Prep Boys Basketball

Raiders nearly fall into trap, beat pesky Unity

Jacob Presser
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Feb. 12, 2019 1:05 am

MENDON, Ill. -- The Unity boys basketball team found out how good it could play.

Quincy Notre Dame found what a "trap game" is.

Unity had lost five of its last seven games and figured to be a huge underdog to a QND team that had won 11 of its last 13 games. However, the Mustangs trailed by only three points at halftime before finally succumbing 61-49 Monday night.

"I wish we could have played like this in the first half of the season," Unity junior Jacob Presser said. "We'd have a lot better record. Better late than never, I guess."

A "trap game" is a game in which a strong team faces a seemingly weak team before facing a formidable opponent. With West Hancock (20-2) on the docket Tuesday, the Raiders may have been guilty of looking past Unity.

"The guys came out of (Saturday's victory over) Pleasant Plains feeling pretty good about themselves, and they're looking at West Hancock tomorrow, and oh, by the way, we play Unity," QND coach Kevin Meyer said. "We did a disservice to the Mustangs."

QND (17-6) dominated the opening minutes, using three steals that led to layups to take a 12-2 lead. Unity (9-14) turned the ball over eight times but recovered to trail 18-14 after one quarter.

"We struggled early. We were a little nervous," Mustangs coach Keith Carothers said. "We haven't seen a full-court press like that."

Back-to-back three-point plays by Nick Schwartz and Dylan Foley put QND ahead 30-21, but Unity used 3-pointers from Presser and Cole Shaffer to get within 32-29. Presser made three 3-pointers and had 11 points in the first half.

"I was kind of surprised that all my shots were falling," Presser said. "I'm pumped up at halftime thinking, ‘Yeah, we can beat these guys.' I think my team believed it, too."

QND regained control in the third quarter, outscoring the Mustangs 13-2.

"You live by the three and die by the three," Presser said. "We shot ourselves out of the game."

"I'm really proud of what we did in the third quarter," Meyer said. "We're one basket away (in the fourth quarter) from this thing from going over the levee."

The Raiders built their lead to 52-34 with 5:10 to play, but Unity responded with nine straight points. QND finally put the game away with a driving layup and a dunk by Foley, who finished with 22 points.

"There's a lot of losses when I could come in here and pick us apart and complain about a lot of things, but this wasn't one of them," Carothers said.

QND forced 21 turnovers and outrebounded the Mustangs 34-19.

"A win is a win, but I'm a little frustrated in the performance piece," Meyer said.

Carothers saw potential for a good finish to the season.

"If we played that way against everybody all season, what would we be?" he said. "Let's bottle it up. We have to do a better job of playing this way all the time."

Quincy Notre Dame 61, Unity 49

QUINCY NOTRE DAME (17-6)

Foley 7-12 8-11 22, Hyer 3-5 0-2 6, Bottorff 1-4 0-2 2, Schwartz 5-9 3-3 13, Ray 3-9 4-5 10, Smith 1-3 0-0 2, Mast 2-2 0-0 4, Wedding 0-0 0-0 0, Becker 1-2 0-2 2, P. Sheffield 0-0 0-0 0, Hutson 0-0 0-0 0, J. Sheffield 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-46 15-25 61.

UNITY (9-14)

Jansen 3-8 8-8 14, Hildebrand 2-4 0-0 4, Shaffer 3-6 2-4 9, Cornwell 1-1 0-0 3, Voth 3-6 1-1 7, Presser 4-9 0-0 11, Duesterhaus 0-2 1-3 1, Bristow 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 16-37 12-17 49.

Quincy Notre Dame 18 14 13 16--61

Unity 14 15 2 18--49

3-point field goals--Unity 5-13 (Presser 3-5, Shaffer 1-2, Cornwell 1-1, Voth 0-3), Quincy Notre Dame 0-6 (Smith 0-2, Ray 0-2, Schwartz 0-1, Bottorff 0-1). Rebounds--Quincy Notre Dame 34 (Foley 7), Unity 19 (Duesterhaus, Shaffer 4). Turnovers--Unity 21, Quincy Notre Dame 17. Fouls--Unity 19, Quincy Notre Dame 18. Fouled out--Voth. Technical foul--Voth. Officials--John Dearing, Bill Hickox, John Schild.