Wellman's shot catapults Blue Devils to another victory

Posted: Dec. 22, 2012 11:12 pm Updated: Jan. 13, 2013 1:15 am

Herald-Whig Sports Writer

Reagan Wellman was calm when she needed to be focused.

With 6 minutes, 17 seconds remaining and Saturday's game tied at 44, the Quincy High School sophomore guard caught a pass from Angel Bradford and spotted up to take a 3-pointer.

Wellman had missed her last two attempts from the perimeter, but she didn't hesitate. Wellman drained the shot, sparking a 10-2 run that allowed the QHS girls basketball team to beat West Hancock 64-53 at the QHS gym.

Being willing to take big shots is new for Wellman, who finished with 11 points and 3 of 5 from the 3-point line.

"Last year, I had a lot of trouble with confidence and shooting," Wellman said. "But my team and my coaches have been trying to get me to shoot more. They say I'm the shooter of the team and my team encourages me. I have enough confidence this year to go ahead and take the shots I need to take."

West Hancock never regained its momentum. Trailing by seven at halftime, the Titans tied the game at 44 on a 3-pointer by Haleigh Hammel on the previous possession.

"That was a punch in the gut for sure," West Hancock coach Adam Brumbaugh said of Wellman's shot. "We knew if we stayed close we'd have a chance. We were down seven at half and then had to chip away, chip away, chip away and when she (Hammel) made that three it was great. Quincy had open looks all game and they finally hit some."

Carly Runge made a layup to cut the lead to 47-46 before the Blue Devils slammed the door shut.

Wellman and Hannah Reller both made layups, before Anna Stock made a 3-pointer to push the led to 54-46 with nearly four minutes remaining.

Quincy's response to the momentum shift was what coach Demond Dade wanted.

"There was no leadership on the floor, so we challenged them to come out and have somebody step up and do the things that needed to be done," said Dade, whose team won its third consecutive game and beat the Titans for the second time in five days. Quincy beat West Hancock 43-39 at the Rumble on the River Tuesday night.

"We got that shot, that's the kind of thing we expect for our kids to shoot the open shot when it's there," Dade said. "Once we got that, they responded and played the defense we needed to get the job done."

Before the fourth-quarter run, the Blue Devils seemed to be in a daze. Quincy turned the ball over 29 times and struggled at times to get into rhythm without Jordan Fletcher on the floor and Arai'ya Dade in foul trouble. Fletcher limped off with a ankle injury in the first quarter, but she returned in the second half and finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in limited minutes.

Reller filled her roll, scoring a game-high 18 points and grabbing three rebounds.

"When we play down without Jordan -- she is a great strength for us because not very many people have her size -- the rest of us have to get strong," Reller said. "We have to go rebound and make good passes. I think we get more mentally tough and know we have to play smarter."

West Hancock started the second half on a 7-2 run, and the Titans were within one possession for most of the third quarter. The Titans never led and they turned the ball over 30 times. Hammel led West Hancock with 13 points and Alexis Dooley scored eight points and grabbed seven rebounds.




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