Posted by – February 27, 2008
For the second straight season, the Quincy Notre Dame boys basketball team lost its opening game of the postseason. On Wednesday night, the Raiders rallied to force overtime before falling 78-74 to Springfield in the semifinals of the Class 3A Jacksonville Regional.
1. Tim Bearden
Bearden was one of the first players on the bus after the game. You can’t blame the senior guard for wanting to get out of the JHS Bowl as soon as possible. QND lost both of its games at the facility this season, including a 60-53 loss to Jacksonville on Jan. 26. Still, Bearden did all he could to keep his prep career going. He scored 19 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, and added seven assists and six rebounds.
2. Ryan Stuckman
If there’s a reason to look forward to next year, Stuckman’s one of the main ones. He had a team-high 21 points and added eight rebounds. He also appeared to take a charge right before halftime on a basket by Kyle Klunick. No call was made on the play and Klunick’s shot counted at the buzzer to make it a 25-25 game at the half.
3. Springfield’s Isiah Hale and Mark Gilchrese
Hale, a sophomore, and Gilchrese, a freshman, should give the Senators one of the best backcourt tandems in the Central State Eight — and maybe all of Class 3A — for the next two years. Both are lightning-quick and know how to get to the rim. Hale had 22 points and Gilchrese had 16 on Wednesday. If there’s a big man lurking on the Springfield High campus who can play, the Senators could be dangerous in years to come.
The game was played before a sparse crowd. It appeared Springfield supporters outnumbers QND fans and the JHS Bowl wasn’t even half filled. … It must be a good week to be a manager in the Gem City. A few days after B.J. Kroeger made his debut on Senior Night at QHS, QND manager Josh Hunsaker put on a uniform to participate in the 3-point shootout. He wound up with the best score of all the shooters, canning seven shots from behind the arc. He and teammates Cory Oliver and Nick Schulte advanced to Friday’s 3-point finals. Oliver and Schulte each made six shots. … Wednesday was my first time at the JHS Bowl. It’s an interesting place. I like the old team photos that ring the walls of the gym. The JHS Hall of Fame Room wasn’t open, which was disappointing. I liked the leather JHS couch in the corner, too. It looked like some guy slept on it for most of the game.
Posted by – February 26, 2008
To commemorate the Quincy Notre Dame girls basketball team’s undefeated run to the state tournament, the Herald-Whig will publish a special section on the team.
The section will be published in Thursday’s paper. It will preview the upcoming state tournament as well as look back on the 32-0 season the Lady Raiders have put together.
In Wednesday’s paper, I’ll have a look at the emergence of Quincy University sophomore Janette Burgin. As important at this week’s home games are for the QU men’s team, which is still trying to make the GLVC Tournament, the games against Rockhurst on Thursday and Drury on Saturday are just as important for the QU women. At No. 8 in the region rankings, the Lady Hawks need all the wins they can in order to get back to the NCAAs.
In addition to our special QND girls basketball section on Thursday, we’ll have full coverage of the QND and QHS boys basketball teams in their regional openers. We haven’t forgotten about Missouri either as Josh Houchins will take in what should be two dynamite district semifinal boys games at Palmyra on Wednesday night.
It’s a great time to be a sports fan. Until we get comments up on our blogs, which I’m told is coming soon, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or suggestions.
Posted by – February 23, 2008
There were smiles all around Pepsi Arena on Saturday afternoon as the QU men’s and women’s basketball teams finished season sweeps of Southern Indiana. The women pounded USI 89-59, while the men kept their postseason hopes alive with a 73-62 win.
In hockey-like fashion, here’s a look at my three stars from Saturday’s day at The Can:
1. Andre Muse
Welcome back, Andre. The crowd at Pepsi saw the return of the confident, sharp-shooting Muse. The senior had his first game of more than 20 points since before Christmas. He finished with 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field and did all of the things Hawk fans have come to expect from him. He drilled 3-pointers, beat guys off the dribble and hit fade-away jumpers with ease.
2. Janette Burgin
She had her second straight game of 20 or more points in helping the Lady Hawks continue their push for an NCAA Tournament berth. Burgin was deadly from behind the arc this week, hitting 10 3-pointers in two wins. She had four triples on Saturday as part of a career-best 23-point night. Teammate Megan Gavlick called Burgin the team’s "bazooka." She’s certainly turning into a nice weapon. You’ll be able to read more about her in Wednesday’s Whig.
