Chargers’ Robertson receives Class 2A all-state honors after record-setting baseball season

Illini West sophomore Wesley Robertson was named to the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association Class 2A all-state team. | Matt Schuckman photo

CARTHAGE, Ill. — A record-setting season earned Wesley Robertson an all-state accolade. The Illini West sophomore third baseman/pitcher was one of 24 players named to the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association Class 2A all-state team and one of just two sophomores to make the list. The IHSBCA names only one all-state team per class.…

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‘We’re going to remember this forever’: Illini West’s Bentzinger, Liberty’s Sunde share track for final time

Illini West's Ian Bentzinger, left, takes the baton fromk Liberty's Keegan Sunde during the 4x100 relay at Friday night's Illinois/Missouri Senior All-Star Track Meet in Palmyra, Mo. | Shane Hulsey photo

PALMYRA, Mo. — Illini West’s Ian Bentzinger and Liberty’s Keegan Sunde spent all season as rivals. On Friday, they were teammates, and they made sure to have some fun. During the Illinois/Missouri Senior All-Star Track Meet at Palmyra High School, the state-qualifying sprinters made up the first two legs of the Illinois boys 4×100 meter…

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Irish right-hander takes steam out of Chargers’ attack in Class 2A sectional championship

Illini West right-hander Ethan Carlisle allowed only two hits over six innings in Saturday's 2-0 loss to Peoria Notre Dame in the Class 2A Chillicothe IVC Sectional championship in Chillicothe, Ill. | Matt Schuckman photo

CHILLICOTHE, Ill. — Jack Livengood did what no one else could. The Peoria Notre Dame junior right-hander quieted the Illini West baseball team’s attack. Livengood retired the Chargers in order the first time through the lineup, didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning and authored a three-hit shutout in Saturday’s Class 2A Chillicothe IVC…

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Chargers apply pressure to Rockets’ defense, create sectional title game showdown with Irish

Illini West's Wesley Robertson threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief in Wednesday's 11-2 victory over Rockridge in the Class 2A Chillicothe IVC Sectional semifinals, while also going 2 for 5 with two runs scored. | Matt Schuckman photo

CHILLICOTHE, Ill. — Sometimes putting the ball in play is enough to get the job done. The Illini West baseball players took that approach to heart. The Chargers continually applied pressure to Rockridge’s defense during Wednesday’s Class 2A Chillicothe IVC Sectional semifinal, using a mix of hard ground balls, solid liners and strategically timed bunts…

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‘I wasn’t really nervous’: Carlisle’s strong outing helps Chargers win regional title

The Illini West baseball team celebrates winning the Class 2A regional championship Saturday with a 5-0 victory over Macomb at Jake Burling Field in Carthage, Ill. | Photo courtesy Andrea Ratermann

CARTHAGE, Ill. — Ethan Carlisle is only a sophomore, but he had the composure of a veteran on Saturday. Carlisle tossed six shutout innings as the Illini West baseball team defeated Macomb 5-0 to capture the Class 2A Illini West Regional title at Jake Burling Field. Carlisle’s poise was put to the test in the…

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Bruns finishes what he starts, guiding Chargers to regional semifinal victory in eight innings

Illini West's Nick Bruns drove in two insurance runs in the top of the eighth inning Thursday and then finished off a complete-game pitching effort in the Chargers' 4-1 victory over Eureka in the Class 2A Illini West Regional in Carthage, Ill. | Matt Schuckman photo

CARTHAGE, Ill. — Illini West baseball coach Zack Burling told left-handed starter Nick Bruns he was only going to face Eureka’s leadoff hitter in the bottom of the eighth inning Thursday before the Chargers went to the bullpen. “I just begged him to let me try to finish this game,” Bruns said. “And he did.…

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Chargers’ Bentzinger qualifies for state track meet in four events, Titans’ Gooding breaks triple jump record

Illini West senior sprinter Ian Bentzinger qualified for the Class 1A state track and field championships in four events during Wednesday's Rushville-Industry Sectional. | Photo courtesy Illini West track and field

