Blue Devils out to make statement with their defense
Quincy High School senior guard Jacob Jobe made 58 3-pointers last season and will be one of the primary offensive weapons this season for a team that is looking to build from its 16-10 finish a year ago. | H-W Photo/Phil Carlson Phil Carlson
Quincy High School junior forward Garrett Gadeke fires a pass during fast break drills as the Blue Devils went through the first week of practice. | H-W Photo/Michael Kipley Michael Kipley
QUINCY -- If all goes as planned, the placards hanging on the north wall in Blue Devil Gym which highlight the Quincy High School boys basketball program's team and individual records will need updated.
The Blue Devils simply have to be a little stingier to make it happen.Last year, Quincy trotted out one of the best defensive teams in program history as opponents averaged just 46.6 points per game. However, the Blue Devils allowed Galesburg to score 61 points and Rock Island to pile up 62 in the final month of the season and then gave up 53 points to Edwardsville in a regional semifinal loss.Shave a few points off in each of those games and maybe they would have challenged the 1991-92 team's record of 45.4 points allowed per game."It was kind of heartbreaking that we got so close but didn't make it," senior point guard Mike Dade said. "It's not only about holding teams down and giving ourselves a chance to win, but it's a pride thing."They have no intentions of coming up short this time."We had a tight-knit group last year," Dade said. "We're just as tight this year, which is why I feel we can accomplish so many things."Second-year Quincy coach Andy Douglas agrees, although he's a little more cautiously optimistic than his players."This team thinks, and for good reason, it can challenge those records," Douglas said. "What they have to understand is there other teams bringing in a lot of firepower. So it's going to be difficult for us to get there."With this group, as talented as we are defensively, that goal is within reach."?It's a mixture of quickness, length and tenacity that sets the Blue Devils apart.
Quincy averaged seven steals per game last season, limited opponents to 32.2 percent shooting from 3-point range and drew 20 charges. What the numbers don't show is the number of tipped passes and indecisive mistakes caused by the Blue Devils' quickness and pressure.
"Our defense was spot on," junior forward Parker Bland said. "We want to transfer that over and continue to play that way."
In turn, it will lead to better offensive flow.
Quincy averaged 49.8 points per game last season, shot 37.1 percent from 3-point range and dished out 11.4 assists per game. Lincoln Elbe, the point guard who averaged 10.3 points and 4.6 assists per game, is now starting as a freshman at John Wood Community College, but the rest of the lineup returns relatively intact.
Senior swingman Jake Jobe averaged 11.7 points last season, made 58 3-pointers and enjoyed what Douglas said was a great offseason. The left-handed shooter is capable of challenging single-game and single-season records because of his ability to shot over defenders and extend defenses.
He won't be the only one. Dade, senior guards Cameron and Carson Gay, junior guard Cameron Waggoner and sophomore guard Aaron Shoot also can stretch defenses. Dade and Cameron Gay each made 21 3-pointers last season.
"Knowing what everyone likes and dislikes, knowing how they're going to move, knowing where they want to shoot, it's going to make the chemistry of this team really, really good," Jobe said.
It helps having forwards who have the ability and desire to run the floor with the guards.
Bland begins his third varsity season, having averaged 8.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while providing the Blue Devils with some muscle inside. The 6-foot-4 Bland led Quincy with 11 charges taken and nine blocked shots. Add 6-3 junior forward Garrett Gadeke to the mix and the Blue Devils should be able to match up with most opponents.
"We're going to be a little more offensive-minded this year," Douglas said.
However, it will be defense that determines how successful this season is.
"Our team had a lot of pride at getting defensive stops last season," Douglas said. "We want to get into it right away and make it our mindset that defense is going to be our staple."
3 Aaron Shoot G 5-9 So.
4 Logan Brunenn G 5-10 Jr.
5 Mike Dade G 5-9 Sr.
10 Carson Gay G 5-9 Sr.
12 Jacob Ary G 5-11 So.
13 Elliot Briddle F 6-3 Sr.
20 Deven Smith G/F 6-1 Jr.
23 Cameron Gay G 5-9 Sr.
24 Ben Amos F 6-3 So.
30 Cameron Waggoner G 5-10 Jr.
31 Jake Jobe G 6-3 Sr.
32 Garrett Scott F 6-3 Jr.
40 Parker Bland F 6-4 Jr.
42 Garrett Gadeke F 6-3 Jr.
Date Opponent Time
Nov. 26 Chicago Carver^ 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 27 Urbana^ 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 28 Chicago Marshall^ 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 4 at Rock Island Alleman* 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 5 Oswego 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 11 at Rock Island* 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 12 Springfield 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 18 United Township* 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 19 at Quincy Notre Dame 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 28-30 at Collinsville Holiday Tournament TBA
Jan. 9 Collinsville 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 15 at Galesburg* 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 22 Moline* 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 23 Batavia 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 29 Rock Island Alleman* 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 30 at Columbia Hickman 3:30 p.m.
Feb. 5 Rock Island* 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 12 at United Township* 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 13 at Jacksonville 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 19 Galesburg* 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 26 at Moline 7:30 p.m.
^ 45th annual QHS Thanksgiving Tournament
* Western Big Six Conference