By DANIEL MAKAREWICZ
Special to The Herald-Whig
GALESBURG, Ill. -- As he exited the locker room on Wednesday night, Quincy Notre Dame boys basketball coach Scott Douglas uttered a statement that was both truthful and telling.
"I don't know if we've played much better all year," Douglas said.
Rock Island Alleman certainly would not disagree.
The Raiders were efficient on offense and stingy on defense as they dominated every aspect of the game. All that led to top-seeded QND rolling to a 70-27 win over Alleman in a Class 3A Galesburg Regional semifinal at John Thiel Gymnasium.
It is QND's most lopsided postseason victory since a 93-42 win over Unity in the 2004 regional opener.
"When you're in the postseason, you don't expect any games to be like this," QND senior guard Alex Fitch said as the Raiders (21-7) advance to face second-seeded Galesburg at 7:30 p.m. Friday for the regional championship. "It comes to show you how well we can play when we are ready to go."
The Pioneers were left to absorb the blow.
"They knew exactly how to stop us," Alleman senior guard Adam Hoogerwerf said. "They took away all penetration to the basket. Their big guys did a good job of stepping up when you did get to the basket and making sure you didn't get a clean shot. They knew how to beat us."
Hoogerwerf was speaking on the Raiders' stifling defense that allowed seven field goals in the final three quarters and held Alleman without a basket for more than 10 minutes.
However, the offense may have been more impressive.
QND (21-7) did not commit a turnover until 1 minute, 27 seconds remained in the first half. The Raiders also connected on half of their 14 attempts from the 3-point arc in that span.
Inside the 3-point line in the first half, the Raiders hit 7 of 13 attempts.
"Pretty much everything was going their way," Alleman coach Pat Rangel said. "You could say the opposite for us. One of those nights. ... We just didn't execute."
The Raiders sure did.
"We came out with a real sense of urgency we haven't had sometimes throughout the year," Fitch said. "We realized it's win-or-go-home time, so that brings the best out of everyone. A lot of guys stepped up."
Eleven players saw the court for QND, with 10 scoring at least two points. Fitch led the way with a game-high 15 points, seven assists and three steals. Matt McPherson added 14 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks.
QND shot 53.7 percent (29 of 54) from the field, had 18 assists against seven turnovers and held a 30-18 advantage on the glass.
"We were really, really sound defensively and we rebounded well," Douglas said. "We were really sharp offensively."
In reaching the regional championship game for the 15th time in Douglas' 17-year tenure, the Raiders allowed the third-fewest points this season. Alleman had its worst offensive output on the year.
"If they play like that," Rangel said, "they're going to be a hard team to beat."