Lady Raiders need to keep energy high during short turnaround

Posted: Feb. 23, 2013 10:30 pm Updated: Mar. 16, 2013 11:15 pm

Herald-Whig Sports Writer

MOUNT ZION, Ill. -- Mary Beth Hugenberg isn't concerned with the short turnaround.

The Quincy Notre Dame girls basketball team will have one day to prepare for its Class 3A super-sectional game against Breese Mater Dei (25-6) at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the University of Illinois-Springfield.

"Just the energy," Hugenberg said of what the Lady Raiders need to do to win. "That's the most important part, just staying focused and keeping up your energy level."

QND, which is 27-0 and ranked No. 2 in class 3A, already has experience playing state-level competition on short rest.

In a three-day span from Jan. 31-Feb. 2, the Lady Raiders beat three state-ranked foes -- Nashville, ranked No. 2 in Class 2A; Springfield, ranked No. 5 in Class 4A; and Rolling Meadows, ranked No. 3 in Class 4A.

"Those three games really taught us what we have to do," QND senior Kassidy Gengenbacher said. "We have to save our legs and how we have to be really efficient and work efficiently as a team. When we do that, we can be successful. … I don't think we'll have a problem coming out on Monday."

QND showed plenty of energy during its 62-37 victory Saturday over Champaign Centennial in the Class 3A Mount Zion Sectional championship game.

Lady Raiders coach Eric Orne hopes the momentum will carry over.

"From our standpoint, it's about finding a way to win," Orne said. "We beat a 30-win Champaign Centennial team by 20. That's confidence. Hopefully, that rolls over into Monday. We can't take anyone lightly."

Defensively, QND will aim to replicate its performance against Centennial. The Lady Raiders limited the Chargers to 41-percent shooting from the field (18 of 43).

With senior Jordan Frericks in foul trouble, the Lady Raiders played long stretches of Saturday's game without her. Gengenbacher stepped up, scoring a game-high 19 points, and Hugenberg chipped in 13 as the Lady Raiders never lost their lead after opening the game with a 10-0 run.

Cassidy Foley, who didn't play in the Lady Raiders' 47-43 win over Centennial on Dec. 21, added a strong defensive presence, limiting the Chargers' Chantal Meacham to four points. Foley also scored eight points.

"It's nice to have a player with so much experience like Cassidy," Gengenbacher said. "You could tell on the defensive end, she shut down (Meacham)."

While Orne doesn't have a lot of information on Mater Dei, he knows his team will be motivated to take another step toward a third straight state title.

"We hope it pays off," Orne said about playing a tough schedule. "The winner of the Waterloo Sectional is going to be a very good team. We are down to eight teams in 3A. We're going to have a tough opponent, and we have to be prepared for that. We a have a little information on Mater Dei. … Hopefully, after tonight we'll know some more. That's the fifth step we need to take, and we're looking forward to that."




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