3. Jessica Keller
The junior forward followed the first triple-double in program history by nearly recording another. Keller finished with 14 points, 11 rebounds and eight steals after going for 19 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists in Tuesday’s 98-82 victory over SIUE. Keller and Burgin have strong cases for GLVC Player of the Week honors.
The Southern Indiana men’s team is the worst I’ve ever seen. The Screaming Eagles had one legitimate player, post Norman Plummer, and just two others, Anthony Pimble and Dexter Powell, who would see time on a "normal" USI team. USI coach Rick Herdes told me before the game that he’s lost four scholarship players since the start of the school year. … For the first time in a while, the QU men’s team had 11 healthy players available. … The South Shelby girls basketball team got a good look at the Lady Hawks as the entire team took in Saturday’s game. Lady Hawks head coach JD Gravina is dating Meredith Rash, whose mother, Milly, is the Lady Birds’ head coach.
Posted by – February 22, 2008
After surviving Tuesday night for a 74-72 overtime victory in a must-win game against SIU-Edwardsville, the Quincy University men’s basketball team faces … another must-win game Saturday against Southern Indiana.
The Screaming Eagles are 7-9 in Great Lakes Valley Conference play, a game in front of QU (6-10) with three games to play. USI comes in fresh off a loss at SIUE on Thursday night, a game in which the Screaming Eagles blew a big halftime lead.
If the Hawks had their choice, they would have rather had USI win that game and push SIUE closer to the Hawks in the league standings. Now, SIUE (8-9) is a game and half ahead of QU. Had SIUE lost, the Hawks would have had a chance to tie SIUE for third in the GLVC West with a win Saturday. Instead, they can tie USI for third with a win at Pepsi Arena.
However, USI has two winnable games next week when Missouri-St. Louis and winless Missouri Science & Technology go to Evansville, Ind. Meanwhile, SIUE and QU will take turns hosting Rockhurst and Drury. Both schools should beat Rockhurst, but Drury is another animal. Drury is 20-3 overall and perfect in eight games against GLVC West foes this season. There’s no reason to think that either SIUE or QU has what it takes to upset the Panthers unless Steve Hesser decides to rest his starters like an NFL coach late in the season.
Should QU lose Saturday, it would be two games behind USI and SIUE with two games to play. It would be nearly impossible for the Hawks to catch either since both schools would only need to win once to knock QU out of the GLVC Tournament race.
If the Screaming Eagles are anything like their fandom, QU’s chances at winning Saturday are good. According the comments to this article by the Evansville Courier & Press, the fans are already looking toward next season.
Posted by – February 22, 2008
For some reason, July 3, 2006 will stick with me. It was the night former QU baseball player Josh Kinney made his big-league debut (and gave up a homer on his first ever pitch). It was also the night I thought the Bulls had made the leap by agreeing to a free-agent deal with Ben Wallace.
On Feb. 21, 2008, the Wallace era mercifully came to an end in Chicago. He was shipped to Cleveland as part of a three-team, 11-player deal at the NBA trade deadline.
Can’t say I hate the trade. Losing Wallace, an offensive liability, Joe Smith, who was playing well as of late and was a glue guy the Bulls needed, and the little-used Adrian Griffin is no big deal.
Can’t say that I love the trade either.
Where was this trade at months ago? At this time last year, the Bulls nearly had Pau Gasol. Earlier this season, the team nearly landed Kobe Bryant in a trade. Those two now make up a Lakers team that the NBA know-it-alls are fawning over.
If Larry Hughes can stay healthy (a big if), this might help the Bulls get up to the No. 8 spot in a weak Eastern Conference. Then they’ll be fodder for either Boston or Detroit (although the Bulls have played well against the Pistons.)
Posted by – February 9, 2008
Pitchers and catchers reported for spring training in Arizona and Florida last week, and it wasn’t long afterward that position players followed for the annual rite of spring.
For the first time since 2001, Mendon native Josh Rabe isn’t making the trip down south. An 11th round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins in the 2000 Major League Entry Draft, Rabe is without a team right now.
After playing parts of the last two seasons with the Twins, he was released by the team last October after spending most of the 2007 season on the injured reserve after undergoing shoulder surgery. He turned 29 in October and his playing window is starting to close a bit.
He may have to hook on with an independent league in order to show major league organizations he still has the ability to play.
The news is a bit better for our other major leaguer with local connections — former Quincy University pitcher Josh Kinney. Last month, he said was on track to pitch again for the St. Louis Cardinals sometime in spring training. He also realizes that he may have to do an injury-rehab stint in the minors to show the Cardinals’ brass he still has it.