David Adam

Beyond the Boxscore: Raiders find ways to fill time between games

Quincy Notre Dame's Nick Schwartz looks to pass while being guarded by Farmington's Jaden Rutledge during Monday's game at Bloomington Central Catholic. | H-W Photo/David Adam
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jan. 22, 2019 12:40 am Updated: Jan. 22, 2019 10:16 am

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- One of the biggest challenges of Monday's doubleheader at the Bloomington Central Catholic Shootout was how to pass the time between games.

After a victory over Farmington, the Quincy Notre Dame boys basketball team left Cvengros Gymnasium to grab a bite to eat at Chick-Fil-A while the coaches stayed to scout the Williamsville-Bloomington Central Catholic game. When the team returned to the gym at 2 p.m., they had about 90 minutes to entertain themselves.

Most of them played on their phones, while some of them watched the BCC girls during their one-hour practice. A few of them tried to find a spot in the bleachers to take a nap.

Dylan Foley took the opportunity to visit Heartland Community College, where he will go to school next year, and the Corn Crib, where he will play baseball.

"It's been a long day," Foley said after the second game of the day against Williamsville.

Raiders coach Kevin Meyer didn't mind. He was just happy for the games. QND had played one game since Dec. 29.

"It was windy and cold on the drive up here, and I was worried what was going to happen," he said. "I half expected a call when we got to Springfield to say we weren't going to get to play.

"We were rusty for three quarters, but we're very happy we got to play a game today."

Mast makes difference

It's not easy to make a difference in two games when you don't make a field goal, but Alex Mast pulled it off.

He played much of the Farmington game because Meyer decided to abandon the 1-2-2 zone press and go to a man-to-man full-court press, which played to Mast's strength. He helped create many of the 19 turnovers that the Farmers committed.

Mast got even more time against Farmington when starting guards Nick Schwartz and Grant Hyer were on the bench in foul trouble.

"There's a guy who can come off the bench to give us some stops," Meyer said. "Not only do we ask him to defend their best player, but run the point for us, too. We only had six turnovers in the second half (against Farmington), and we had to play small when they spread us out.

"He was really good for both games."

Mast only scored two points, a pair of free throws in the Farmington game, on Monday.

Strange technical

The Raiders led Farmington 61-53 with 1:26 remaining in the fourth quarter after Nick Schwartz made two free throws. On the ensuing inbounds play, Schwartz was slapped with a technical foul, and the explanation given to Meyer confused him.

"It didn't make a lot of sense," Meyer said. "Even right before that when Nick got fouled, I didn't see a foul. I guess there were two guys butting heads, and one guy saying something, but a couple of our guys ran to Nick's defense and said, 'Nick didn't say anything.' Maybe they were trying to limit some emotions, but I didn't see anything there."

Schwartz said one of the Farmington players was boxing him out after he shot the second free throw.

"I knocked his arm off me, and I went to guard somebody," he said. "That's when he hip-checked me, and then they called it. I didn't ask for any explanation. Another ref was kind of mad at me, and Mast grabbed me and pulled me away. But I didn't say anything to the kid."

Corbin Rutledge made two free throws, and the Farmers had the ball down by six points. Mast, however, stole the first pass on the ensuing possession, and he made two free throws to seal the victory.

Bullets without two starters

Williamsville was shorthanded for its game against the Raiders.

Starter Wyatt Peek didn't play in either game because of a bruise on his pelvic area suffered against Petersburg Porta last week. Ryan Nevill, another starter, had a knee contusion in the BCC game and didn't play against QND.

During the game against QND, Keegan McGann had cramps in his left calf, and Griffin Keebler took a knee to the head on a loose ball and missed several minutes.

"No excuses. It gave some other guys opportunities," Bullets coach Nick Beard said. "We got stops early, and then we let Foley get off a little bit. Once they got rolling, they were getting easy looks. We didn't make them work very hard."