Raiders get back to who they are in ending three-game skid with 13-point victory

QND’s Jackson Stratton (2) knocks the ball away from a Monmouth-Roseville player during the Raiders game against the Titans Tuesday in Quincy.  Mathew Kirby/Herald Whig-Courier Post

Quincy Notre Dame guard Jackson Stratton, left, knocks the ball away from a Monmouth-Roseville player during Tuesday night's game at The Pit. | Photo courtesy Mathew Kirby

QUINCY — The Quincy Notre Dame boys basketball team’s search for its identity seems to be over.

All the Raiders had to do was rediscover who they really are.

“Play tough defense, get in our offense fast, run in transition, and do the little things right,” senior guard Jackson Stratton said Tuesday night after a 51-38 victory over Monmouth-Roseville at The Pit ended a three-game losing streak.

The defensive attitude existed from the opening tip. The Raiders held the Titans to just one field goal while racing out to a 15-3 lead. Stratton scored 10 first-quarter points, including three conventional three-point plays. He led QND with 15 points.

The offense didn’t commit a turnover in the first quarter and just one in the first half. Being less predictable was a pregame focus.

“We had to figure out ways to get into our offense in different ways, to get into the flow of the game, not putting our guards in tough situations,” Stratton said.

The Raiders led the Titans 25-13 at the half after capping the second quarter with a three-point play from junior Aiden Klauser, who scored 11 points off the bench.

“He just keeps getting better and better,” QND coach Kevin Meyer said. “He’s been really active at the front of the press. Defensively, he got a couple of steals. He was really huge on the glass.”

“I’m an energy guy — get rebounds, play defense, just be a hazard,” Klauser said. “I’ve been playing a lot more comfortably lately.”

Monmouth-Roseville got within 26-19 in the third quarter before Meyer called a timeout with 4:48 to play.

“(The timeout) was a reminder of ‘this what we’re trying to do’,” Meyer said. “All we need to do is just be solid. If we have possession, they can’t score.”

QND scored 11 of the next 17 points creating a 37-25 margin at the end of the third quarter. The lead never dipped to single digits in the fourth quarter.

Notre Dame (5-4) will spend the holidays at the State Farm Holiday Classic, opening against Providence St. Mel at 2:30 p.m. December 27 at Normal West. Playing four games in a short period of time, Meyer knows he will need contributions from different guys.

“We got to find some bench and find some depth up there,” Meyer said. “And that’s a great time for us to really rally together, just circle the wagons.”

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