Blue Devils shoot 68 percent from field, win impressively in battle of state-ranked conference foes


Quincy's Jada Brown goes up for a shot while Galesburg's Syriah Boyd tries to defend during Thursday night's girls basketball game at the QHS gymnasium. | David Adam

QUINCY — It isn’t supposed to look that easy.

The inside scoring of Jada Brown … the perimeter shooting of Myley Longcor … the post passing from the perimeter … the defensive pressure on Galesburg’s guards … it all came together on Thursday night in a masterful performance.

A game between two state-ranked girls basketball teams figured to be a slugfest, but Quincy High School made five of its first six shots, grabbed the lead early and never relinquished it in a surprisingly easy 62-43 victory in the QHS gymnasium.

The victory improved the Blue Devils’ record to 19-5, and they’re 8-2 in the Western Big Six, tied with Galesburg behind United Township (9-1).

“If we keep winning, we’ll see what happens,” QHS coach Brad Dance said. “That’s all I wanted tonight.”

Galesburg, ranked No. 6 in the Class 3A state poll, scored the first basket of the game on a 10-footer by Alexis Edgerson. The Blue Devils, ranked No. 8 in the Class 4A state poll, then scored their first five baskets on layups, thanks to lobs into the post. Brown scored three baskets, and Taylor Fohey, playing on a swollen ankle, gave a Willis Reed-like performance by scoring two baskets. 

(If you don’t know who Willis Reed is or what made him famous, use Google to look up “1970 NBA Finals Game 7.”)

“I didn’t know what we were going to get out of Taylor tonight,” Dance said. “She hadn’t practiced all week, and she practiced a little bit yesterday. I said, ‘If you can go through warmups, you’re going to start, and we’ll see how it goes. Once she got going, she was fine.”

Fohey averages 12.5 points per game, but her scoring wasn’t needed, and she finished with just six points. However, Brown shouldered the scoring load herself, finishing with 28 points — nearly double her average of 15.3 points per game.

Quincy led 32-20 at halftime, and Galesburg got as close as 34-26 early in the third quarter. However, Brown scored 10 points — on post-ups, lobs or offensive rebounds — to help the Blue Devils push the lead to 50-30 by the start of the fourth quarter.

“We made a couple of adjustments in our ‘five game’ that we can overcome when people sag off us,” Dance said. “Those adjustments really helped tonight, and we were able to get some quick looks and got a couple of quick-hitters that made a difference. (Galesburg) couldn’t switch as easily because they didn’t know where the screen was coming from.”

Oftentimes, the Silver Streaks didn’t know where the pass was coming from, either. The Blue Devils had an assist on 19 of their 27 baskets, helping them shoot a blistering 68 percent from the field. Longcor got plenty of attention for making five 3-pointers, but she also led her team with six assists.

“I credit the guards a ton because they did some great passing,” Dance said. “It helps that (Fohey and Brown) both have really good hands. We focus a lot on ripping through and getting to the bottom side to throw that bounce pass. It’s fun to watch because we share the ball.”

“I just had to get in front of them and work harder than (Galesburg) did so I could get the ball in front of me,” Brown said. 

Silver Streaks coach Evan Massey thought his team did a poor job defending the lobs into Brown.

“Their post players are really good, and they play good position,” he said. “To cover that, you’ve got to have all five people in sync, and we didn’t. One person breaks down and you’re giving up a layup. That’s what we did. We gave up lots of inside layups. We let the passers see. We didn’t put enough pressure on the perimeter.”

Thursday’s result now means three teams are within one game of the conference lead. It also was important for Quincy to even the score with Galesburg after losing 55-41 on the road on Dec. 7.

“We’ve gone, in a matter of two weeks, from being in control to being out of control,” Massey said.

“We knew we had to win tonight to go up in the conference,” Brown said. “So you knew you had you had to play hard.”

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