By THE HERALD-WHIG
CHATHAM, Ill. -- Quincy Notre Dame senior Kassidy Gengenbacher walked away from Tuesday night's game against Chatham Glenwood with a bloody nose she suffered from receiving a blow to the face late in the fourth quarter. She was more than willing to trade that for the Lady Raiders' 49-38 win.
After all, she figures the physical nature of Tuesday's game will only better prepare the Lady Raiders for the Class 3A postseason after they spent the last three years in 2A.
"It was a pretty physical," said Gengenbacher, who led QND with 22 points. "It was probably one of the most physical ones we've had all season, but I think that's good. We're in 3A now, and it's going to be more physical. And we have to step to that level too."
QND, ranked No. 3 in 3A, improved to 14-0 and won its 64th consecutive game against an opponent from Illinois. This one didn't come easy though. Gengenbacher picked up her fourth foul a few minutes into the third quarter, and she sat out until about six minutes remained in the game.
QND led 26-17 at halftime, but the lead was trimmed to two points by the middle of the fourth quarter. QND's defense prevented Glenwood from going ahead.
"We had good defensive stops, especially Cassidy (Foley) and Kristen (Gengenbacher) did really good at pressuring the ball tonight," Kassidy Gengenbacher said. "I think that helped us a lot down the stretch."
About 30 seconds remained when Kassidy Gengenbacher had her nose bloodied as Glenwood (10-6) tried to foul.
Kassidy Gengenbacher was 7 of 8 from the free-throw line and helped seal the win, but overall QND struggled from the charity stripe, going 14 of 26. The Lady Raiders also had a season-high 22 turnovers.
"We had one of those nights we can't have if we want to succeed in the postseason," QND coach Eric Orne said. "We got some key stops in the fourth quarter, which we needed when we couldn't convert our free throws.''
Mary Beth Hugenberg had nine points for QND, and Kristen Gengenbacher added eight. Jordan Frericks had just six points but made both of her field goals to stem the tide to Glenwood's rally while Kassidy Gengenbacher was out with foul trouble.
Tuesday's result ended a streak of three straight games in which the Lady Raiders beat their opponents by at least 35 points.
"It's getting close to postseason, so we need to have games like this," Kassidy Gengenbacher said, "because in the postseason, we're going to be tested like we were tonight. I think this just gives us a backbone for that."