Blue Devils start 0-3 for second time in program history

Quincy High’s Adonte Crider takes a shot with pressure from Waukegan’s Andre. White Jr. on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. | H-W Photo/Jake Shane Jake Shane

By Herald-Whig

Posted: Nov. 24, 2018 12:01 am Updated: Nov. 24, 2018 11:25 pm

QUINCY — Andy Douglas believes the opportunities the Quincy High School boys basketball team squandered this weekend will be beneficial in the long run.

The Blue Devils are adamant it will be sooner than that.

Trailing Waukegan by a point with 7.9 seconds remaining in regulation Saturday night, Quincy had to go the length of the floor for a potential game-winning basket.

However, junior point guard Lucas Reis fumbled the ball in the backcourt and was forced to heave a shot from a step inside the midcourt stripe, banging it off the backboard and the front of the rim as the Blue Devils suffered a 62-61 loss in the 48th annual QHS Thanksgiving Tournament at Blue Devil Gym.

“I know his head was down, but I told him, ‘You have to look at it like this: You’ve never been a point guard at the varsity level,'” Douglas said. “He’d never been in that situation before. Aaron Shoot had to learn. Lincoln Elbe had to learn. Mike Dade had to learn.

“I told him, ‘You’re going to have to learn, but keep your head up and compete.’ He needs to know the coaches and the players have faith in him.”

He has to believe his teammates when they say things will get better.

The Blue Devils are 0-3 for only the second time in program history. It’s the first time they’ve failed to win a game in the Thanksgiving Tournament. This also was one of the tougher tourney fields in recent memory with Waukegan, Providence St. Mel and St. Louis Christian each going 2-1.

St. Mel won the tournament championship based on free-throw percentage.

The improvements the Blue Devils made from one night to the next should have them ready to face Moline, another team with high aspirations and plenty of preseason acclaim, in next Friday’s Western Big Six Conference opener.

“(QHS athletic director Scott Douglas) was talking with our assistant coaches and was saying we’re more ready for Moline than we were last year or two years ago because of how strong the field for the tournament was,” senior guard Jirehl Brock said. “I believe that’s right.”

Maybe so, but the Blue Devils must be more consistent to topple a top team.

Quincy scored on six straight possessions in the first quarter — the highlight being an alley-oop dunk by Brock — to build an 18-6 lead. Despite a seven-point run by Waukegan, the lead was still 10 after the Blue Devils scored on the first two possessions of the second quarter.

That’s when the offensive malaise began. The Blue Devils went seven possessions without scoring and led only 30-27 at halftime.

The same thing happened in the third quarter. After scoring on the first two possessions, the Blue Devils had seven straight empty trips. The Bulldogs grabbed a 39-35 lead at that point, and the Blue Devils led for only 12 seconds thereafter.

“We have to be a little more comfortable in what we’re doing,” said Andy Douglas, who got 16 points from freshman Jeremiah Talton and 14 points from junior Adonte Crider. “Right now, our execution is not anywhere near where it needs to be. Part of that is knowing the plays and knowing the sets. We have to be better listeners and better learners.”

They have to better in tight situations, too.

After Jaylin Cunningham split a pair of free throws with 1:30 to play to give the Bulldogs a 61-59 lead, the Blue Devils got Jaeden Smith open for a 3-point attempt at the top of the key that caromed long. Crider grabbed the offensive rebound, but the Blue Devils turned the ball over before getting another shot.

Another free throw by Waukegan made it a three-point game before Reis drove to the basket for a layup with 16.2 seconds remaining. The Blue Devils couldn’t get a steal on the inbounds pass and fouled Andre White Jr., who missed two free throws with 10 seconds to play.

It gave the Blue Devils one final chance that slipped away.

“It’s going to take some time for us to find our way,” Brock said. “Once we get to our full potential, we’ll be really good.”

48th annual QHS Thanksgiving Tournament

Waukegan 62, Quincy High School 61

Knights capitalize on Blue Devils’ lack of execution

By Herald-Whig

Posted: Nov. 24, 2018 12:01 am

QUINCY — All the momentum the Quincy High School boys basketball team built in trimming a seven-point deficit down to two was undone in the span on six possessions.

Coming out of a timeout called by QHS coach Andy Douglas with 3:25 remaining in regulation and the Blue Devils trailing 47-45, Providence St. Mel made three consecutive field goals, getting two layins off dribble penetration and a pull-up jumper just inside the free-throw line.

Meanwhile, the Blue Devils misfired five times on their three subsequent possessions, squandering a pair of offensive rebounds that could have stemmed the tide.

