Clay’s trey sparks final rally as Blue Devils come away with WB6 victory over Rocks

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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — Dom Clay’s confidence in himself is matched by the confidence his Quincy High School boys basketball teammates have in him.

So when his 3-point attempt from the right corner rattled out with less than three minutes remaining in regulation and the Blue Devils and Rock Island tied at 52, Quincy’s Tyler Sprick knew exactly where to go with the ball after hauling in the offensive rebound.

He went right back to Clay.

The sophomore guard buried a 3-pointer from the right wing with 2:44 to play, kickstarting the Blue Devils’ eight-point run that carried them to a 60-55 victory in Western Big 6 Conference play Tuesday night at the Rocky Fieldhouse.

“It was huge,” Quincy coach Andy Douglas said. “He has that shooter’s mentality where he thinks every one of them is going in. It wasn’t too much of a surprise he took one right after a miss. He has that kind of confidence from the perimeter.”

Just as important was the Blue Devils’ willingness to stay with the play all the way through.

“Tyler came out of nowhere on the weak side and keep the play alive, which was crucial,” Douglas said. “Just a great job of never giving up on a play.”

The rally keeps the Blue Devils’ slim WB6 title hopes alive. Moline guaranteed itself a share of the WB6 championship with Tuesday night’s 71-54 victory over United Township with two games remaining in league play. If the Maroons lose both and the Blue Devils win both, they would share the crown.

Quincy (21-4, 10-2 WB6) closes with a home game against Geneseo and a road game at Galesburg. Moline (25-3, 12-0 WB6) still has road games at Sterling and Alleman.

As unlikely as it is for the scenario to play out in the Blue Devils’ favor, the title chase isn’t as important as maintaining progress toward the postseason following last Friday’s 57-46 loss to the Maroons.

“We haven’t lost back-to-back games yet this season,” Douglas said. “More than anything, it’s trying to keep the train rolling in the right direction. Our goal is to be playing the best at the end of the season, and we have to stay on that track.”

Quincy trailed Rock Island 45-42 at the start of the fourth quarter, tied things at 47 and took a 50-47 lead on Clay’s 3-pointer with 4:22 to go. The Rocks answered with a trey before Clay buried another dagger. He followed it up with a three-point play with 1:19 to go for a six-point lead.

Clay scored nine of his 11 points in the fourth quarter.

Keshaun Thomas led the Blue Devils with 18 points, while Bradley Longcor III had 15 points and Camden Brown added 12. Cameron Atkinson led the Rocks with 19 points, while KJ Lamonte had 18.

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