FARMINGTON, Ill. — Ian Bentzinger is sprinting his way toward a shot at a state championship, and the Illini West senior will have four chances at that. Bentzinger qualified for the Class 1A state track and field championships in four events during Wednesday’s Farmington Sectional, winning both the 100- and 200-meter dashes and running a…

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Around the area: Blue Devils share WB6 tennis title, Pirates fall in districts, Wolves win one-run marathon

The Quincy High School boys tennis team shared the Western Big 6 Conference championship with Rock Island Alleman. | Submitted photo

GENESEO, Ill. — The Quincy High School boys tennis team made its lead last at the Western Big 6 Conference championships despite the continued dominance of Rock Island Alleman junior Nick Patrick. The Blue Devils placed two singles players in top four and the doubles tandem of Anderson Knapp and Jason Derian finished third, giving…

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Shutout enables QND seniors to walk away from final home game with ‘memory I’ll hold forever’

Quincy Notre Dame second baseman Lanie Fesler, left, and third baseman Brooke Boden celebrate the end of an inning Saturday against Illini West at The Backyard. | Addi Zanger photo

QUINCY — The seniors on the Quincy Notre Dame softball team celebrated Senior Night before Friday’s victory against Camp Point Central, but Saturday was their final game at The Backyard. That’s what made it such a bittersweet day. “It’s just a memory I’ll hold forever,” senior outfielder Marah Becks said. “This is just a place…

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Runnin’ down a dream: Chargers’ Bentzinger puts focus on winning state track title in 100 dash

Illini West senior Ian Bentzinger, center, is one of the top Class 1A sprinters in the state and is undefeated this season in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes. | Shane Hulsey photo

CARTHAGE, Ill. — Ian Bentzinger sees his motivation staring back at him every day. The Illini West senior sprinter currently holds the fifth fastest time in the 100-meter dash in Class 1A across the state with his school-record 10.82 seconds, which he ran at the Lee Calhoun Invitational on April 5 in Macomb. At the…

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Photo gallery: Area’s top tracksters compete in Mark Twain/Becky Thatcher Relays

Illini West's Ian Bentzinger, right, and Liberty's Keegan Sunde head to the finish line in the 100-meter dash during Tuesday's Mark Twain/Becky Thatcher Relays at Porter Stadium in Hannibal, Mo. | Shane Hulsey photo

HANNIBAL, Mo. — Waiting a couple of extra days to be able to run, jump and throw under sunny skies brought out the best in many of the area’s top track and field athletes. The Mark Twain/Becky Thatcher Relays were moved to Tuesday at Porter Stadium after last Friday’s deluge made it impossible to compete.…

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Rose in full bloom: QND senior belts first home run at The Ferd to power Raiders past Chargers

Quincy Notre Dame first baseman Ethan Rose catches a pickoff attempt during Friday's game against Illini West at Ferd Niemann Jr. Memorial Ballfield. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — On the first pitch Ethan Rose saw, he knew he shouldn’t swing. On the second pitch, he knew he couldn’t pass. He made the right call on both. With one out in the bottom of the second inning Friday and runners on second and third after Gavin Doellman’s double, Rose jumped on a…

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Photo gallery: Runs difficult to come by as QND, Illini West square off

Illini West's Carter Chapin slides safely across home plate as he scores on a wild pitch in the first inning of Friday's game against Quincy Notre Dame at Ferd Niemann Jr. Memorial Ballfield. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — Four pitchers — two each from the Quincy Notre Dame and Illini West baseball teams — combine to strike out 14 batters and allow just five hits during Friday night’s showdown at Ferd Niemann Jr. Memorial Ballfield. The Raiders won 4-2 on the strength of Ethan Rose’s three-run home run and Evan Kenning’s…

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Lafferty resigns as Illini West volleyball coach after seven seasons at helm

Dakota Lafferty, left, led the Illini West volleyball team to 174 victories and two regional championships during her seven seasons at the head coach. | Matt Schuckman photo

CARTHAGE, Ill. — Dakota Lafferty’s investment in her players, her program and her sport is nearly impossible to match. Finding someone who can is the challenge the Illini West administration faces. Illini West athletic director Grant Surprenant confirmed Lafferty submitted her resignation Tuesday night and the players were informed of the decision Wednesday afternoon. Lafferty…