That allowed the Knights to salt away a 58-52 victory Friday night at Blue Devil Gym and head into Saturday as the only undefeated team in the 48th annual QHS Thanksgiving Tournament field.

“I liked the fact we were able to get the momentum back,” St. Mel coach Tim Ervin Sr. said. “It made a difference in being able to execute the game plan. The game plan was to attack, and we had opportunities to do that. We executed much better in that stretch there.”

The Knights’ defensive effort was equally important.

Between Jaeden Smith’s 3-pointer with 5:52 to play and Adonte Crider’s 3-pointer with 27.7 seconds to play, the Blue Devils went 1 of 10 from the field. Four of those misses came on shots within 5 feet of the basket.

“We have to take advantage of opportunities when they arise,” Douglas said. “We didn’t do that. It hurts when you have a wide-open opportunity and you miss it, and it leads right back to a wide-open layup for the other team.”

In this case, it led St. Mel to the brink of a championship.

The Knights (2-0) will face St. Louis Christian Academy (1-2) at 5:30 p.m. Saturday with a chance to complete a perfect weekend run. The Cougars will try to rebound from a 67-62 overtime loss to Waukegan that left open the possibility of a three-way tie for the title. That scenario only comes into play if St. Mel loses.

“We’re going to have execute for sure,” Ervin Sr. said. “That team is good, and they’re going to be upset after losing in overtime.”

Quincy (0-2) and Waukegan (1-1) will play the final game of the weekend at 7 p.m. Saturday with the Blue Devils hoping to avoid going winless in their own tournament for the first time since 2008.

It’s the inefficiency offensively that has put the Blue Devils in this position.

They shot 35.8 percent from the field — marginally better than the 27 percent Quincy shot in Thursday’s loss to St. Louis Christian — and just 20 percent from 3-point range. Making matters worse, the Blue Devils scored just 12 points off the Knights’ 20 turnovers.

“Scoring, and we knew this coming into this year, isn’t going to be easy for us,” Douglas said.

Because of that, the Blue Devils have trailed for more than 57 of the 64 minutes they’ve played in two games.

“We’re struggling right now in the execution category,” said Douglas, who got 15 points on 4-of-13 shooting from Smith and 10 points and seven rebounds from Jirehl Brock. “When we need to run a quick hitter, we can’t mess things up. Right now, we’re not a 100-percent team in execution. We’re probably closer to a 75-percent team. We’re not talented enough to not execute and expect to win.”

Certainly not when the other team executes in crucial moments.

Deion Jackson scored twice and Tyriel Nelson made a layup in the crucial stretch late in the fourth quarter and were among three Knights to finish in double figures. Nelson had a game-high 20 points, while Eric Jordan had 15 and Jackson finished with 13.

“We’re not executing at a high-enough level defensively when it comes to positioning,” Douglas said. “It’s not effort and energy, but it’s lack of execution.”

48th annual QHS Thanksgiving Tournament

Providence St. Mel 58, Quincy High School 52

Off the mark: Blue Devils’ struggles shooting lead to opening loss

Quincy High School’s Adonte Crider attempts to navigate through St. Louis Christian Academy’s Evangelis Dermisis, left, and Tiki Musaka on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018. | H-W Photo/Jake Shane

By Herald-Whig

Posted: Nov. 23, 2018 1:20 am Updated: Nov. 23, 2018 1:35 am

QUINCY — Lucas Reis was as wide-eyed talking about the St. Louis Christian boys basketball team’s size as he was the first time he drove to the basket Thursday night and saw nothing but armpits and elbows.

“They’re tall,” the Quincy High School junior point guard. “That was brutal.”

It impacted every shot the Blue Devils attempted, no matter how far from the basket they were.

It wasn’t the only reason Quincy shot 27.2 percent from the field in a 54-48 loss on the opening night of the 48th annual QHS Thanksgiving Tournament at Blue Devil Gym, but the Blue Devils were forced to contend with 6-foot-10 freshman Tiki Musaka around the basket more than they planned because of the struggles on the perimeter.

Quincy shot just 21.2 percent from 3-point, missing its first six long-range attempts.

“Some of us played a little scared at first,” Quincy senior guard Jaeden Smith said after Quincy lost its season opener for the first time since 2012. “But they’re human. They play basketball just like us. We can’t be afraid to go up against guys like that.”

It’s easier to do so when you make a few shots.

The Blue Devils didn’t make a 3-pointer until freshman Jeremiah Talton came off the bench and knocked one down from the right wing with 2:40 to play in the first quarter, but they were trailing by seven points at the time. They missed three of their next four shots and found themselves down by nine after the first quarter.

