Blue Devils’ second-half effort takes shine off Silver Streaks’ undefeated WB6 record

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Quincy High School's Asia Seangmany, right, puts up a shot during the second half of Thursday night's Western Big 6 Conference matchup with Galesburg at the QHS gym. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — Too many turnovers and too few defensive rebounds made for way too long of a second quarter Thursday night for the Quincy High School girls basketball team.

At halftime, the Blue Devils made certain to change that before the outcome was too far gone.

Asia Seangmany buried a 3-pointer from the left corner to open the second half and Quincy went on a 21-1 run spanning nearly 10 minutes to propel itself to a 42-29 victory over Galesburg in Western Big 6 Conference play at the QHS gym.

“We had to get our head in the game,” Seangmany said of the locker room discussion at halftime. “We mainly talked about getting rebounds, because that’s what killed us at the beginning of the game. After halftime, we got into it and we changed our mindset.”

The Blue Devils became more aggressive, more determined and tougher over the final 16 minutes.

“We let them get offensive rebounds, which is why they were in control of the game,” QHS point guard Leila Dade said. “Mainly, (QHS coach Brad Dance) told us to get rebounds, play hard on the defensive end and the offense would follow. We really got after it.”

It took a 3-pointer to ignite everything.

The Blue Devils (7-3, 3-1 WB6) scored just two points in the second quarter and watched a 14-9 evaporate into a 20-16 deficit at halftime. They went 1 of 8 from the field, committed six turnovers and allowed four offensive rebounds in that eight-minute span.

The only points came on Leah Chevalier’s 16-foot jumper from the right wing with 1:17 remaining in the half. 

“We just forced things,” Dance said. “We panicked. After that, we settled down.”

Only 25 seconds were needed to make that happen. Seangmany nailed a 3-pointer off a pass from Haley Schertel, who drove the right baseline and kicked a pass to the corner.

“When I hit that three, I was back in the game,” said Seangmany, who finished with a team-high 13 points. “I felt like that pushed us. When someone makes a shot, you’re like, ‘Oh, let’s go.’ And then you keep on getting good looks every time.”

The Blue Devils made three of their first seven shots of the second half to take the lead on Taylor Fohey’s bucket from the block off a Seangmany assist with 2:25 to go in the third quarter. They never trailed again, feeding off the energy of Seangmany’s 3-pointer.

“She knows she always has the green light to shoot it,” Dance said. “We do a good job of finding her. They’re going to focus on Taylor inside, and she got double-teamed every time she touched the ball. Sometimes she was triple-teamed. So we adjusted and we had Leila driving it with Asia spotting up. Pick your poison there.”

At the same time, the Blue Devils put the clamps on the Silver Streaks’ Kiarra Kilgore. After scoring seven points in the first half, including a basket off a baseline inbounds play at the first-half buzzer, Kilgore had one field goal and four points in the second half, finishing with 11 points.

“We knew most of their offense runs through her,” Dade said. “So shutting her down was our main goal.”

It played into the Blue Devils’ strength. They are allowing less than 40 points per game.

“It’s us working together and talking and communicating and letting each other know who and where to help,” Seangmany said. “We were focusing on shutting down (Kilgore). She’s a good player. So I think when we’re opening our mouths and talking to find out where she was out it helped us dig in with our defense.

“And I feel like we’re a hard-working, defensive team. That’s what wins our games.”

It puts the Blue Devils back at the top of the WB6 standings.

Galesburg’s first conference loss means there is a three-way tie for the lead. Geneseo (8-2) and Geneseo (7-1) are also 3-1 in WB6 play.

“We took down the top team in the conference, so it gives us a lot of confidence,” Dade said.

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