By DAN TOMLIN
Special to The Herald-Whig
EAST MOLINE, Ill. -- Quincy High School girls basketball coach Demond Dade smells something a little fishy.
The Blue Devils lost 56-39 to United Township on Thursday night as the Panthers went 21 of 25 from the free-throw line to just 3 of 14 for Quincy.
Quincy was whistled for 20 fouls to 13 for the United Township.
"It's almost like it's the Western Big 5 and Quincy," Dade said. "I've had coaches come up to me after games and apologize (for the way the game was called).
"But we can't let that be the reason we lose. Those are obstacles keeping us from playing the way we can."
The way the Blue Devils (9-8, 1-5 WB6) can play is fast and furious. For the first three quarters, they gave the Panthers all they could handle, and it could have been closer if the Blue Devils had hit more free throws.
"The girls have to learn how to take instruction," Dade said. "We're not taking adversity well right now. After halftime we told them to do A, B and C, and we scored right away. But the rest of the game X, Y and Z showed up."
It was as close as 42-37 before UT (12-7, 5-1) went on a 14-2 run to end the game. Quincy's only points in the final four minutes came from a Jordan Fletcher putback with a couple seconds left.
That capped a solid night for the senior center, who finished with 14 points, six blocks and five rebounds. That brought Fletcher's season total of blocks to more than 60.
Arai'ya Dade also got into double digits for the Blue Devils with 10 points and seven rebounds, but the Panthers held the Blue Devils to just 36-percent shooting.
Quincy limited UT to 22-percent shooting through the first three quarters, but the Panthers were 6 for 11 in the fourth quarter.
"It's just tough when I can't get a referee to tell me how close the girls need to get to get a count started," Dade said.
"When our team shoots as many free throws as one of their players, it's just tough."