By JOSH RIZZO
Herald-Whig Sports Writer
Maggie Bowles never let up.
Standing at the top of the 1-3-1 defense, the Unity girls basketball team's junior guard met whoever brought the ball up for Quincy High School's girls basketball team at midcourt.
Many times, she also came away with the ball. Bowles finished with 12 points and nine steals to help lead Class 1A Unity to a 62-45 win over the Class 4A Blue Devils at the KHQA/Subway Superfan Shootout on Friday at The Pit.
"I just watched the ball the whole time, and I wanted it really bad," Bowles said. "You just have to watch their eyes and the ball, and that's about it. We just get really wide, and our wings are really lanky and so am I. Everyone is just tall up top, and they can't see the post. There's too much pressure."
Breanne Begeman, who finished with 17 points and was named the game's Most Valuable Player, said Bowles did a good job altering passes.
"She always makes them throw floaters, and that's a big reliever," Begeman said. "That helps us shift over on defense."
Quincy (10-13) turned the ball over 26 times. The Blue Devils struggled from the field, shooting 16 of 63.
"Whatever is going on with the team has taken me by surprise," Blue Devils coach Demond Dade said. "They know what to do against (Unity's zone defense). Everybody's looking for somebody else to get the job done. They're coming up and passing cross court. They know you can't do that against the zone.
"You attack, penetration and bounce pass. They were lobbing the ball over the top and were trying to pass through to the next player. ... It's just a lack of discipline, a lack of execution and a lack of hustle."
Jill Donley buried what might have been the biggest shot of the game for Unity to open the fourth quarter.
The Lady Mustangs were playing without senior Brooklyn Moore, who scored a game-high 19 points and nine rebounds. She had picked up her fourth foul with 33 seconds left in the third quarter. Quincy was behind 45-38 when Donley's 3-poiter in the fourth quarter to push the lead to 48-38. The Blue Devils never got within seven for the rest of the game.
It was a shot Unity coach Brad Begeman was waiting for.
"They were creeping back in again when Jill hit that three from the corner," Begeman said. "That's what I told her at halftime: ‘We're still winning by five, Jill, and you ain't hit anything from the outside yet.' I just told her to keep firing because she's an excellent 3-point shooter. It was a big momentum switch."
After trading baskets to open the game, Unity (24-4) took the lead for good when Bowles scored on consecutive possessions to put the Lady Mustangs ahead 13-9 to close the first quarter.
Quincy cut the lead to 25-20 at halftime, but couldn't get the defensive stops they needed to take the lead. Arai'ya Dade finished with a team-high 14 points. Jordan Fletcher added 12 points for the Blue Devils.