By DRAKE LANSMAN
Special to The Herald-Whig
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — A physical, intense Quincy High School boys basketball team hungry for its first victory of the season was just too much for Alleman to handle.
The Blue Devils scored the game’s first five points and never trailed, ending what had been the worst start in program history with a 71-41 Western Big Six Conference victory Friday night at venerable Don Morris Gym.
Quincy (1-5, 1-1 WB6) forced six turnovers by Alleman (3-4, 1-1 Big 6) in the first quarter, running out to a 16-8 lead. The Blue Devils parlayed 18 Pioneer turnovers into a fast-break offense and unselfish attack.
“We had a rough start in the beginning of our season, so we wanted to come out hard and try to get our first win tonight,” said Quincy junior Adonte Crider, who scored a game-high 17 points. “Our defense was turned up. We had a lot of energy beating them to spots and getting turnovers.”
Quincy senior Jaeden Smith (14 points) and 6-foot-4 freshman Jeremiah Talton (13 points) were productive throughout the game. QHS senior Jirehl Brock scored six of his eight points in the second quarter, maxing out his team’s momentum with a steal and a slam dunk followed by an alley-oop jam from Smith on the next possession.
Alleman seniors Sam Mattecheck (12 points) and Chase VanDerGinst (10 points) were the only Pioneers to score more than six points. Dayne Hodge hit Alleman’s only 3-pointer as the Pioneers attempted just six treys. Alleman was 39 percent (18-for-46) from the field in the loss.
“They definitely played solid,” Mattecheck said of Quincy. “They were strong on the perimeter and they were knocking down their shots. And that’s a tough combination to battle against, but we’ve got to come out strong every game.”
Quincy made eight of its 27 attempts from deep, with Talton hitting 3 of 6.
“I knew that they were going to be really hungry for this game and play one of their better games,” Alleman coach Kyle Murray said. “Once we got down, we pressed a little bit and it just kind of snowballed from there.”
Quincy had just seven turnovers. Lucas Reis and Brady Rupert each scored seven for Quincy.
“We set the tempo early with how we were playing defensively, and luckily for us we were able to get some turnovers and finish some layups in transition,” said Quincy coach Andy Douglas, whose team shot nearly 50 percent (29-of-59) from the field. “It’s a team that doesn’t care who gets credit; Jirehl probably could have had 8-10 more, but he found guys on the perimeter. Jaeden and Jirehl are big time leaders for us.”