Blue Devils shoot plenty of layups while sharing ball in commanding road victory over Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE, Ill. — How easy was it for the Quincy High School boys basketball team to score against a porous Jacksonville defense on Saturday night?
One play in the second quarter provided a perfect example.
Blue Devils guard Kamren Wires was about to be trapped by two Jacksonville defenders in front of the Quincy bench, but a spin move allowed him to avoid both and head across mid-court. Wires blew past another defender, then as he headed to the basket, he figured to have a player on either side of the lane to dish the ball to.
However, Jacksonville didn’t follow the first rule of fastbreak defense — stop the ball. Two Crimsons defenders failed to leave their men to help stop Wires, who soared in for an acrobatic layup and brought his teammates on the bench to their feet.
That basket put Blue Devils ahead 38-11 midway through the quarter, and they never let the lead dip below 18 points thereafter in posting a 71-44 victory at the Bowl.
“I thought that was pretty awesome,” Wires said. “That was probably one of the best plays I’ve made. I feel like I work on that a lot, so I feel like I can do those type of things.”
Not all of Quincy’s shots were as spectacular as Wires’, but there were layups aplenty against Jacksonville.
Quincy made 18 of 25 shots (72 percent) in the first half, then made seven of its first 10 shots in the third quarter to push the lead to 59-26. Many of the shots were in transition as the Crimsons missed 19 of 28 3-point shots, leading to long rebounds, long passes and fast-break layups for the Blue Devils.
“I thought Brad (Longcor) did a really good job of pitching the ball ahead,” QHS coach Andy Douglas said. “He made some phenomenal passes in transition. The thing that he has to understand, and all of our guys have to understand, is look at the shots we got today. They were all great shots, and everybody got shots. It wasn’t like it was like Brad and Camden (Brown) were only getting shots. Everybody had great opportunities.”
Quincy (26-3) shared the ball, with Longcor leading the team with 15 points. Brown added 14, including three dunks, and KeShaun Thomas had 12 points while setting up several teammates for points on passes out of the post. Dom Clay and Wires each added eight points. The Blue Devils made 30 out of 50 field goals (60 percent), with the reserves finishing the game by missing eight of nine shots.
The willingness to share the ball was missing from Friday night’s 42-41 loss at Moline, Douglas said.
“We had 30 possessions last night where it was one pass or zero passes, maybe two passes,” he said. “We had very few that had three or more passes. Sharing the ball is contagious, and not sharing it is also contagious, especially with a team like this with a lot of weapons. One person or two people take a quick shot and others would think, ‘OK, well I need to shoot, because I’m probably not going to get it back.’ It was highly contagious last night.
“On the flip side of it, tonight it was also contagious sharing the basketball.”
Jacksonville led 5-3 before Quincy took control, scoring 16 consecutive points on five layups and two 3-pointers from Longcor. The Crimsons missed nine straight shots to help fuel the run.
Cody Fry made five 3-pointers for 15 points for the Crimsons (11-17), who have lost six straight games.
Douglas was anxious to move on from Friday’s loss and get his team ready for a rare Western Big Six Conference back-to-back doubleheader against Rock Island, starting at home Tuesday night. He said attending the funeral of Dick Thompson, a former Quincy High School standout athlete and long-time educator, helped him calm down before meeting with his team Saturday.
“I told the guys (Saturday) morning, ‘Give me about 10 minutes being upset and then I’m moving on,’” Douglas said. “It’s still all about learning. You wouldn’t think that at this point (of the season), you would still be learning, but they’re high school athletes. They’re learning, and we’re learning as coaches. We learned that we can’t have 30 offensive possessions with a shot under three passes.”
Saturday night’s offensive unselfishness and efficiency were much more pleasing.
“We all drive efficiently, and we all can attack very well,” Wires said. “We’ve got probably seven or eight guys who can get to the rim and can make a play.”
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