Raiders flourish in fourth quarter, show signs of starting late-season push


Quincy Notre Dame senior guard Aden Genenbacher led the Raiders with 14 points in Tuesday night's 51-41 victory over Illini West in Carthage, Ill. | Muddy River Sports file photo

CARTHAGE, Ill. — In the eyes of Aden Genenbacher and Noah Lunt, it’s time to start focusing on the postseason.

Following the Quincy Notre Dame boys basketball team’s 51-41 victory Tuesday night over Illini West, both Genenbacher and Lunt were looking into the not-too-distant future.

“We’d like to put together a run before the postseason starts,” said Genenbacher, a senior guard who led QND with 14 points. “We’re slowly getting to where we need to be.”

Lunt, also a senior, chimed in with a similar thought.

“We’re hoping to finish (the regular season) on a run,” said Lunt, a forward who ended with 11 points, including five key free throws down the stretch.

While Notre Dame coach Kevin Meyer appreciated that kind of enthusiasm, he is admittedly more worried about not putting the cart before the proverbial horse.

“I feel like we still have some lessons to learn before the final exam,” Meyer said in reference to the pending postseason, which is still almost a month away.

QND’s win over Illini West — its ninth straight against the Chargers — boosted its record to 11-8. The Raiders have eight regular-season games remaining.

QND’s eventual margin of victory resulted from an 18-6 advantage in the fourth quarter. 

Trailing 34-33 after three quarters, Notre Dame scored the first seven points in the final frame and was never headed. Illini West scored just one point over the final 4-plus minutes.

“To go from one up to six down at the start of the fourth quarter was a big turning point,” Illini West coach Blaize Kimmell said. “We had three turnovers at the start of the fourth quarter and Notre Dame got control.”

Kimmell saw the loss to QND as a reflection of what Illini West (11-9) has been dealing with most of the season.

“We’ve been in a ton of close games this year,” Kimmell said. “We’ve been unable to hold a lot of leads in the fourth quarter.”

Illini West, which produced three double-figure scorers in Reece Shoup (12), Tre Neiderman (11) and Ethan Carlisle (10), was outrebounded 32-17. Wesley Robertson (7) took game rebounding honors, but had little support on the boards.

QND used a combination of Jace Allensworth (6), Aiden Klauser (6), Alex Dance (6) and Lunt (5) to control much of the rebounding.

“Our rebounding and defense were the keys for us in that fourth quarter,” Genenbacher said.

Klauser’s overall effort, which also included seven points, drew Meyer’s attention.

“Aiden had a big game for us running the floor and attacking,” Meyer said. “He’s coming into his own at the right time of the season.”

Lunt also showed up at important times, particularly in the fourth quarter. He made 5 of 6 free throws in the closing minutes and grabbed three rebounds late in the game.

“Our defense made the stops when we needed them,” Lunt said.

Meyer went a step further.

“Noah put us on his back in the fourth quarter,” the QND coach said.

Tyler Bozarth (9) and Allensworth (8) combined for an additional 17 points for QND.

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