Defensive plays in overtime turn tide in QHS’s favor in knocking off state-ranked Geneseo

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GENESEO, Ill. — The energy expended defensively finally paid off.

Neither the Quincy High School girls basketball team nor Geneseo scored in the first 2 ½ minutes of overtime Wednesday night, but Leah Chevalier’s steal that led to a layin with 1 minute, 24 seconds to play changed everything.

The Blue Devils scored on back-to-back possessions and never relinquished the lead, stymieing the Maple Leafs on the final inbounds play with six-tenths of a second remaining to secure a 46-44 overtime victory against the three-time defending Western Big 6 Conference champions.

“The girls were excited and they were happy,” QHS coach Brad Dance said. “For those that played a lot, they got in the locker room and they were worn out. Still, they were excited. It was a good win for them, and I was proud of them.”

It took every ounce of energy through every second of the four extra minutes to make it happen.

After Chevalier’s basket, Quincy’s Leila Dade rebounded a missed 3-pointer by Geneseo’s Danielle Beach and was fouled. She made both free throws to go up 44-40.

The Leafs’ Annie Wirth made a putback on the next possession before Dade sank a pair of free throws following a Haley Schertel steal for a 46-42 advantage with 17.8 seconds remaining.

“(Dade) hit some big free throws there,” Dance said.

Geneseo, ranked 10th in Class 3A, grabbed two offensive rebounds on the ensuing possession before Wirth scored with 1.3 seconds remaining. Following a timeout, Quincy (12-8) tried to inbound the ball to Chevalier, but she had the ball knocked out of bounds off her with six-tenths of a second remaining.

The Leafs tried to inbound the ball to Wirth, but the Blue Devils’ Taylor Fohey deflected it and Wirth never got a clean shot off before the buzzer.

“We made plays when we needed to,” Dance said.

Dade led the Blue Devils with 18 points, while Fohey finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Wirth led the Leafs with 14 points, 12 rebounds and six steals, but Quincy’s defensive pressure disrupted Geneseo’s flow.

“Defensively, we really got after it,” Dance said. “We extended pretty well and contested shots.”

The victory moved the Blue Devils into a second-place tie with the Leafs in the WB6 as both sit at 5-3. Galesburg leads the league with a 5-2 record heading into its game against Moline on Thursday at Thiel Gym in Galesburg,

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