By JOSH RIZZO
Herald-Whig Sports Writer
The pace wasn't anything like the Quincy Notre Dame boys basketball team wanted Saturday night.
However, it was exactly what Pittsfield needed.
"We had to have it that way, play that type of game," Saukees coach Brad Tomhave said. "For a while, we were able to do it."
Just not long enough.
QND held Pittsfield scoreless for nearly four minutes of the second quarter, enabling the Raiders to go on an 8-0 run and pull away for a 53-33 victory at The Pit.
"They really slowed it down and almost stalled on us," said QND senior guard Sam Douglas, who finished with 10 points. "Later on, we picked up our pressure, forced them into turnovers and got quick buckets. We got them playing at our pace like we like to do. We also picked up our full-court man and forced some turnovers out of that."
Pittsfield (9-6) only attempted three shots and trailed 6-4 after the first quarter.
"We were able to guard and had some good defensive possessions that led to good offense," Tomhave said. "They turned the pressure up on us, and we didn't handle it real well in the halfcourt. We let our minds slip on us."
QND coach Scott Douglas said Pittsfield's tempo is deceiving.
"They put a lot of pressure on us to value possessions," he said. "For a team that seems to be a slow-down pace, it wasn't a slow-down pace. They get after you defensively and make you play fast."
Brant Bess found Wayde Smith, who finished with a team-high 12 points, cutting to the basket to cut QND's lead to 8-6 with 7 minutes, 15 seconds left in the second quarter.
After Smith's basket, QND went on an 8-0 run that pushed the lead to 16-6. Riley Walz started the run with a layup. After Alex Fitch scored on a layup, a Saukees' turnover setup a Nick Dietrich jumper, and Matt McPherson capped the run with a layup after a missed shot by Pittsfield.
Fitch, who finished with 17 points and seven rebounds, said QND (14-3) needed to get separation early.
"Pittsfield's a team that doesn't like to play at other team's paces," Fitch said. "They really do a good job of making sure they dictate your pace, no matter how fast you want to play like we do. For us, we had to make sure we took good shots... We didn't want to trade scores with them, we tried to get out and run and it worked better in the second than the first."
Pittsfield cut the lead to 16-11 on baskets by Kennedy Kattelman and Cameron Herring. Sam Douglas then made a 3-pointer with 1:54 left in the half, followed by a Fitch layup to give QND a 21-11 halftime lead. The Saukees never got closer than eight for the rest of the game.
Pittsfield shot 11 of 29 from the field and turned the ball over 23 times.
"Defensively, we were good," Scott Douglas said. "We stymied them and they didn't get a lot of great possessions. Offensively, I thought we were good enough. They make it hard on you, but tonight I think we had some good possessions. We created finally some opportunities defensively and got us easy ones (baskets) to extend the lead. Then they had to change how they played, they had to get shots quicker and I'm not sure they wanted to do that."