QUINCY -- Deny and attack. It¹s the motto for Quincy's girls' basketball team tjhis season.|
"It¹s our style of defense,'' explained new Blue Devils coach Demond Dade. "Stay up at the line and deny the basketball to their player. Deny, put pressure on the team and force your will on the other team.''
For one half Tuesday night, everything was going according to plan for the Blue Devils.
But then United Township imposed its will and changed the game.
Leading only 16-13 at intermission, the Panthers finally pounced, using a 14-4 run in the third quarter en route to a 37-28 victory at Quincy in the Western Big 6 Conference opener.
"The only thing that changed was we stopped executing our offense and went away from our gameplan,'' Dade said. "We were failing to get the shots we wanted.''
The decision marked the 27th straight Western Big 6 Conference loss for Quincy, which falls to 1-1 overall. The victory was the first this season by UT (1-3).
"It seems like every time we come down to Quincy it¹s one of these types of games -- physical, not a lot of offense and a lot of defense,'' UT coach Justin Shiltz said. "Every game in our league is like this -- defensive-oriented. Points are at a premium. One down and nine to go.''
It was nearly four minutes before either team scored in the first quarter.
With 4 minutes, 20 seconds remaining in the period, Jordan Fletcher grabbed a rebound and drove the length of the court for a layup.
UT finished the quarter ahead 7-5 and erased a Quincy lead late in the second quarter before edging ahead 16-13 at intermission.
"They got us on our heels a little in the first half with their pressure,'' Shiltz said. "We weathered it, found ways to score and gutted out a win.''
During the game-deciding stretch, Quincy managed just one basket -- a bucket in the paint by Hannah Reller with 3:54 to play.
"During that stretch we weren¹t hitting shots and I think we got discouraged and people stopped taking shots,'' Dade said. "The ladies knew we needed to score and we went from no shots falling to taking the wrong shots.''
UT also stifled Quincy to open the fourth quarter, holding the Blue Devils scoreless until Fletcher drained a 3-pointer with 1:34 left in the game, the Panthers comfortably ahead, 37-20.
Freshman Jada Harris was the only Panther in double digits with 12 points. Quincy senior Jordan Fletcher led all scorers with 14 points, including three 3-pointers.
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