The Cougars’ lead continued to grow. The Blue Devils missed four of their first five shots of the second quarter and trailed by as many as 15 points.

A floater in the lane by Smith and a 3-pointer from the right corner by Talton as time expired trimmed the deficit to 31-21 at halftime, giving the Blue Devils a glimmer of hope.

“We learned mental toughness,” Reis said. “We struggled in the first half and part of the second half, but we kept playing our game and playing together.”

They were forced to believe the shots would fall.

“I had remind some of the guys of that, and I had to remind myself of that,” said Smith, who had 11 points but went 4 of 22 from the field overall and 3 of 13 from 3-point range. “The coaches reminded me of that. It’s got to fall. It’s going to fall eventually.”

It just didn’t happen Thursday night.

The Blue Devils didn’t seize any momentum from Talton’s buzzer-beater, making just one of their first 12 shots of the second half. The one that went in was a rebound dunk by Jirehl Brock.

They were down 17 points before finding any rhythm, going on a 9-0 run to get within eight points with 1:31 to go in the third quarter. The Cougars scored the final four points of the quarter to regain some separation.

“All in all, the guys’ effort was there,” Christian coach Casey Autenrieth said. “Defensively, we did OK at moments. A lot of times we were giving guys open looks, but they weren’t hitting them tonight. Had they been hitting them, we would have been in trouble.”

The Cougars, who committed 27 turnovers, scored just one point over the game’s final three minutes, but the Blue Devils never got it closer than a two-possession game. They missed four of their final five shots and committed a critical turnover with 26 seconds remaining that stalled the rally.

“We have some fight,” said Quincy coach Andy Douglas, whose team will play Providence St. Mel on Friday night. “We already knew that, but we have to be better. Defensively, we have to be better. And we have to make shots.”

The Blue Devils have no doubt they will.

“That’s why we have teammates,” Reis said. “That’s why you pick each other up.”

2018 Lil’ Devils Basketball Association

LDBA ANNOUNCEMENT! With our gym being under construction most of September and October, we will be moving the LDBA to Rooney Elementary School (48th and Columbus Rd.). The league will begin September 12th and we are so excited to get things started!!!! Spread the word.

Forms will also be available for kids early next week to take home.

 

PDF of the two forms: 

Download (DOCX, 1.16MB)

2018 Boys Basketball Golf Outing

We are excited to announce the Annual Blue Devil Golf Outing date and location.  We are going to hold the 2018 outing at Westview Golf Course here in Quincy on October 12th.  This is a week later than the last couple of years so mark your calendar appropriately.

We are seeking $100.00 hole sponsors and raffle prize donations to be used during the outing.  If you would be interested email Coach Douglas at quincybasketball@hotmail.com

We are looking forward to seeing you on the golf course!

Team Registration Form

Sponsorship Form

35th Annual McDonalds/Herald Whig Classic

Quincy High’s Aaron Shoot and game MVP Ben Amos.

By Herald-Whig

Posted: Jun. 16, 2018 12:01 am Updated: Jun. 16, 2018 11:55 pm

QUINCY — A playful prediction brought about a passionate response.

The Illinois boys wanted everyone to take note of that, too.

After Easton Billings buried a 3-pointer to give Illinois a 61-47 lead with nine minutes remaining in regulation Saturday night in the 35th annual McDonald’s/Herald-Whig Classic boys game, the Land of Lincolners called a 30-second timeout.

It was simply to acknowledge the score.

Chandler Bevans predicted publicly that Missouri would win 82-60. Whether it was meant to be playful or boastful didn’t really matter to the Illinois all-stars. They took it as a challenge.

“The boys didn’t know it, but I told Aaron (Shoot) when we got over 60 to call a timeout,” Illinois coach Curtis Stout said. “It was like, ‘Hey, Chandler, we got over 60.’ We did it, but I was completely afraid that we were going to make Chandler mad, and he was going to go off and Missouri would go on a run.”

The Show-Me State did make it interesting, trimming the deficit to single digits on three occasions in the final three minutes. However, Illinois held on for a 76-68 victory at John Wood Community College’s Student Activity Center.

It was the lowest scoring game in Classic history with 144 total points scored, and Illinois’ 76 points is the lowest total for a winning team in Classic history.

None of that mattered in the end. Only one thing did.

“82-60. Enough said,” said Ben Amos, the Quincy High School forward who was named the most outstanding player for Illinois, which won for the ninth straight time and 33rd overall.