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Blue Devils able to overcome Chargers’ success in sprint events to win Quincy Invitational boys meet

The Illini West relay team of Colin Curfman, Thomas Chandler, Ian Bentzinger and Isaiah Knotts won both the 4x100 and 4x200 races Saturday during the 73rd Quincy Invitational at Flinn Stadium. | Photo courtesy Dakota Lafferty

QUINCY — The Quincy High School boys track team’s strength in the distance events and overall depth enabled it to overcome Illini West’s sprinters and win the team title at the 73rd Quincy Invitational on Saturday at Flinn Stadium. The Blue Devils’ Cameron MacDonough won the 800-meter run in 2 minutes, 6.59 seconds and Thomas…

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CSE’s Miller leads brigade of area girls players receiving all-state honors from IBCA

Central-Southeastern junior forward Lauren Miller received Class 2A first-team all-state honors from the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association. | Addi Zanger photo

QUINCY — Lauren Miller’s ability to create scoring opportunities for herself and her Central-Southeastern girls basketball teammates elevated her game to that of a first-team all-stater. The 5-foot-10 junior forward was named to the Class 2A all-state first team by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association, one of three CSE players to be honored by the…

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West Hancock turns to defense to grind out victory over Illini West in regional semifinals

Illini West's Colby Robertson tries a scoop shot under the outstretched arm of West Hancock's Cooper Knowlers during a semifinal game in the Class 2A regional at Warsaw High School on Wednesday night. | David Adam photo

WARSAW, Ill. — The West Hancock boys basketball team could never quite find its shooting touch from the perimeter in the season’s rubber match against Illini West. Fortunately, its defense showed up when it mattered most. Hunter Froman’s steal and layup with five minutes remaining gave the Titans their first lead since late in the…

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Photo Gallery: West Hancock gains edge in county rivalry by knocking Illini West out in postseason

West Hancock's Gage Scott pulls up for a shot while Illini West's Wesley Robertson defends during the semifinals of the Class 2A regional at Warsaw High School on Wednesday night. | David Adam photo

WARSAW, Ill. — A pair of Hancock County rivals made their third meeting of the season a memorable one. The West Hancock boys basketball team outlasted Illini West 44-39 in the semifinals of the Class 2A Warsaw Regional on Wednesday night. It gave the Titans a 2-1 edge in the season series. MRN Editor David…

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Prairie State Profile: Five area wrestlers ready to chase state championships

Quincy High School's Bryor Newbold, center, and Quincy Notre Dame's Bradi Lahr, right, are two of the five area wrestlers who will compete in the Illinois state championhips this weekend in Champaign, Ill. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — The Illinois state wrestling tournament begins at noon Thursday with five area wrestlers having qualified to grapple at State Farm Center on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign.  Wednesday, they had the opportunity to visit the Illini wrestling facility in Huff Hall, get a workout in and prepare for the pursuit of…

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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…

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Shutting out Chargers in second quarter propels state-ranked Raiders to victory

Quincy Notre Dame guard Sage Stratton scored 16 points in Thursday night's victory over Illini West in Carthage, Ill. | Muddy River Sports file photo

CARTHAGE, Ill. — A slow start didn’t translate to a sluggish finish for the Quincy Notre Dame girls basketball team. Defense turned everything around. Trailing Illini West 9-7 at the end of the first quarter Thursday night, the state-ranked Raiders shut out the Chargers in the second quarter, then scored 23 points in the third…

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Lantz, Panthers take control early in dispatching Chargers to finish CSE Classic pool play undefeated

Central-Southeastern senior guard Brilyn Lantz scored 19 points in Thursday's victory over Illini West in the CSE Classic in Camp Point, Ill. | Muddy River Sports file photo

CAMP POINT, Ill. — Brilyn Lantz preferred to look at the big picture following the Central-Southeastern girls basketball team’s 48-38 victory over Illini West. Sure, she posted team highs of 19 points and five rebounds Thursday night during the final game of pool play in the 31st CSE Classic, but she was most concerned with…

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Photo gallery: Full slate of games on second day of Rumble on the River

