Lady Raiders roll into sectional finals despite erratic ball handling

Posted: Feb. 18, 2013 8:43 pm Updated: Mar. 4, 2013 9:15 pm

Herald-Whig Sports Writer

MT. ZION, Ill. —­ Quincy Notre Dame girls basketball coach Eric Orne said his team can't afford to have a repeat of its performance Monday night.

Twenty-three turnovers and numerous missed shots in the paint limited the Lady Raiders' offense during a Class 3A Mt. Zion Sectional semifinal game against Chatham Glenwood. Although QND pulled away in the second half for a 52-30 win at Mt. Zion High School, the Lady Raiders' ball handling concerned Orne.

"I thought we had terrible turnovers in the first half," said Orne, whose team won its 49th straight game. "We were catching the ball and throwing it away. We were trying too hard. Hopefully, we got that out of our system. We had 23 turnovers. We haven't had that many in the past three games combined."

QND, which is 26-0 and ranked No. 2 in 3A, will have a rematch with Champaign Centennial, which is ranked No. 3, in the sectional final Thursday. The Chargers (30-3) beat Taylorville 58-44 in the other semifinal Monday night.
Earlier this season, the Lady Raiders beat the Chargers 47-43 in Champaign, Ill.

"Tonight, we were able to get away with it," said Orne, whose team beat Glenwood 49-38 on Jan. 15. "That's not going to be the case Thursday. We know the trip, how long it is and know the gym a little bit better, so hopefully their nerves are calmed down. They're great kids and they always find a way to win. That's what I told the kids tonight, they always find a way."

Glenwood (18-10) harassing Lady Raiders senior forward Jordan Frericks kept the game close early. The Titans
double-team Frericks every time she touched the ball early, and limited her to 14 points on 3-of-13 shooting.

Titans coach Doug Collins wanted to be aggressive defensively against Frericks.

"We tried to be physical with her," Collins said. "I'm not sure we limited her as opposed to her having an off night. I'm proud of how our girls got in and fought against her."

As a team, QND shot 36 percent (16 of 44) from the field. Kassidy Gengenbacher led QND with 15 points, and Mary Beth Hugenberg added 10 points.

Both teams traded baskets to start before traded QND took the lead for good when Gengenbacher made a 3-pointer to give the Lady Raiders an 8-6 advantage with 4 minutes, 16 seconds left in the first quarter. It was the start of a 13-0 run that ended when Quenna Keating made a layup to make it 18-6 with 1:37 left in the first quarter.

"I think we needed to slow it down and get our feet underneath of us before we went up (to shoot)," Frericks said. "I know that was my problem for the beginning of the first half. At the beginning of the second half, we played our game and our pace. The first half was a struggle."

Kelly Graves led an aggressive Glenwood offense that allowed the Titans to cut the lead back to single digits, 27-19, with 32 seconds left before halftime. Nicole Hogan, who finished with 10 points, and Graves, who finished with seven points before she fouled out in the third quarter, aggressively attacked the rim throughout the second quarter.

Their aggression allowed the Titans to whittle the lead back to single digits, 27-19, with 32 seconds left before halftime. A steal by Kristen Gengenbacher allowed the Lady Raiders to seize the momentum back. After stealing the ball, Kristen flung the ball to Ericka Obert, who made a layup before the buzzer to give QND a 29-19 halftime lead.

"I think it helped us a lot, because our defense was really up, and we were more high-tempo," said Obert, who contributed four points off the bench. "At the end, that gave us more momentum going into the third."

In the third quarter, QND's defense took Glenwood out of the game. The Lady Raiders held the Titans scoreless the last 6:01 of the quarter, using the momentum to close the quarter on a 13-0 run that put QND ahead 45-23.

Frericks' 14 points gave her 1,869 career points, moving her past Karlee Gegenbacher, a 2010 QND graduate who finished with 1,867 points, for first place on the Lady Raiders' all-time scoring list. She moved past Karlee with 7:46 remaining in the fourth quarter when she made two free throws.

"I had no clue, honestly," Frericks said. "It was really special, having my team around me and having Coach Orne announcing it. It was really special, I didn't know how close I was. It's an honor and a great accomplishment."


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