Blue Devils rally in closing minutes to knock off Tigers

By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFFPosted: Dec. 29, 2019 12:40 am 

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. — The scenario wasn’t ideal, especially considering the opponent. 

The Quincy High School boys basketball team trailed Edwardsville 45-35 with 3 minutes, 27 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of Saturday night’s consolation bracket semifinal at the 36th annual Collinsville Prairie Farms Holiday Classic. 

“You typically don’t win a game like that against Edwardsville,” QHS coach Andy Douglas said. “They know how to take the air out of the ball and squeeze out victories in games like that.” 

The Blue Devils didn’t care who the opponent or what history suggested. 

Their will to win was too strong to be trumped by tradition. 

Jack Rupert hit a 3-point with 1:06 to play to make it a one-point game and Lucas Reis buried a game-winning trey with six seconds remaining as the Blue Devils rallied for a 51-50 victory in the auxiliary gym. 

Quincy (9-3) will face Belleville Althoff at 3 p.m. Monday in Vergil Fletcher Gym for the consolation championship and the chance to finish the tournament with a 3-1 record. 

“The big thing is they trusted each other,” Douglas said. “In the past, we would have fallen apart. You could see this group pulling for each other and telling each other to stay together. They made it happen.” 

The Blue Devils caught a couple of breaks, too. 

A three-point play by Jeremiah Talton started the final comeback and his 3-pointer made it 47-41 with 2:39 to play. Following a turnover by the Tigers, Talton made a pair of free throws and Edwardsville’s Ethan Young split a pair. Rupert then popped loose on the wing and buried a 3-pointer. 

Young was fouled again and split a pair of free throws again. Quincy’s Brady Rupert slipped behind Edwardsville’s defense to convert an uncontested layup to cut the deficit to 49-48 with 36 seconds to play. Instead of fouling immediately, the Blue Devils played looked for a steal before sending the Tigers’ Brennan Weller to the line with 22 seconds remaining. 

Weller made the first, missed the second and Talton grabbed the defensive rebound. Quincy got the ball into Crider’s hands and allowed him to drive baseline while Reis ran off a Talton screen. Crider kicked to Reis, who buried the shot for the one-point lead. 

Edwardsville didn’t get off a field goal attempt in the final seconds. 

“We executed it perfectly,” Douglas said. 

Talton led the Blue Devils with 22 points and seven rebounds, while Reis had 10 points and four assists. Crider finished with four assists. 

Quincy advanced to the semifinals by beating Rockford East 77-61 as Talton scored a career-high 30 points. Crider added 19 points, while Reis and Brady Rupert had 11 apiece. The Blue Devils built a 42-21 lead at halftime by limiting the E-Rabs to 33.3 percent shooting from the field in the first half. 

Collinsville Prairie Farms Holiday Classic 

Quincy 51, Edwardsville 50