Hannibal's C.J. Anderson attempts to avoid a trap from Illini West's Reece Shoup, top, and Colby Robertson, right, during Saturday's game in the Rumble on the River. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — The Rumble on the River rumbled on Saturday with eight games being played at John Wood Community College’s Student Activity Center. Muddy River Sports Editor Matt Schuckman was there for half of the slate and put together this photo gallery:

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Central-Southeastern ratchets up defensive effort in second half to run away from Illini West

Central-Southeastern guard Karly Peters helped spark a 46-22 victory over Illini West on Monday night in Carthage, Ill. | Muddy River Sports file photo

CARTHAGE, Ill. — Karly Peters did not offer any excuses. Nor did she try to sugarcoat the first-half performance turned in by the Central-Southeastern girls basketball team. “We weren’t working hard enough on defense in the first half, but we kind of locked it down in the second half,” said Peters, a 5-foot-9 junior. That…

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Illini West’s record-setting volleyball season ends with loss in sectional title game

The Illini West volleyball team won a program-record 34 matches this season. | Matt Schuckman photo

PLEASANT PLAINS, Ill. — A record-setting season needed one final rally. The Pleasant Plains volleyball team didn’t let that happen. Illini West led the second set of Wednesday night’s Class 2A sectional championship game 13-12 and was in the process of overcoming losing the first set, just as it had in Monday’s semifinal victory over…

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Endurance test: Chargers outlast Bluejays by seizing momentum in third set of sectional victory

Illini West middle blocker Madalyn Boyer, center, and her teammates react to winning a point during the third set of Monday night's Class 2A sectional semifinal victory over Petersburg PORTA in Pleasant Plains, Ill. | Matt Schuckman photo

PLEASANT PLAINS, Ill. — Only four times in 37 matches leading up to Monday night’s Class 2A sectional semifinals had the Illini West volleyball team engaged in a three-set marathon. And only once had the Chargers won. “I was kind of worried about that,” Illini West coach Dakota Lafferty said. So when the Chargers lost…

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Photo gallery: Illini West to play for sectional volleyball championship after dispatching PORTA

Illini West's Josie Bryan, left, and Madalyn Boyer, right, put up a block during Monday night's Class 2A sectional semifinal against Petersburg PORTA in Pleasant Plains, Ill. | Matt Schuckman photo

PLEASANT PLAINS, Ill. — Madalyn Boyer said every play gives the Illini West volleyball team confidence, and throughout Monday night’s Class 2A sectional semifinal against Petersburg PORTA — especially the final two sets — confidence grew. The Chargers outlasted the Bluejays 22-25, 25-21, 25-18 to advance to the sectional title match against Pleasant Plains at…

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Chargers showcase ability to attack from every direction in beating Irish for regional crown

The Illini West volleyball team won its first regional championship since 2017, beating Peoria Notre Dame 25-17, 25-14 Thursday night in Canton, Ill. | Photo courtesy Illini West athletics

CANTON, Ill. — Dakota Lafferty found herself being a spectator as much as a coach Thursday night. Sparked by a booming Josie Bryan kill down the line for the first point of the match, the Illini West volleyball team used its energy and enthusiasm to overwhelm Peoria Notre Dame in a 25-17, 25-14 victory in…

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Match-play mentality on back nine carries QND boys golf team to sectional championship

The Quincy Notre Dame boys golf team poses for a team picture after winning the Class 1A Auburn Sectional title Monday at Edgewood Golf Course in Auburn, Ill. | Submitted photo

AUBURN, Ill. — As the Quincy Notre Dame boys golfers made the turn Monday, the situation seemed pretty cut and dry. Beat Bloomington Central Catholic head-to-head and win a sectional championship. Raiders coach Brian Hendrian didn’t shy away from telling his golfers that. “We went out there and played it like a Ryder Cup format…

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Beau knows: Up-and-down for par on No. 18 caps impressive regional round by QND sophomore

Quincy Notre Dame sophomore Beau Eftink sizes up his putt on the par-3 ninth hole Wedesday during the Class 1A QND Regional at Westview Golf Course. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — The number of strokes Beau Eftink needed to get up and down from behind the 18th green was going to determine just how pleased he would be with his final score. The moment he hit his chip shot from above the green’s collar, the Quincy Notre Dame sophomore golfer felt a twinge of…

