With a wink and a smile: Longcor’s buzzer beater to end first half also shuts up teasing teammate


Quincy High School's Bradley Longcor III launches a 3-point shot over Belleville West's Daylen Byrd as the final second ticks off the clock in the second quarter of Tuesday night's Class 4A boys basketball sectional semifinal in the Panther Dome at O'Fallon Township High School. | David Adam photo

O’FALLON, Ill. — With four seconds left in the first half and his team leading 42-22, Quincy High School boys basketball coach Andy Douglas took Bradley Longcor III off the floor to prevent him from picking up his second foul.

However, after Belleville East had an over-and-back violation, leaving one second on the clock, Douglas put Longcor back in the game.

“We got the ball back, and I told him, ‘Brad, you ain’t gonna do nothing with one second left,’” senior guard Ralph Wires said teasingly. “I said, ‘You might as well sit on the bench with me.’”

Longcor used that one second to the fullest.

With Kamren Wires inbounding the ball at midcourt, Longcor used a screen from Camden Brown and bolted into the frontcourt. He caught Kamren Wires’ pass, taking one step but not taking a dribble. Longcor then launched a high-arching shot from one step beyond the 3-point stripe over the outstretched arm of the Maroons’ Daylen Byrd.

The shot banked in cleanly. It was the cherry on top of a 29-point explosion in the second quarter. Quincy led Belleville West 45-22 at the intermission and wasn’t threatened thereafter in a 74-46 victory in the Class 4A sectional semifinal in the Panther Dome at O’Fallon Township High School on Tuesday night.

“So I told him, and he hit it,” Ralph Wires said with a grin. “And (Longcor) winked at me. Just silence. I was joking with him, and he shut me up.”

Asked afterward about Ralph Wires’ ribbing, Longcor said, “Oh, we definitely made eye contact (after the shot). I definitely felt like I had a chance to make it.”

The key to getting Longcor open was Brown’s screen in the backcourt. Longcor used it to sprint up the floor and catch the pass from Kamren Wires with no one near him.

“Honestly, that was Camden and (Longcor) talking and just saying, ‘Hey, we need you to set a back screen’ so Brad could get the ball going towards the basket,” Blue Devils coach Andy Douglas said. “When you’re playing like he played in this game, any shot’s going to go in. It was big. Obviously, you talk a lot about momentum, and yeah, that gave us a lot of momentum.”

After Belleville West was outscored 29-8 in the quarter, Longcor’s shot was the final punch in the gut for the Maroons. The junior guard had 13 points in the quarter and 18 in the first half.

“That shot was a momentum changer,” Belleville West coach Alex Schobert said. “We were trying to talk on the fly there and switch that screen, and it didn’t happen. (Longcor) hit the shot. Obviously that’s a tough one.”

Ralph Wires called it the “exclamation point” to one of the best quarters of the season.

“That was kind of the ‘we can all go home now’ moment,” he said.

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