Raiders earn opportunity to rest and recover after winning fourth game in five-day span

QND blue

MENDON, Ill. — An overloaded stretch of games came at an opportune time for the Quincy Notre Dame boys basketball team.

Now that a four-games-in-five-days binge is complete — the Raiders won all four of those games — they’ve earned the chance to recover, regroup and re-energize themselves for another barrage of challenges heading into the postseason.

“As much as we need to play, now we need a day off,” QND coach Kevin Meyer said.

That became evident during Tuesday night’s 54-35 West Central Conference victory over Unity. The Raiders fought through a frustrating first half, taking a two-point lead into halftime and responding with a spirited effort down the stretch.

“We needed to be challenged, get punched a little bit and see how we responded,” Meyer said. “They bounced back. The second half was really good.”

It’s because the Raiders imposed their will.

“I thought we made a lot of good adjustments,” Meyer said.

Unity dictated the first two quarters with a physical approach defensively.

“They were really fundamental,” Meyer said. “They were just really good fundamentally tonight. Now that we were bad. Our effort was great in the first half. We played hard. That’s where I need be a little more corrective with the guys. It wasn’t a question of whether we played hard, but did we play hard and smart?

“They got into our bodies and got us a little off balance and we didn’t go. In the second half, you saw us get a little bit lower. You saw us get into their body. We kind of directed them where we wanted them to go.”

At the same time, the Raiders got everyone involved offensively. Jake Hoyt and Alex Connoyer led QND with nine points apiece, while Josh Bocke and Charlie Lavery had eight apiece. Lavery buried a 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer that gave the Raiders a 42-32 lead.

“We did a good job of grinding a possession, finding the right people and scoring baskets,” Meyer said. “In the first half, there were some open lanes where Unity made it look like, ‘Hey, come on in.’ And then those lanes closed up. It frustrated us.

“In the second half, we played through the post and got some good looks.”

Cody Shaffer and Melvin McMillen led the Mustangs with seven points apiece.

QND gets two days without a game before playing three games in five days — Friday at home against Liberty, Saturday at Rushville-Industry and next Tuesday at home against West Hancock.

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