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Photo gallery: Westview Golf Course plays host to Class 1A Quincy Notre Dame boys regional

Quincy Notre Dame's Michael Venvertloh hits out of the bunker on the 10th hole at Westview Golf Course on Wednesday during the Class 1A QND Regional. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — Beau Eftink went low, the Quincy Notre Dame boys golf team took advantage of playing on its home course and three teams that had been in the mix all season advanced to the Class 1A Auburn Sectional at Edgewood Golf Course. It turned out to be a remarkable day at Westview Golf Course.…

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Postseason primer: Tournament success preps area golfers for pursuit of state tourney bids

The Hannibal girls golf team won the North Central Missouri Conference championship, a perfect springboard into the postseason, which begins Oct. 6 with the district tournament in Wentzville, Mo. | Photo courtesy HHS golf

QUINCY — The postseason is nigh, and it could be an eventful one on the links. Here are five things to keep in mind as regional play for Illinois boys begins Wednesday and girls Thursday and district play for Missouri girls tees off next week: Minor success, major results for Pirates The growth of the…

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Friday Night Lights rewind: First victory shows Palmyra continues to ‘do simple better’

Palmyra's Aaron Ritchey and the Panthers continue showing progress, which resulted in last Friday's 34-20 victory at Macon. | Mathew Kirby photo

QUINCY — Emotions ran the gamut during Week 4 of the high school football season, from elation over first victories to relief courtesy fourth-quarter survival to grief born of losing a teammate and friend. Add a sense of pride to that list for Palmyra coach Dalton Hill, who is watching the Panthers mature week by…

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Photo gallery: Macomb responds to Illini West’s opening salvo, picks up key conference victory

Friday night's Lincoln Trail-Prairieland Conference battle between Macomb and Illini West ended with the Bombers securing a 38-12 vicotry to improve to 2-1. | Matt Schuckman photo

MACOMB, Ill. — The Illini West football team received the opening kickoff in Friday night’s Lincoln Trail-Prairieland Conference matchup with Macomb, drove 65 yards and scored. The Bombers answered with authority. Led by junior quarterback Braden Holthaus, the Bombers took a 20-12 lead by halftime and rolled to a 38-12 victory to improve to 2-1,…

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Chargers take title of Lady Suns Classic behind MVP effort of Bryan

The Illini West volleyball team won four of five matches throughout the week in the Lady Suns Classic and captured the tournament championship. | Photo courtesy Illini West volleyball

AUGUSTA, Ill. — The championship bracket of the Lady Suns Classic showed competitive balance, which is why it took a tiebreaker to determine the champion. The Illini West, Unity and Southeastern volleyball teams each completed the final day of play with a 1-1 record, but the Chargers won their first four matches of the tournament…

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Championship Saturday set as Illini West, Southeastern, Unity to battle for volleyball title

Photo courtesy Southeastern High School

AUGUSTA, Ill. — The top volleyball teams in each pool in the Lady Suns Classic cemented their spot in the championship bracket with straight-set sweeps Thursday night. Illini West continued its strong play, beating Brown County 25-16, 25-12. Josie Bryan led the Chargers with 11 kills and 12 digs, while Corin Robinson had 12 assists,…

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Photo gallery: Chargers’ Bruns takes medalist honors, QND boys win Weibring Invitational

Illini West's Nick Bruns hits his second shot on the par-4 12th hole Thursday during the D.A. Weibring Invitational at Westview Golf Course. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — The lid-lifter on the high school boys golf season took place Thursday at Westview Golf Course with a mix of what area coaches expected — quality shots, wayward bounces and the ups and downs associated with any round on the prep scene. Illini West senior Nick Bruns took medalist honors, shooting a 2-over…

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Chargers’ Deitrich in high jump finals at Illinois boys state track, Eagles’ Gimm to throw in discus

Quincy High School's Boen Brockmiller competes in the 200-meter dash at the Class 3A boys state track and field championships Friday in Charleston, Ill. | Photo courtesy Clark Brooks, PhotoNews Media

