QND girls click on all cylinders, completely dismantle Rock Island to reach 20-victory plateau

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Quincy Notre Dame guard Blair Eftink and the Raiders shut out Rock Island in the first quarter Saturday, leading to a 73-20 victory at The Pit. | Matt Schuckman file photo

QUINCY — Quincy Notre Dame girls basketball coach Eric Orne felt it was only a matter of time before an opponent witnessed the best his team had to offer. 

Rock Island can testify to how good that can be.

The top-ranked team in Class 2A pitched a first-quarter shutout on its way to a one-sided 73-20 victory at The Pit on Saturday afternoon. The Raiders scored all 25 points in the first frame, punctuated by a baseline jumper at the buzzer by senior Amber Durst.

“We’ve been waiting for one of those games where everything kind of compiled itself,” Orne said. “We were clicking today. It’s certainly something we’ve been close to, but I thought we played next level, which is good to see.”

QND seniors Abbey Schreacke and Blair Eftink each scored seven points and seven different Raiders got in the scoring column in the first quarter.

“We were pushing the ball up the floor and they were chasing us and we got easy transition layups, and we were making our transition three’s because we were getting open looks,” Schreacke said. “We were in rhythm. We were playing good defense and not letting (Rock Island) get inside in the paint and forcing them to take outside shots, and they weren’t falling for them.”

The Raiders’ perimeter offense made life difficult for the Rocks. QND (20-1) connected on six 3-pointers in the first half and 10 overall. Eftink made four 3-pointers and led all scorers with 18 points.

“I’ve been shooting a lot this week, so it felt good to make them,” Eftink said. “It just helps when your teammates see you and you’re able to shoot with good rhythm.”

If the defending Class 2A state champs can develop consistency from the outside, they will become even more of a challenge to defeat.

“That’s always been in our arsenal, but we just haven’t always shot (3-pointers) that well,” Orne said. “You’re at that time of the year where the kids are in real good basketball shape and really finding some rhythm. Hopefully that’s something we can build on.”

QND didn’t let the foot off the gas pedal following the opening eight minutes. The Raiders built a 44-9 advantage at halftime and held Rock Island (12-10) scoreless in the fourth quarter.

“You can’t let up,” Eftink said. “Coach Orne wanted us to keep fighting. I think everyone got involved really well, and it wasn’t just the starters. It was everybody (contributing).”

The contest ended with 10 different QND players having scored and 14 players getting playing time.

“It’s good for morale,” Orne said. “You go into the locker room and you’ve got all 16 girls smiling. You need games like that. It was kind of a breath of fresh air for everybody.”

Schreacke finished in double figures with 13 points, and fellow starter Jenna Durst added eight points. Mara Ippensen had nine points and Lauren Hummel contributed seven points off the bench.

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