Schuck's Clipboard

Beyond the Boxscore: Cooler heads prevail after contentious ending

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jan. 27, 2019 12:40 am Updated: Jan. 27, 2019 12:41 am

Expect a rather sizable FedEx or UPS package to be delivered to DePaul College Prep in the coming days.

The boys basketball team is going to need it if the Rams want to look the same for warmups.

After a tense end to regulation and Quincy High School's spirited effort in overtime that led to a 64-52 victory Saturday night in the marquee matchup of the Quincy Shootout at Blue Devil Gym, some verbal sparring between the teams and coaches took place in the handshake line. Cooler heads, with the help of school security, prevailed in the end and both teams were ushered to their respective locker rooms.

But in the haste of the moment and the urgency to gather their gear from the locker room and get on the bus, the Rams left their warmups behind the bench and forget to collect them. So QHS athletic director Scott Douglas gathered them up, folded them and planned to ship them to the school as soon as he could.

By then, all that transpired in about a 15-minute stretch late Saturday night should be forgotten. At the very least, tempers should no longer be flaring.

Twenty minutes or so after leaving the floor, DePaul Prep coach Tom Kleinschmidt had mellowed. So had QHS coach Andy Douglas.

Here's what happened: Quincy guard Jaeden Smith was fouled with 17.1 seconds remaining in regulation and the Blue Devils ahead by two. He made 1 of 2 free throws, missing the second with the Rams grabbing the rebound. Kleinschmidt called timeout with 10.7 seconds left and designed two plays in the huddle, hoping one or the other would get an open look from 3-point range.

One of them did. The Rams got the ball Pavle Pantovic in the high post, and he quickly swung a pass to Perry Cowan just to the right of the top of the key. Cowan buried the 3-pointer -- his only 3-point attempt on a 22-point night -- to tie the game at 49. Douglas immediately began calling for a timeout and the clock was stopped with .9 seconds remaining.

Here's where it got more contentious: The three game officials -- Ed Swan, Bill Leonard and Glen Pickens are from the Springfield area and officiate many Central State Eight Conference games -- gathered during the timeout to discuss the situation and agreed to put time back on the clock. They settled on 2.5 seconds, which gave the Blue Devils ample time to inbound the ball from the baseline, dribble and get a shot off.

By rule, officials can adjust the time if they feel a timekeeper didn't start or stop the clock at the right time. All three game officials have to be in agreement to make such a change.

Kleinschmidt argued the clock should have stayed at .9 seconds and voiced his displeasure in the direction of the scorer's table and the event organizers standing nearby.

In overtime, the Rams had two players foul out after they had lost a starter to fouls in the fourth quarter. The Blue Devils went 11 of 12 from the free-throw line in the extra period to salt away their fourth straight home victory.

When the teams shook hands, Kleinschmidt continued to vent about the situation. Words were exchanged and the coaches ending up barking at each other and had to be restrained by their assistants. On-site security and school administrators made sure nothing escalated beyond that.

After the game, Kleinschmidt said the shootout experience and how the team was treated by event staff, fans and people around Quincy was very good. The situation at the end of the game and the lopsided number of fouls called left him with a bitter taste in his mouth.

"But you move on," Kleinschmidt said. "We'll be better for having gone through it."

Douglas echoed that sentiment. He credited his players for keeping their poise after DePaul Prep forced overtime and wished the postgame confrontation could have been avoided. He said he'll learn from it.

"You have to move on," Douglas said. "This game will help us. That's what we have to concentrate on."


Rupert, Reis deliver for Blue Devils

Brady Rupert has been coming off the bench for the Blue Devils since mid-December, but Saturday night, he drew a surprise start and he made the move look ingenious.

Rupert scored three times in the second quarter as the Blue Devils built a 24-16 lead with 4:30 to play before halftime. He went 5 of 6 from the field and scored 10 points, becoming one of five players in double figures. The player he replaced in the starting lineup -- junior guard Lucas Reis -- also had quality minutes throughout the night.

Reis entered the game two minutes into the first quarter and helped the Blue Devils weather the storm against the Rams' pressure defense. Quincy committed 12 turnovers in the first half, but it had only four in the second half and overtime combined. Reis finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists in one of his most complete efforts of the season.


Knowing how to use a timeout

Whatever Kleinschmidt says or does during a timeout, he needs to bottle it and sell it. Other coaches will want to use his tricks.

With 5:19 remaining in the first half Saturday night, Kleinschmidt called a timeout with the Rams trailing 22-14. By the time the half ended, DePaul Prep had gone on a 15-2 run and taken a 29-24 lead. During that stretch, the Blue Devils went 1 of 4 from the field and committed six turnovers that led directly to nine points.

This wasn't the first time a timeout helped the Rams regroup. Friday night against Quincy Notre Dame, the Rams turned the ball over twice to start the fourth quarter and allowed the Raiders to pull within 56-48. DePaul Prep had led by 20 points at halftime. So Kleinschmidt called a timeout with seven minutes to play, and the Rams responded with a 16-1 run to close the game. DePaul Prep forced QND into five turnovers in that stretch.