EDWARDSVILLE – Keshaun Thomas’ lay-in with 1.8 seconds left in regulation gave top-seeded Quincy a 48-47 win over Alton in the first semifinal of the IHSA Class 4A boys basketball regional Wednesday night at Edwardsville’s Lucco-Jackson Gym.

The last-second basket ended a see-saw fourth quarter which saw the teams trade the lead several times, and ended a Redbird season that has come all the way back and turned the program around in two short seasons.

Get The Latest News!

Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.

The Redbirds gave the Blue Devils everything that they wanted, and after the game, Alton head coach Dylan Dudley couldn’t praise his players enough. And rightfully so.

“It seems like we’ve been one play short in almost everything,” a teary-eyed and emotional Dudley said. “Heartbreaker, indeed. They made a good play, they stuck with it, our kids stuck with it. They just made one more play than we did.”

And according to Quincy head coach Andy Douglas, it was a broken play the Devils scored on, with the Redbird defense having taken away the two best options for Quincy.

“Yeah, I think we had a good feel for what they were going to do,” Dudley said. “Obviously, Andy does a great job, they have a great team, and they deserve all the credit. Their program speaks for itself. We knew they’d do side ball screen with (Bradley Longcor III) and (Thomas). We took it away. In those late-game situations, it’s always a busted play or an offensive rebound kick-out, or a loose ball. Busted play got us.”

In that fourth quarter, each time Quincy took the lead, Alton would come up with an answer. It’s safe to say the Redbirds ran out of time.

The Redbirds jumped out to an early 3-2 lead two minutes into the game, but after Thomas gave the Devils a 6-4 lead, Trai’Sean Sims buried a three to put Alton up 7-6. The teams traded the lead, with a Kobe Taylor basket sparking a run, where Semaj Stampley scored and Alex Macias hit a three before the buzzer to give the Redbirds a 13-11 lead after the first quarter.

Article continues after sponsor message

A three by Stampley and a pair of Taylor free throws pushed the lead to 18-11 at the start of the second quarter, but a 7-0 Quincy run, led by Dom Clay and Longcor tied the game at 18-18. After a Stampley basket gave Alton the lead again, a three from Kamren Wires gave the Blue Devils the lead at 21-20. The teams traded the lead again, before a three before time expired by Camden Brown gave Quincy a 26-22 lead at halftime.

A Stampley three shortly after the start of the second half allowed Alton to tie the game 27-27, with the Blue Devils scoring the next five points to go up 32-27, and Quincy was able to maintain the lead. Alton kept coming and managed to cut the lead to 37-36 after three quarters.

A Ka’Nye Lacey basket at the start of the fourth quarter gave the Redbirds a 39-38 lead, and the tow team traded the lead constantly during the first part of the period, before Stampley hit a clutch three in the final minute to give Alton the lead 47-45, A Tyler Sprick free throw cut the lead to 47-46 with 24,7 seconds left, and after a Redbird time out, the Blue Devils stole the inbounds pass and called time to set up a play.

The play resulted in Thomas’ winner inside with 1.8 seconds to go to give Quincy the lead at 48-47. Alton called time, but Quincy intercepted the inbounds pass and ran out the clock to give them the game and advance.

Thomas led the Blue Devils with 12 points, while Clay had 11 points, Brown hit for nine points, Longcor had nine points, and both Ralph and Kamden Wires had five points each.

Stampley led the Redbirds with 23 points, while Hassani Elliott added 10 points, Taylor scored seven points, Sims had three points, and Lacey scored two points.

The Blue Devils are now 29-3, and will play in the final Friday night at 7 p.m. against O’Fallon, who won over Edwardsville 63-54.

The Redbirds season ends at 17-15.

Dan Brannan also contributed to this story.

More like this:

Feb 17, 2024 - Redbirds Can't Hang On In Fourth Quarter, Lose To State-Ranked Collinsville

Jan 27, 2024 - East St. Louis Overwhelms Redbirds In Second Half - Alton Suffers First Home Loss

Jan 10, 2024 - Stampley Leads With 19 Points, Alton Holds Lead In Fourth Quarter, Collinsville Rallies To Take Win

Jan 30, 2024 - Alton “Out Toughed” By O’Fallon Down The Stretch

Jan 11, 2024 - Alton Snaps Nine-Game Losing Streak To Edwardsville – Elliot’s Late Game Heroics Sees Redbirds Win In OT