Raiders rebound to take third place in State Tournament

March 2, 2023 - Normal, Illinois - Members of the Quincy Notre Dame girls' basketball program celebrate with their Class 2A state trophy. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

The QND Raiders girls basketball team hoists the third place trophy, the 12th state tournament trophy in program history, following its win Thursday night over Chicago Butler College Prep. — Matt Schuckman

NORMAL, Ill. — It took nearly all of the two-and-a-half hours the Quincy Notre Dame girls basketball team had between Class 2A state tournament games Thursday to come to grips with the fact the Raiders weren’t coming home as champions.

Once the Raiders accepted that reality, they finished an incredible two-year run the most fitting way.

With a victory.

QND’s all-time leading scorer and all-time leading 3-point shooter spearheaded a spirited effort in the third-place game as Abbey Schreacke and Blair Eftink combined for 52 points in a 66-57 victory over Chicago Butler College Prep at Illinois State University’s Redbird Arena.

“Obviously, it’s not the trophy that we wanted,” QND senior guard Abbey Schreacke said after the Raiders finished 35-2 with the 12th state trophy in program history. “But ending the season and ending my high school career with a win is really special.”

The Raiders, ranked No. 1 in the state poll the entire season as the defending Class 2A state champion, saw their dreams of back-to-back championships dashed by a 61-54 loss to Breese Mater Dei in Thursday’s semifinals.

Mater Dei’s Alyssa Koerkenmeier, a 6-foot-5 sophomore, finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots. Mater Dei’s Amelia Beer had 19 points and Avery Trame had 12, both scoring off dribble penetration and helping the Knights own a 42-12 advantage overall in points in the paint.

Schreacke led the Raiders with 22 points, but went 8 of 21 from the field. Eftink had 16 points on 6-of-16 shooting. QND shot 37 percent from the field and 34 percent from 3-point range.

“It’s pretty hard playing a team when the lineup is all 6-foot,” Schreacke said. “It’s really tough for all of us. They’re all lengthy. It’s hard to even pass around them. We just had to work together and try to keep doing what we were doing when we didn’t have the advantage.”

Schreacke regained her rhythm in the third-place game, hitting a 3-pointer five seconds in and scoring 17 points in the first half. She finished with 23 points.

Eftink went 4 of 5 from 3-point range and scored 14 points in the third quarter as the advantage grew to eight points. She finished 7 of 10 from 3-point range and scored a game-high 29 points, putting quite the cap on her career.

“Incredible effort,” QND coach Eric Orne said. “She went out and had fun.”

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Want more Raiders? You can find the rest of Matt Schuckman’s coverage, the most complete coverage available, of QND’s State Tournament trip over on Muddy River Sports. JRG

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