QND's Hugenberg celebrates her birthday with MVP performance in win

Posted: Dec. 1, 2013 12:01 am Updated: Dec. 22, 2013 12:15 am

Herald-Whig Sports Writer

As she collected her player of the game award Saturday at the Gully Transportation Tip-off Shootout, Quincy Notre Dame's Mary Beth Hugenberg was greeted to the chorus of "happy birthday" from her teammates.

But the greatest gift Hugenberg and her teammates delivered Saturday night was a convincing 71-30 victory over Keokuk at The Pit.

"It was fun," Hugenberg, who scored the first eight points of the game and finished with 16 points and 8 rebounds. "I've played basketball on my birthday the past two years. It's just a lot of fun to play on your birthday. I really like it."

Of the first eight points Hugenberg scored, four came on second-chance opportunities.

QND coach Eric Orne knows the importance of Hugenberg's interior presence, birthday or not.

"It's great for her. She's had a good start to the season, and we needed that," QND coach Eric Orne said. "We're not very big in the post, so when she has big games we really take off."

The Lady Raiders forced eight turnovers and cashed in on eight second-chance points in the first 6 minutes, 8 seconds to jump out to a 21-1 lead.

"We were focusing on, ‘Don't come out flat,' Hugenberg said after the Lady Raiders saw their 57-game winning streak snapped on Friday. "That's what the focus when we had shootaround today, just not to come out flat. ‘The streak starts again.' That's what we kept saying."

QND's (5-1) intensity was stamped all over the victory.

They didn't allow a field goal until the 1:30 mark in the first quarter and ran up a 37-11 halftime lead behind 15 offensive rebounds and 14 second-chance points.

The Lady Raiders had 22 offensive rebounds total.

"We knew they were a bigger group and they were going to command a lot of respect around the basket, especially when they're being aggressive getting to the boards," Keokuk coach Mike Davis said. "I just think our kids did a very poor job of rebounding."

Orne found their work on the glass to be a game-changer.

"{Offensive rebounds) were huge," Orne said. "Obviously, last night we had our work cut out for us. Tonight, I think they knew how much they had to work last night and it had a carry-over effect for us."

Kristen Gengenbacher added 13 points for the Lady Raiders, who will look to carry their momentum toward games against Pleasant Plains and Sacred Heart-Griffin next weekend.

"I think it's all part of the process this year of getting better each day, Orne said. "I think we're building some confidence going into a double-header next week with Plains and Sacred Heart. It's part of the simple things we're trying to do. Defensively, I like where we're coming. I just think we need to find some better sets offensively, and some other little things."




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