Bevans’ prediction appeared in print and online Saturday morning, and word of it quickly spread throughout the Illinois roster.

“We all have a group chat now,” Pittsfield’s Noah Mendenhall said. “We titled the group chat ’82-60.’ We walked into practice (Saturday) morning and Coach Stout already had 82-60 written on the board. I was like, ‘All right, let’s go.'”

Illinois never let go of that motivation.

Missouri was held scoreless the first four minutes, didn’t make its second basket until 12:36 remained in the first half and trailed by double digits after Brown County’s Tanner Sussenbach buried a 3-pointer from the left wing.

“A 10-point deficit felt like we were trailing by 60,” Missouri coach Ryan Wood said.

That’s because Missouri shot just 28.6 percent from the field in the first half, going 6 of 22 from inside the 3-point stripe.

“We didn’t capitalize like we should have and didn’t make the shots like we could have in the first half,” said Palmyra’s Peyton Plunkett, who was named Missouri’s most outstanding player after finishing with 16 points and 10 rebounds. “I’m glad we could make it a game and make it enjoyable for everyone.”

A short stretch of the second half made a comeback unlikely.

Missouri trailed 35-27 when Illinois went on a 9-1 run, highlighted by a three-point play by Mendenhall and a dunk in transition by Amos.

“At halftime, we said, ‘We’re beating them, but we’re not beating them by enough,'” Mendenhall said. “We went ahead and put the gas pedal down and just kept playing.”

So did the Show-Me State.

Illinois’ lead grew as big as 16 points on Amos’ dunk and stayed between 11 and 15 points until Mark Twain’s Grant Peters made a hook shot with 5:25 to play that trimmed the deficit to 67-58.

Amos, who finished with 20 points and eight rebounds, pushed the lead back to double digits by making two free throws 12 seconds later, and his layin with 4:33 to go had Illinois up 72-58.

A six-point run capped by a 3-pointer from Clark County’s Cole Kirchner trimmed the deficit to 72-64. Missouri never got any closer.

“We said if we got down at any point, we were going to put the grit down and make it a game,” Plunkett said.

A layup by Shoot, who had 11 points and six assists, and two free throws by Mendenhall, who finished with 11 points and seven rebounds, in the final two minutes put the game away.

“What made it more fun was the talent that was here,” Mendenhall said. “The atmosphere was crazy. It was awesome.”

Boys

35th Annual McDonald’s/Herald-Whig Classic

Illinois 76, Missouri 68

MISSOURI (2-33)

Player fg-fga ft-fta reb pf pts

Francis 0-7 6-8 5 3 6

Plunkett 5-12 6-10 10 3 16

Bevans 4-15 0-2 8 1 8

Smith 1-4 2-2 3 1 5

Miller 4-6 0-0 2 3 11

Pence 1-4 2-2 5 3 5

Waelder 2-5 0-0 2 2 4

Johnson 0-1 0-0 4 1 0

Kirchner 1-8 1-3 4 0 4

Peters 4-10 1-3 8 2 9

Team 0

Totals 22-72 18-30 51 19 68

ILLINOIS (33-2)

Player fg-fga ft-fta reb pf pts

Shoot 5-11 0-0 4 3 11

Klusmeyer 2-6 0-2 0 1 5

Mendenhall 3-9 4-8 7 3 11

Billings 6-11 0-0 4 2 14

Amos 7-15 5-7 8 4 20

Sussenbach 3-9 2-4 3 1 9

Little 0-4 0-0 4 3 0

Drake 2-6 0-1 5 4 4

Wallingford 1-1 0-0 5 4 2

Team 1

Totals 29-72 11-22 41 25 76

Halftime score — Illinois 34, Missouri 25. 3-point field goals — Missouri 6-27 (Francis 0-4, Plunkett 0-2, Bevans 0-4, Smith 1-2, Miller 3-5, Penc 1-3, Waelder 0-2, Kirchner 1-5), Illinois 7-31 (Shoot 1-4, Klusmeyer 1-3, Mendenhall 1-5, Billings 2-4, Amos 1-3, Sussenbach 1-5, Little 0-4, Drake 0-3). Assists — Missouri 10 (Smith 3), Illinois 18 (Shoot 6). Steals — Missouri 5 (Francis, Bevans, Pence, Kirchner, Peters), Illinois 12 (Little 4). Blocks — Missouri 2 (Bevans, Miller), Illinois 4 (Amos 2). Turnovers — Missouri 18, Illinois 15. Officials — Bill Treaster, Wayne McPike Noah Brinkman.