CHARLESTON, Ill. — Three Quincy High School runners were unable to advance to the finals in the Class 3A boys state track and field championships during Friday’s preliminaries at O’Brien Stadium on the Eastern Illinois University campus. Boen Brockmiller placed 27th in the 200-meter dash, finishing in 22.90 seconds, while Eric McClelland was 34th in…

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Stupavsky, Raiders get charge out of opening season with first-inning outburst

Quincy Notre Dame catcher Michael Stupavsky, center, heads back to the dugout to celebrate his three-run home run in the first inning of Tuesday's victory over Illini West at The Ferd. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — As much as he felt like he barreled the ball and put a legitimate charge into it, Michael Stupavsky could tell where it was headed. Foul territory. “After I hit that one, I wanted that back,” the Quincy Notre Dame baseball team’s senior catcher said of the ball he hit in the first…

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Photo gallery: QND baseball team opens season with victory over Illini West

Quincy Notre Dame assistant coach Zach Robb, left, greets sophomore pitcher Abram Wiewel after a strikeout ended the fifth inning of Tuesday's game against Illini West. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — A seven-run outburst in the bottom of the first inning, three-plus innings of relief from a sophomore right-hander making his varsity debut and the first victory for new Quincy Notre Dame baseball coach Rich Polak made Tuesday’s game against Illini West complete. The Raiders won 8-3 at Ferd Niemann Jr. Memorial Ballfield, and…

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Raiders’ size, experience takes over in second half, carries them into regional championship game

Quincy Notre Dame's Alex Connoyer drives to the basket during the first half of Wednesday night's Class 2A regional semifinal against Illini West at The Pit. | Photo courtesy Aaron Beaston, Day Off Media

QUINCY — A combination of size and experience can carry a team. It’s what helped lift the Quincy Notre Dame boys basketball team to a sectional championship appearance a year ago.  Wednesday night’s start to the postseason showed the Raiders are banking on it again.  Senior post players Jake Wallingford and Alex Connoyer dominated on…

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Photo gallery: QND, West Hancock advance to championship of Class 2A regional

Quincy Notre Dame's Alex Connoyer sets himself to shoot a free throw during the first half of Wednesday night's Class 2A regional semifinal against Illini West at The Pit. | Photo courtesy Aaron Beaston, Day Off Media

QUINCY — A little more than a week after the Quincy Notre Dame boys basketball team secured its 20th victory of the season by beating West Hancock, the Raiders will have to do so again to keep their season alive. QND advanced to the championship game of the Class 2A QND Regional with a 75-47…

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Top-ranked Raiders roll to regional victory over West Hancock; Illini West’s upset bid thwarted by No. 7 SHG

Quincy Notre Dame's Blair Eftink whips a pass under the arm of West Hancock's Alexa Gray during during Monday night's semifinal game in the Class 2A girls basketball regional at The Pit. | David Adam

QUINCY — One down. Six to go. The Quincy Notre Dame girls basketball team opened its quest for a second straight state championship with a 79-33 victory over West Hancock in the Class 2A regional semifinals Monday night at The Pit. Granted, QND (30-1) was a heavy favorite, but there was no chance of overconfidence…

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Surging at right time gives Raiders momentum with plenty of practice on horizon

Quincy Notre Dame senior guard Charlie Lavery applies defensive pressure during Tuesday night's game against Illini West at The Pit. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — The stage at which the Quincy Notre Dame boys basketball team found itself — both in Tuesday night’s game and its season — screamed of a need for momentum. Charlie Lavery provided it. With QND leading Illini West 24-23 with 2 minutes, 10 seconds remaining in the first half at The Pit, the…

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Big leads force top-ranked Raiders to dig deep to stay focused and energetic

Quincy Notre Dame guard Sage Stratton, left, looks to make a pass while being guard by Illini West's Elly Krieg during Thursday night's game at The Pit. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — Maybe this was inevitable. Coming off a 53-point victory and riding the momentum of a double-digit win streak, the Quincy Notre Dame girls basketball team built a 21-point halftime lead Thursday night against Illini West. That’s when it happened. Complacency set in. The Raiders, ranked No. 1 in Class 2A, were never in…

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Mustangs get back on track by overwhelming Chargers in third-place game of Lady Panther Classic

