Hammer time: QND girls use 3-point barrage in first three minutes to put South Shelby on its heels


Quincy Notre Dame's Amber Durst, left, battles South Shelby's Hannah Wegman for rebounding position during Saturday night's game in the KHQA-American Family Insurance Superfan Shootout at The Pit. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — Quincy Notre Dame girls basketball Eric Orne left Abbey Schreacke with something to think about.

“He told me before the game to just drop the hammer,” Schreacke said.

When the Raiders won the opening tip against South Shelby in Saturday’s marquee matchup of the KHQA-American Family Insurance Superfan Shootout at The Pit, the all-state guard knew exactly what to do.

“I just pulled up and dropped the hammer,” she said.

Schreacke’s teammates followed suit. Her 3-pointer from the top of the key on the opening possession kickstarted a 9-2 run that featured 3-pointers from QND’s Amber Durst and Sage Stratton. An 11-0 run to close the quarter gave the Raiders a 20-4 advantage, and they never relinquished control in a 67-55 victory.

Six different players scored in the first quarter for QND, the No. 1-ranked team in Class 2A.

“We always want to get that fast-break tempo,” Schreacke said after the Raiders won their 20th straight game to improve to 27-1. “We’re really conditioned, and we try to use that to our advantage to beat the other team down the floor. We did that in the beginning. We were driving and kicking and having an open shooter.”

Yet, just when the game teetered on getting away from the Lady Birds, they dug their heels in, made the game physical and fought like crazy to recover.

The deficit was 11 points at halftime after South Shelby, ranked third in the Missouri Class 3 state poll, held QND to seven second-quarter points. Miranda Patterson, the Lady Birds’ Maryville-bound all-state guard, opened the second half with a 3-pointer and made another trey roughly four minutes later to pull South Shelby within 34-25.

The deficit hovered between nine and 12 points a majority of the second half, but foul trouble and Schreacke kept the Lady Birds from drawing any closer.

“We came out with a game plan and dared some of their role players to step up and hit shots, and in the first three minutes, they did,” South Shelby coach Luke O’Laughlin said. “After that, it went like we expected it to and we chipped away. We just never could get close enough.”

Losing Kamryn Mitchell to a fifth foul with 3:27 to play and Patterson to the same fate with 1:52 remaining curtailed the comeback. Patterson finished with 16 points, and Callie McWilliams had 15 points — all coming in the second half.

“There’s no quit in our girls,” O’Laughlin said.

Orne echoed that.

“They have to quit in them,” Orne said. “They’re coached that way. They figured out how to slow the game down and make it physical. So we had to adjust.”

That wasn’t easy.

“They turned it up a notch in the second half,” Orne said. “They put their heads down and got to the hole, made some big plays and made some big shots. It’s that type of game that we needed. We needed someone not to lay down after we made our early blitz. They came right back when we did.”

Still, the Lady Birds had no answer for Schreacke. She buried a 3-pointer at the third quarter buzzer for a 50-35 advantage, and the Mizzou-bound guard finished with 29 points and 11 rebounds.

“We knew coming in we were already treating it like a postseason game,” Schreacke said. “So we already had that mentality. We were slowly getting better at everything, and we’ve been doing that all season. So we’re going to keep that going.”

With three games remaining in the regular season, this was the perfect postseason prelude.

“That’s why I wanted them in this game,” Orne said. “It’s going to prep us for everything we need to feel.”

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