Raiders to learn from loss to top-ranked Cyclones and QU signee Hamilton

QND blue

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Quincy Notre Dame boys basketball players and coaches likely won’t watch the film of Friday night’s 66-35 loss to No. 1-ranked Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin at Belz Gymnasium until Monday or Tuesday.

That’s when the Raiders will delve into how to fix what the Cyclones exploited.

Before then, though, comes a better-be-ready-for-this matchup with Macomb on Saturday night at The Pit.

“We can’t forget about tonight,” QND coach Kevin Meyer said. “We have to learn from it and then apply it quickly. That will be a major, major focus, but we have a tough one with Macomb coming in. We have to bounce back.

“We were pretty good spirit-wise on the bus tonight. They had a lot of good things to talk about in the locker room, asking things like, ‘What do we learn from tonight to be able to apply it to tomorrow?’ That’s good. I’m glad this isn’t going to linger with them.”

It shouldn’t. SHG is going to cause problems for a lot of foes.

The defending Class 3A state champion which opened the season ranked first in the initial Associated Press state poll, SHG rolled to a 21-7 lead at the end of the first quarter and extended it to 37-20 by halftime with senior swingman Jake Hamilton scoring all 19 of his points in the first 16 minutes.

The Quincy University signee made three 3-pointers and displayed a variety of skills.

“He’s just crafty,” Meyer said. “He can get to the basket. He posted us up a few times. He hit a couple threes. He can score in transition. He’s good. There’s no doubt about it.”

Meyer expects Hamilton will be a fantastic fit at QU.

“I think (QU coach Steve Hawkins) is going to love him,” Meyer said. “I think fans are going to love him.”

What makes SHG special isn’t the individual talent alone.

“They really are the sum of their parts,” Meyer said. “They go into it with such unity and the way they play. They’re unselfish, more than I thought they ever have been. They’ve been really unselfish in the past, so that says something.”

The Cyclones also are dynamic defensively. They allowed the Raiders to make just two 3-pointers and limited QND to just three field goals in both the first and third quarters.

“They just disrupted everything and got us so far out of our stuff,” Meyer said.

QND (2-1) committed 16 turnovers in the first half and 29 overall.

“That’s too many, but that’s how they get you,” Meyer said. “They get you playing too fast. They’re really good at bating you. You look up and that guy’s open. Then, nope, he isn’t and they are flying into a passing lane.

“They are really connected offensively and defensively.”

Jackson Stratton led the Raiders with 11 points, and Josh Bocke added eight. Meyer knows there won’t be many teams better than SHG on the Raiders’ schedule, which is why this game will pay off in the long run. 

“I’d rather play the best competition and get exposed a little now rather than later,” Meyer said. “Now we have some stuff on film. We know we aren’t going to go undefeated. We knew some of our limitations, but I know we are still a really, really competitive team.

“We will learn from this. We know that. We’ll be better because of this game.”

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