ROCK ISLAND, Ill. -- Despite the final score, Quincy High School girls basketball coach Martin Pazanin was very happy with the way his team played Thursday night. In spite of the final score, Rock Island coach Henry Hall was none too pleased about the way his team played.
Rock Island has Brea Beal and Quincy does not.
Beal put her team on her shoulders and willed the state-ranked Rocks to a 51-43 Western Big Six Conference victory over the Blue Devils at Rock Island High School's small gym.
It was the Rocks' 33rd consecutive WB6 victory.
"You could see this coming," said Hall, whose team was ranked third in the first Class 4A state poll of the season. "We did not practice well (Wednesday), and you could see we were out of sync the whole time. The effort was there, but we just didn't do a lot of things right. That will catch up to us at some point.
"Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with the win, but this is on me for not getting them ready. We will get it figured out."
Pazanin felt like his team played its best game of the season, especially on defense.
"In the first quarter, we ran the offense well and just had some shots that didn't fall," said Pazanin, whose team received votes in the state poll. "Because of that, Rock Island built a little lead and forced us to play from behind most of the night.
"We had great energy and enthusiasm and we pushed them to the end. Our girls know they are pretty good already. We have confidence in this group they can play with anyone. We are not happy that we lost but there were a lot of positives in this one."
Every time the Rocks (7-0, 3-0 WB6) appeared to be ready to take control of the game, the Blue Devils (9-2, 1-2 WB6) would made a run to get back in the game.
"I think we were just sitting back expecting that run was going to come," Hall said. "Quincy really played hard and really clogged up the middle. They made it tough for us all night."
The one place Quincy could not stop the Rocks was when Beal decided to take over. The senior made 10 of her 17 shots and got to the free-throw line 12 times to finish another huge night with 27 points, 15 rebounds, five steals, two assists and two blocks.
Hannah Simmer finished with nine points and eight rebounds. No one else had more than three points.
"When every game starts, the goal is to get everyone involved as soon as possible," Beal said. "This is the second straight game where the shots weren't falling and the offense wasn't flowing. That's when I decide to take the game over.
"I feel like we are taking teams for granted a little bit and we have to understand anyone can beat us. Quincy was really aggressive and played hard but I still think it was moreso us making it difficult on ourselves."
Panazin said his team did everything it wanted to against Beal.
"This just shows how good she is," he said. "She is an extremely special player. We did all we could to slow her down. We got back within 30-27 and she just took over with two straight power moves inside."
Sarah Nelson and Olivia Edwards led the Blue Devils with 12 points each, Edwards also had four rebounds and four assists.
Rock Island 51, Quincy 43
QUINCY (9-2, 1-2 WB6)
Edwards 6-9 0-0 12, Espinoza 1-8 2-2 4, Anders 3-10 0-0 7, Carothers 4-10 0-2 8, Nelson 3-6 5-6 12, Sapp 0-0 0-0 0, Chevalier 0-1 0-0 0, Hultz 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 17-45 7-10 43.
ROCK ISLAND (7-0, 3-0 WB6)
Beal 10-17 7-12 27, McDuffy 1-4 1-2 3, Williams 0-6 1-2 1, Simmer 4-8 1-2 9, Camlin 1-4 1-2 3, Engholm 1-5 0-0 2, Winter 1-4 0-0 3, Larson 1-3 0-0 3, Freeman 0-0 0-0 0, Sims 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-51 11-20 51.
Quincy 10 11 9 13--43
Rock Island 16 12 14 9--51
3-pointers--Quincy 2-15 (Anders 1-6, Nelson 1-2, Espinoza 0-4, Edwards 0-2, Chevalier 0-1), Rock Island 2-17 (Winter 1-2, Larson 1-2, Beal 0-5, Simmer 0-3, Engholm 0-2, McDuffy 0-1, Williams 0-1, Camlin 0-1). Rebounds--Quincy 28 (Carothers 7), Rock Island 37 (Beal 15). Assists--Quincy 8 (Edwards 4), Rock Island 5 (Beal, Camlin 2). Steals--Quincy 7 (Espinoza 3), Rock Island 10 (Beal 5). Blocks--Quincy 1 (Nelson), Rock Island 3 (Beal 2). Turnovers--Quincy 19, Rock Island 15. Fouls--Quincy 15, Rock Island 10. Fouled out--None.