By THE HERALD-WHIG
Demond Dade is counting on the character the Quincy High School girls basketball team showed Saturday to carry over to the rest of the season.
Humbled by a 51-point loss to Edwardsville in Friday's second game of the QHS Thanksgiving Tournament, the Blue Devils rebounded to split a pair of games Saturday at the QHS gym and finish in third place with a 2-2 mark.
Quincy knocked off Pittsfield 48-45 before losing to East St. Louis 49-44.
"We were together today, and we played well," said Dade, the first-year QHS coach. "We bounced back and pulled together as a team."
That showed after the first quarter against Pittsfield.
The Blue Devils trailed the Lady Saukees by a point going into the second quarter, but Quincy went on a 13-4 spurt to take control.
Arai'ya Dade scored six of her 12 points in that stretch, while the Blue Devils limited the Lady Saukees to one field goal.
Quincy's lead reached 11 points going into the fourth quarter before Shea O'Brien sparked a rally. The Pittsfield senior guard scored 10 of her game-high 23 points in the final stanza, including going 5 of 5 from the free-throw line.
Jordan Fletcher had 12 points for the Blue Devils (3-3), while Reagan Wellman added 10.
"We found out who we were," Dade said. "We showed some character."
The Blue Devils also discovered how much depth they had. Nine players scored against Pittsfield, while eight players scored against East St. Louis. Arai'ya Dade led the Blue Devils with 10 points against the Flyers.
"This was a good growing opportunity for us," Dade said.
Arai'ya Dade and Fletcher were first-team all-tournament selections. QHS's Angel Bradford and Reagan Wellman and Pittsfield's O'Brien were second-team selections. Pittsfield lost its second game Saturday 49-45 to Metro.