By ANTHONY SANDOVALSpecial to the Herald-Whig
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. -- After failing to knock the Quincy High School girls basketball team out in the closing minutes back in December, Rock Island Alleman made sure it got the job done early this time around.
The Pioneers beat the Blue Devils 58-44 Thursday night at Don Morris Gym, avenging a two-point loss in the first half of the Western Big Six Conference season.
Quincy (10-12, 2-7 Big 6) was able to cut Alleman's lead to six after the half. Down 24-28, the Blue Devils' run stalled as the Pioneers ended the third quarter on a 8-0 run.
"We just failed to execute," Quincy coach Demond Dade said. "I felt like Alleman did a great job exploiting mismatches in the game. When we had our better guards in, they backed off. When we had weaker guards in, they pressed."
Quincy pulled within 10 points with four minutes to play. However, Alleman's Billie Franks and Anne Bohnert combined for six points to extend the lead back to 15.
"We were right where we wanted to be," Dade said. "They were clogging up the middle and taking advantage down low, and we didn't."
Quincy shot 32 percent (15 of 46) from the floor. Alleman outrebounded Quincy 34-30 and forced 24 turnovers
The Blue Devils were outscored at the free-throw line 30-12.
"Every game, one kid on the other team will shoot more free throws than our team total," Dade said.
"All year long we've been trying to get the kids to get over the lopsidedness of the calls. It's hard for them to get over some of those calls. We try to teach them to get over the adversity. You have to learn how to it in to production on the court."
Arai'ya Dade scored a game-high 19 points for the Blue Devils. Measha Ferguson-Smith and Angel Bradford added six points apiece.
"Points don't mean anything," Demond Dade said. "We continue to find the hard baskets, and we continue to let teams find the easy baskets. We're doing an excellent job keeping them from scoring field goals, but we got to keep them off the line. Once again, tonight, they went to the line and shot well, and that was the difference."