Blue Devils push back after ragged start, earn WB6 road victory

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STERLING, Ill. — Finally, the Quincy High School girls basketball players said enough was enough.

Following Thursday night’s loss at Galesburg that dropped the Blue Devils a game out of first place in the Western Big 6 Conference standings, they allowed Sterling to open Saturday’s league game at Musgrove Fieldhouse on a 16-4 run.

“They got out on a run there, making a lot of shots, and we just kind of got in the mindset that, ‘This isn’t OK. We shouldn’t play like this, we’re a better team than that,’” Quincy junior forward Taylor Fohey said. “We just kind of got our act together.”

It didn’t take long for the Blue Devils to fight right back.

Quincy answered Sterling’s opening salvo with a 19-3 run of its own, traded the lead four times in the first four minutes of the second half and eventually found a way to pull off a 35-33 victory. Fohey’s two free throws with 1 minute, 4 seconds remaining in regulation gave the Blue Devils the final edge.

“Really, we just got our act together,” Quincy junior guard Leila Dade said. “Defense is one of the big things our coach instills in us. and if your offense isn’t falling, defense you can always fall back on. Our defense really wasn’t showing early when they went on that run, and our coach kind of talked to us and we kind of got our act together, and I think that really helped us.”

Quincy (16-9, 7-4 WB6) went ahead 33-28 just 16 seconds into the fourth quarter as Dade drove and dished rto Fohey for a layin. Sterling battled back to tie it, getting baskets from Delali Amankwa and Madison Austin and a free throw from Kathryn Rowzee with 1:48 remaining.

“It’s really hard to play in games like this,” Dade said. “We’ve just come in off a couple of games where we went into OT, close games. We didn’t want to do it again, and we’ve learned to keep our composure. There’s still always time left on the clock, and we just had to play defense and do what we do.”

Fohey led the Blue Devils with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Dade had 13 points, two assists and two steals. Olivia Turner led the Golden Warriors with 13 points and five rebounds.

“I do think that being able to work inside and outside really helps,” Fohey said. “It makes the defense decide if they’re going to guard the inside and let our shooters shoot, or play outside and give up that inside stuff. Us being able to do that really helps our game, and it showed today.”

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