VIDEO: QND welcomes home Lady Raiders
2 months, 1 week ago
Three time state champions honored
Quincy Notre Dame held a pep rally Monday afternoon for the QND Lady Raiders basketball team.
The Welcome Home pep rally celebrated a record third-consecutive state championship and an undefeated season of 30-0. Not only was it QND's 5th trip to the state tournament in the last 6 years, but with the win, QND becomes the first program to win back-to-back titles in different classes, having won the 2A championship the previous two seasons. QND Principal Mark McDowell spoke first at the rally and went into detail about just how successful the QND Lady Raiders have been.
"Allow me to put it in perspective, over the course of the last 4 years, this team has traveled thousands of miles, worked thousands of hours, has competed in over 129 games. Of those 129 games, 124 of them were wins. That means they've had a winning percentage over the last 4 years of over 96%, a number that most programs would love to have just 1 year, let only 4 consecutive years."
McDowell goes on to say that this team of girls have made history.
"I couldn't be more happy and more proud to say that our Lady Raiders are #1 in the state for the 3rd consecutive year and the only program of the hundreds that exist in the IHSA who now and in the past to have won consecutive titles in 2 different classes."
Quincy Mayor John Spring was one of many in attendance for the rally and declared Monday, March 4th as Quincy Lady Raider basketball day in Quincy.
The Quincy Notre Dame Lady Raiders were moved up a class by the IHSA this season, but they proved they remained the class of Illinois girls high school hoops.
QND won the 3A state title with a 62-45 win over Vernon Hills Saturday afternoon at Illlinois State University's Redbird Arena. It's QND's third straight state championship.
"There's no words to describe it," QND's Kassidy Gengenbacher told IHSA TV. "I have the best teammates and best coaches you could ask for all throughout my high school. I'm speechless right now. It's just an awesome experience and I'm so blessed and thankful to have been a part of all of these opportunities."
Kassidy Gengenbacher led QND with 20 points.
The Lady Raiders became the first school to win back-to-back titles after moving up a class.
"I can't really describe it," QND Coach Eric Orne told IHSA TV. "It's been a lot of hard work and these kids just deserve every minute of this. They truly are the star power. They're just great kids and they've taken me on this great ride."
The first thing Kassidy Gengenbacher did after she dribbled the ball and released it at mid court when time expired in the Class 3A Championship Game was run over to her team and celebrate with Jordan Frericks.
“I’m going to miss playing with Jordan so much,” Gengenbacher said after the game as she wiped tears from the corners of her eyes. “It’s been incredible playing with her the last four years.”
The last 14 years or so, actually.
“We played three on threes with each other ever since I can remember every morning,” said Gengenbacher. “We played in tournaments. We played on Little Blue Devils in fourth grade and[in] fifth grade Aces started.”
The girls’ history on the court has strengthened their friendship off it, where they know everything about each other.
“It’s like I know where she’s at all the time and she knows where I’m at,” Frerichs said. “She’s an awesome teammate and I couldn’t ask for a better one.”
There aren’t many better teammates in the country. Not only were the senior guards All-State selections, they lead the team in scoring this season with Kassidy racking up 18.5 points per game and Jordan scoring 16.5 points per game.
“They have a will and a desire and they believe in hard work and sacrifice,” said Quincy Notre Dame head coach Eric Orne. “Hard work and sacrifice finally paid off.”
QND Monday celebration: Fire truck escort leaves kmart at 1 p.m. and goes by the Catholic grade schools. Ceremony 1:45 at the Pit.