Unity guard Caroline Knox, right, pushes the pace during Saturday night's third-place game of the Lady Panther Classic against Illini West in Camp Point, Ill. | Photo courtesy Mike Pritchard

CAMP POINT, Ill. — Ashlynn Arnsmann felt Saturday night’s mission was simple. “We knew we had to bounce back,” the Unity senior center said. And bounce back the Mustangs did. Rather impressively, too. Arnsmann scored 17 points, reeled in seven rebounds and blocked two shots to help power the Unity girls basketball team to an…

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Pace no issue for Central-Southeastern as Panthers charge past Illini West in semifinals

Central-Southeastern guard Karly Peters and the Panthers' defense limited Illini West to 26 points in the Panthers' semifinal victory Thursday in the CSE Lady Panther Classic in Camp Point, Ill. | Photo courtesy Mike Pritchard

CAMP POINT, Ill. — If given an option, Central-Southeastern girls basketball coach Matt Long likes his team to get up and down the floor as quickly as possible. But that personal preference is not any sort of prerequisite for the Panthers to win. Case in point: CSE’s 37-26 victory over Illini West in Thursday night’s…

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Photo gallery: Semifinals of CSE Lady Panther Classic set up epic championship game

Central-Southeastern guard Brilyn Lantz, left, fends off Illini West's Rylee Reed during Thursday night's semifinal in the CSE Lady Panther Classic. | Photo courtesy Mike Pritchard

CAMP POINT, Ill. — The Brown County girls basketball team handed Unity consecutive losses for the first time this season, while Central-Southeastern continued its winning ways as both teams battled their way into the championship game of the CSE Lady Panther Classic. Brown County, ranked fifth in Class 1A, knocked off second-ranked Unity 47-43 in…

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Call it payback: Unity buries Illini West in fourth quarter, will play for tourney title at Beardstown

Unity senior guard Kylee Barry scored 15 points Wednesday night to guide the Mustangs to a 15-point victory over Illini West in the semifinals of the Lady Tiger Classic at Beardstown, Ill. | Matt Schuckman file photo

BEARDSTOWN, Ill. — This time, the roles were reversed. When the Unity girls basketball team defeated Illini West 50-35 in Wednesday night’s semifinals of the 40th Lady Tiger Classic at Beardstown High School, the victory helped exorcise at least some of the memories from a year ago. “(Illini West) beat us three times last season,…

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Loud and clear: Raiders feed off crowd’s energy to dispatch Chargers and win regional championship

The Quincy Notre Dame volleyball players on the court and on the bench react to finishing off the Class 2A regional championship victory over Illini West on Thursday night at The Pit. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — The bouncy, boisterous, energetic way the Illini West volleyball team plays can be distracting or intimidating. Quincy Notre Dame combatted that with plenty of noise of its own. Buoyed by a sizable, vocal crowd, the Raiders maintained an even-keel approach throughout Thursday night’s Class 2A QND Regional championship match at The Pit to…

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Photo gallery: QND volleyball team beats Illini West in Class 2A regional championship

The Quincy Notre Dame volleyball players celebrate winning the Class 2A QND Regional championship Thursday night at The Pit with a 25-13, 25-17 victory over Illini West. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — For the seventh time in the last eight seasons, the Quincy Notre Dame volleyball team can call itself a regional champion. This time, the Raiders gave their seniors a lasting memory in their final game at The Pit. QND beat Illini West 25-13, 25-17 to advance to the Farmington Sectional, where the Raiders…

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Youthful, exuberant Chargers prepare to face Raiders for regional championship

Illini West's Reagan Reed, center, reacts to winning a point during Tuesday's Class 2A QND Regional victory over West Hancock at The Pit in Quincy. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — If pressed, Dakota Lafferty will admit, at times, it is difficult not to look toward next season. Considering her Illini West volleyball team will play Quincy Notre Dame for a Class 2A QND Regional title Thursday, what’s the deal, Dakota? “We don’t have any seniors,” she said. “We start two freshmen, three sophomores…

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Eagles’ Arnold, Chargers’ Deitrich close prep golf careers with strong finishes

Liberty's Blake Arnold, center, poses for a photo with the Illini West boys golf team after competing in the Class 1A state tournament at Prairie Vista Golf Course in Bloomington, Ill. | Submitted photo

