Back home again: Quincy girls start fast en route to 58-28 thumping of Hannibal


Quincy High School's Leila Dade tries to stop Hannibal's Alyson Falconer from shooting during Wednesday night's girls basketball game at the QHS gymnasium. | David Adam photo

QUINCY — Leah Chevalier’s reasoning was understandable.

Slightly flawed, maybe, but completely understandable.

“This win allowed us to finish unbeaten at home,” said the Quincy High School girls basketball team’s senior point guard following Wednesday night’s 58-28 victory over Hannibal in front of a crowd of about 550 at the QHS gym.

But … ummm … Leah, what about that loss to United Township last Saturday? That was at Quincy High School, too.

“That game was in Blue Devil Gym, and that’s not where we usually play,” Chevalier said. “We consider this our home court.”

“This” referred to the smaller gymnasium in the northeast corner of the QHS complex, rather than spacious Blue Devil Gym. United Township collected a 41-22 victory over the QHS girls on that foreign Blue Devil Gym floor, because the QHS gym was being used for postseason wrestling.

The victory over Hannibal meant the Quincy girls finish 9-0 this season on their “home” floor in a game that was all but over after the first quarter. QHS led 21-3 after the opening eight minutes.

The game had a celebratory feel to it, despite the Blue Devils (23-6) coming off that loss to United Township. QHS coach Brad Dance subbed often and freely on Senior Night, which offered a pregame ceremony honoring the team’s five upperclassmen.

“I knew the girls would be ready, and they came to play,” Dance said. “I was especially happy to have been able to play all five of our seniors in all four of the quarters.”

One of those seniors, guard Leila Dade, led Quincy with 16 points, including four 3-point field goals — three of those triples coming in back-to-back-to-back fashion in the third quarter. Dade’s third-quarter shooting spurred a 15-0 run by Quincy that helped build a 48-17 going into the final period.

“Hitting those 3-pointers just felt amazing,” said Dade, who entered the night averaging 6.2 points a game. 

Dade, who also led the Blue Devils with four assists, drew praise from Hannibal coach Shawn Gaines, too.

“We did not expect (those 3-pointers) from Dade,” Gaines said. “Those made a huge, huge difference.”

Gaines said all is not lost for Hannibal, now 11-9. The Pirates have five regular-season games remaining before postseason play in Missouri opens late this month.

“I think we’re close to where we need to be,” he said. “We’ll just have to keep working the next few weeks.” 

Dade said Quincy’s fast start was no accident. She and her teammates were determined there would be no sort of lingering malaise from that weekend defeat.

“We knew how important it was to bounce back from that loss on Saturday,” Dade said.

So did Dance.

“I knew the girls would be ready — and they came to play,” said Dance, whose club is 43-18 over the past two years. The QHS program is in the midst of a seventh straight winning season.

Freshman forward Jada Brown dropped through 13 points and led QHS with eight rebounds. She entered the game averaging team highs in both categories (15.9 and 6.8).

Senior center Taylor Fohey scored nine points and grabbed six rebounds. Guard Bri Lannerd, another senior, delivered seven points.

Zaria Reese (8) and Abbie Martin (7) combined for 15 points for Hannibal.

Quincy closes its regular season Thursday night with a Western Big 6 game at Moline (5-22, 2-11). The Blue Devils are 10-3 in conference play.

Quincy will begin postseason action Monday vs. Belleville East in a regional game at O’Fallon.

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