Quarter century of memories: Shoot, Blue Devils rekindle Blue Devil Gym magic in comeback against Webster Groves

Aaron Shoot

Former Quincy High School guard Aaron Shoot led a spirited fourth-quarter comeback against Webster Groves (Mo.) in the marquee game of the inaugural Quincy Shootout in 2018. | Submitted photo

Muddy River Sports Editor Matt Schuckman began covering the Quincy High School boys basketball program during the 1998-99 season, and with this being his 25th season following the Blue Devils, he put together a list of his 25 most memorable games. Here is today’s installment:

January 27, 2018 — Webster Groves 58, Quincy 55

QUINCY — The mental snapshots captured during the inaugural Quincy Shootout remain vivid.

The Sunrise Christian Academy players signing autographs and posing for pictures late that Friday night. The Clark County and Muscatine fans filling the lower bowl of Blue Devil Gym for what proved to be a mano-y-mano showdown between the Indians’ Chandler Bevans and the Muskies’ Joe Wieskamp.

Everything built toward the marquee matchup — state-ranked Quincy High School facing No. 1-ranked and defending state champion Webster Groves (Mo.).

Aaron Shoot made certain the game matched the hype by engineering an incredible rally.

Trailing by 17 points at the start of the fourth quarter, QHS grabbed hold of Shoot’s cape and let him create a nearly epic moment. The Blue Devils cut the Statesmen’s lead to one point on four separate occasions in the final quarter, only to have the best player in the state of Missouri hold Quincy at bay.

Courtney Ramey made 8 of 8 free throws in the final 1:06 and finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds to help the Statesmen stave off the Blue Devils and secure a 58-55 victory at Blue Devil Gym.

“That group of guys, we still talk about that game to this day,” Shoot said. “That may be one of my favorite games I ever played in, even though we lost, because of the atmosphere, because of the people I was playing with, because of the way it unfolded.”

Trailing by 18 points at halftime, the Blue Devils cut the deficit to 12 before Ramey helped the Statesmen finish the third quarter strong, hitting a 3-pointer just before the buzzer for a 46-29 lead. However, the Blue Devils opened the fourth quarter on a 12-2 run and then scored on six consecutive possession with Shoot’s 3-pointer pulling them within 50-49 with 1:09 to play.

“I remember after hitting that three the crowd being so loud and just stopping for a second and being like, ‘Wow, this is pretty cool,’” Shoot said.

Such a run wasn’t entirely unexpected.

“All the wins they’ve had here and all the tradition, they don’t know how to lose,” former Webster Groves coach Jay Blossom said at the time.

That’s because there is always magic in Blue Devil Gym.

“We talked about that before the game,” Shoot said. “We sat down and we were talking that Saturday morning about just what happens when a team rallies around the kind of energy that crowd can bring and some of the moments you can have. Magic is a good way to describe it.”

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