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Blake Arnold ended his high school golf career in fitting fashion. Nolan Deitrich did, too. Arnold, the Liberty senior, made a birdie on the par-4 18th hole Saturday at Prairie Vista Golf Course, putting a cap on a round of 7-over 79 that left him tied for 13th with a 156 total…

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New nine, new outlook: Chargers lock in after making turn, fight way into top eight at state golf

Illini West's Nick Bruns tees off during Friday’s round in the Class 1A state boys golf tournament at Prairie Vista Golf Course in Bloomington, Ill. | Photo courtesy Clark Brooks, PhotoNews Media

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Wesley Robertson intended to hit his driver off the tee on the Prairie Vista Golf Course’s 367-yard, par-4 18th hole to wrap up his round Friday. When the Illini West freshman boys golfer learned a par was all he needed to help the Chargers live to play another day, Robertson went back…

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Charging forward: Illini West boys golf team qualifies for state tournament for first time

Illini West's Colby Robertson finished second individually at the Class 1A Illini Central Sectional, helping the Chargers reach the state tournament for the first time in program history as a team. | Matt Schuckman photo

MASON CITY, Ill. — Because the par-4 second hole at Country Hills Golf Course is nearly driveable, there was a slight lag in getting groups off the tee during the early portion of Monday’s Class 1A Illini Central Sectional. That enabled Illini West boys golf coach Christine Murphy and her husband, Shane, to check the…

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Placing three golfers among top four individually powers Illini West to Class 1A regional title

The Illini West boys golf team won the Class 1A West Hancock Regional with a 345 team score. | Submitted photo

HAMILTON, Ill. — The nuances of Deer Run Golf Course made the Class 1A West Hancock Regional quite a challenge Wednesday. Nolan Deitrich and the Illini West boys golf team navigated it the best. Dietrich, a senior, birdied the par-3 18th hole to shoot an 81 and clip Liberty’s Blake Arnold by one stroke for…

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JWCC Prairie State Profile: Illini West’s Deitrich uses right mental approach for on course success

Illini West senior golfer Nolan Deitrich has made consistent strides in his game heading into the Class 1A postseason. | Matt Schuckman photo

CARTHAGE, Ill. — The physical tools Nolan Deitrich needs to excel at both golf and basketball are decidedly different. The mental approach is remarkably the same. Rolling in 4-foot par putt with a top finish at stake and hitting clutch free throws in a hostile gym will equally test your concentration and resolve. “The pressure…

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Golf roundup: QND boys use title at Galesburg as springboard into postseason

The Quincy Notre Dame boys golf team placed five individuals in the top 10 and won the team title Saturday at the Silver Streaks Invitational at Galesburg, Ill. | Submitted photo

GALESBURG, Ill. — The Quincy Notre Dame boys golf team is heading into the postseason on quite a roll. Three days after winning the West Central Conference championship with a 291 team total, the Raiders captured the title of Saturday’s Silver Streaks Invitational at Bunker Links by placing five individuals in the top 10 and…

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Blockbusters: Improved play at net makes Raiders tougher defensively in sweep of Chargers

Quincy Notre Dame's Eva Breckenkamp, left, and Ali Entrup, center, react to winning point during Thursday night's match against Illini West at The Pit. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — Ali Entrup’s reaction spoke volumes. Her play at the net resonated even louder. During a tug-o-war portion of the first set Thursday night against Illini West at The Pit, the Quincy Notre Dame volleyball team’s senior right side hitter stuffed a Chargers attack, giving the Raiders the point, the serve and the momentum.…

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Home-course advantage: QND boys golf team navigates Westview with precision in winning WCC championship

Quincy Notre Dame senior Cole Willer shot a 1-under 70 on Wednesday at Westview Golf Course to earn individual medalist honors in the West Central Conference tournament. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — The weather-related damage to Arrowhead Heights Golf Course that forced the West Central Conference boys golf tournament to be moved to Westview Golf Course proved to be a boon for Quincy Notre Dame. It was an unfortunate circumstance for everyone else. The Raiders took advantage of playing their home course Wednesday, posting five…

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