QUINCY -- What a day for Quincy Notre Dame senior Jakeb Wallingford to come back.
The All-State guard returned from injury and scored 14 points and pulled down 11 boards to help QND defeat Payson Seymour 70-42 in the QND Superfan Shootout on Friday.
"My teammates fed me all night long, so I got to give good props to them for looking for me in the middle," Wallingford said. "They did a good job. Coach said from the beginning of the game that we have to feed it down low and the guards did a good job of doing that."
Friday's game was the first game all season for Wallingford, who was the Raiders leading scorer in his junior season last year.
"It's just great to be out there with the guys and it's nice to play," Wallingford said. "I've been watching them have fun all year and it's great to be back."
QND also had a strong game from senior forward Alex Connoyer, who scored 21 points and went 5-for-6 from the free throw line.
Senior forward Bryan Dieker led Payson Seymour in scoring with 13 points, with sophomore guard Blake Schwartz adding 10 points.
"(Dieker) is our rock," said Indians head coach Tyler Duschinsky. "I think he's taken a beating throughout the year, but he doesn't complain and he doesn't argue. There's been times that I thought maybe he should, but that's just the type of kid he is."
The game was back-and-forth during the first quarter, with Payson Seymour holding a slim 15-14 lead by quarter's end.
"(QND) are probably the most physical team we've played this year," Duschinsky said. "From every position, they are physical. They came out and challenged us. I'm very proud of how we handled it. We didn't back down and we continued to fight."
The Raiders took control during the second quarter, taking a 32-24 lead by halftime.
Leading the turnaround was Connoyer and Wallingford, with the former scoring 16 first half points and the latter scoring 11 first half points.
"There for awhile, Alex was just getting to the base line and scoring," said QND head coach Alex Meyer. "Then he did a good job of getting some rebounds.
QND took a 48-35 lead by the end of the third quarter, but really pulled away in the fourth quarter, outscoring Payson by a 22-7 margin.
As the game went on, it became more physical with players from both teams battling for rebounds and loose balls.
"I think our depth helped us with that," Meyer said. "We were able to avoid foul trouble. We were able to run some other guys out there. Our length and our athleticism made a big difference in that."
Payson Seymour (14-11) will host West Central at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
It's been a rough stretch for the Indians, who have lost seven in a row, but have faced powerhouses such as Routt Catholic, Brown County, Camp Point Central and Southeastern.
"We are playing state ranked teams like every week," Duschinsky said. "It's tough losing, but I'm content with our effort in those games and I feel like we are getting better."
QND (14-8) will face Northeast (13-7) in the QND Shootout at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
Meyer said he is excited to talk to other coaches and watch Saturday's action prior to QND's game.
"When you are here in The Pit, it's a great place to play," Meyer said. "Obviously it's home for us, but it's exciting to have this many great teams come in tomorrow."
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.