tie for first place. Instead, Galesburg (16-1, 4-0 WB6) sits in first place alone, with Rock Island a game behind and Quincy (11-4, 2-2 WB6) two games back.
“It hurts,” Dade said. “We had them right where we wanted them.”
There’s no question about that.
The Silver Streaks, ranked seventh in the Class 3A state poll, led 31-20 with 2 minutes, 31 seconds remaining in the second quarter before the Blue Devils closed the half on a 9-2 run and trailed only 33-29 at the break.
“They hit something like eight 3-pointers there,” Galesburg coach Mike Reynolds quipped.
Well, it was three, but Jake Jobe’s trey from the right corner with one second left in the half was the most damaging. On the previous possessions, Galesburg’s Ethan Meeker drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing, but he was called for traveling just before releasing the shot.
That six-point swing was crucial.
“You wanted to give yourself an opportunity,” said Quincy coach Andy Douglas, who got 18 points from Jobe and 11 from Dade. “That was the last thing we wrote on the board (in the locker room) and that was to take advantage of your opportunities. We had an opportunity.”
It didn’t look like the Blue Devils would let it get away.
Three different times in the first five minutes of the second half, Quincy cut its deficit to a single point and finally tied the game on Cameron Gay’s 3-pointer with 1:40 left in the third quarter.
Although Kivontay Shaw answered with a 3-pointer for Galesburg, Quincy scored the final four points of the quarter with Dade slipping to the basket and converting an Aaron Shoot pass into a layup for the 45-44 lead.
“We fought to get to that point,” Dade said. “We had our opportunity.”
The Blue Devils had the ball, too. Quincy opened the fourth quarter with possession and worked more than a minute off the clock before committing a turnover without ever getting a shot off.
Galesburg made it hurt as Meeker, who scored 18 points, drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing to take a 47-45 lead. Cody Hawthorne turned an offensive rebound into a layin on the Silver Streaks’ next possession and the Blue Devils never recovered.
“They went to another level,” Douglas said. “And after we took the lead, we dropped down a level or two.”
Quincy scored just three points the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter and didn’t make a field goal until Jobe followed his own missed 3-pointer with a putback with 46 seconds remaining in regulation. The Blue Devils trailed 58-50 at that point.
It was too late for a rally by then.
“We just didn’t execute well enough,” Douglas said. “This was a big game. This was against
Galesburg and would have given us the chance to be up there tied with them in the conference. But we didn’t get it done.
“We have some options now. You can hang your head and pout about it or go back to work. I know what type of team we have. I know what we’ll do.”