Raiders pick up fourth victory in five games, but rotten third quarter leaves sour taste in mouth
HANNIBAL, Mo. — The Quincy Notre Dame boys basketball team enjoyed a solid first half on Saturday night against Hannibal.
Then the third quarter happened.
The Raiders led by 16 points at halftime, then made 10 of 11 free throws in the final four minutes of the game to hold off the Pirates 49-39 at Korf Gym.
But that third quarter had the Raiders shaking their heads.
“It was definitely kind of a rough night for us in that third quarter,” senior guard Jake Hoyt said. “It kind of set us back a little bit. We’ve just got to figure out time and score situations and find a bucket whenever the other team ups some pressure. We’ve got to be able to control that.”
How bad was the third quarter?
The Raiders took 12 shots and missed 11. They turned the ball over seven times. Josh Bocke scored 10 points in the first half, but he took only one shot in the third quarter. A pair of 3-pointers by Mason Hull and Kasen Sherwood, plus six points from Dae’Shon Glasgow, helped the Pirates get within 32-23 after three quarters.
A free throw by Mason Hull and an offensive rebound basket by Haden Robertson put Hannibal within six points with 6:28 remaining in the game.
“I thought in the first half, we looked like we were having fun,” Raiders coach Kevin Meyer said. “Then the second half, it became a job. A big thing for this group is trying to keep it fun. But a lot of credit goes to Marty (Hull, the Pirates’ coach) and his group. They made it tough. They made it turn into a job and made us work.”
Notre Dame (4-1) was patient and picked apart Hannibal’s zone in the first half, making 9 of 17 shots and turning the ball over just four times.
A defensive switch by Hannibal changed that.
“I didn’t think the man-to-man (defense) would work against them as well as it did,” Hull said. “I thought our zone would be good, but (QND) did a good job. I did a bad job of not scouting them long enough to think our man-to-man would work. They were picking us apart. I was like, we’ve got to do something different. Haden almost said it at the exact same time as I did about going to man. We had to get after it.”
The Raiders made just 4 of 18 shots in the second half, but they never allowed the lead to dwindle to less than six points. Bocke, who led the Raiders with 13 points, scored the only basket in the final four minutes.
Hoyt and Meyer both thought the Raiders were too quick to take the first shot they got in the second half.
“We’re not getting the best shot possible,” said Hoyt, who scored 12 points. “We kind of took the first ball reversal. Then if it was an open three, we took it. We’ve got to find more ways to get open layups and work through our offense.”
“A lot of those (missed shots in the third quarter) were no paint touches and shoot the three, which is not something we’re characteristically good at,” Meyer said. “We don’t want to do that. We want to get the ball inside, make the defense collapse and find shooters. We did that against the zone.
“When (Hannibal went) man, we should have been excited about it. … Run our stuff and execute the things we’re comfortable in. Tonight, we just never got comfortable.”
The Raiders shot just 37 percent (13 of 35) from the field, but they took twice as many free throws as Hannibal — making 20 out of 30, while the Pirates made just 7 of 15.
Glasgow led all scorers with 22 points, but the rest of the Pirates (2-3) made just six of 30 shots.
“We played with a sense of urgency in the second half,” Hull said. “We learned that hey, we’re good enough to play with these guys. We’re always better in January, in February than we are early. Give us another month of practices and just getting used to each other, and we’re going to be better.”
Meyer and Hoyt believe the same thing.
“I have high expectations, but they have high expectations as well, and we have a lot of leadership in there,” Meyer said. “We have a lot of guys who have played big minutes for us over the last three years. You know, just handle some of the pressure, handle the composure part of it.”
“We’ve been playing all right,” Hoyt said. “We have some setbacks every now and then, but we’ve just got to learn from them. Keep moving forward and get better.”
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