Offensive drought in first half of regional semifinal loss to Williamsville ends QND’s season

QND blue

ATHENS, Ill. — The snowball effect turned into a full-blown avalanche.

It carried the Quincy Notre Dame boys basketball team right out of the postseason.

Trailing Williamsville 10-0 less than four minutes into Wednesday night’s Class 2A Athens Regional semifinal, Raiders coach Kevin Meyer burned a timeout in hopes of settling down his time and stemming the offensive flow the Bullets had found.

Nothing worked. Williamsville led 17-0 at the end of the quarter and eventually built its lead to 22-0 before Aden Genenbacher broke the drought with QND’s first basket with 4 minutes, 48 seconds remaining in the first half.

There was no recovering as QND suffered a 49-26 loss.

“That was a tough start and we just couldn’t get out of our way,” Meyer said.

Williamsville opened the game with back-to-back 3-pointers by Carson Kohler and Brayden Saling and never let up offensively.

“Those were off sets we were trying to disrupt and it just built confidence in them,” Meyer said. “We had a couple of turnovers that built confidence in them. It just snowballed from there. That first quarter was really, really rough on us.”

QND went 0 of 8 from the field and 0 of 4 from 3-point range with six turnovers in the first quarter, while Williamsville went 7 of 10 from the field.

“We couldn’t get a shot to go,” Meyer said. “We had a couple good looks that maybe would have helped us a little bit and calmed us down a little bit. We don’t make them and we’re pressing a little bit. We’re trying to find some shots, and it just seemed like they were throwing it up and it was going in.

“I don’t mean that as a discredit to them. They were getting the looks they wanted and the shots they wanted. They were all just going in. It was the perfect storm of a bad start for us and a good start for them.”

It never got much better as QND trailed 31-4 at halftime.

The Raiders scored 15 points in the third quarter but never trimmed the deficit to less than 19 points.

“I kept looking at the scoreboard and thinking, ‘If we could get this to 12 or even 15 and make it manageable going to the fourth quarter,’” Meyer said. “(Williamsville) did a really good job. Their defense was really good. (Williamsville coach Nick) Beard did a heck of a job with the scouting report as far as disrupting our sets. They got the stops when they needed it. Tip of the cap to them. They were better than us.”

Saling led the Bullets with 22 points, while Genenbacher led the Raiders with five points. QND ends its season with a 17-11 record, but the first-round postseason exit made the postgame locker room conversation difficult.

“We tried to talk about how the group grew together,” Meyer said. “We tried to celebrate the season and not just one game.”

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