QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -- Having survived the brutally physical style of play Jacksonville brings to the table last weekend, the Quincy Notre Dame boys basketball team has to tackle a completely different beast this weekend.
The Raiders head to Peoria Manual Saturday night to play fast paced Rams who are considered the eighth best team in Class 3A according to the Associated Press state rankings.
QND head coach Scott Douglas points towards minimizing mistakes and avoiding second opportunities on the glass as the biggest keys to victory.
"I think our guys are really looking forward to the challenge but I think we're also aware of how good they are," Douglas said of Manual.
"That in it of itself is probably more significant than going to Manual or anything else. They are really good."
Senior guard Alex Fitch says the Rams are a load.
"They're a team unlike any other team we play and have athleticism all over the roster," Fitch explained.
"Especially this time it's exciting coming in 15-3 (because) I don't know the last time we had a record this good coming into this game."
Like playing Jacksonville Saturday's contest provides the Raiders a unique opportunity to play in a postseason environment against 3A competition.
For that reason Fitch says it gives them a chance to prove their worth as they make the move up in classes.
"I think that everybody realizes that it's hard to maintain postseason intensity throughout the whole year," Fitch noted. But as you get closer you sense it coming on and practice get a little more intense, and game definitely get more intense too."
Douglas adds his team can't wait to see where they stack up.
"They're really itching to go play that game. People probably listen and say, 'that's really silly Coach,' but they are," Douglas said.
"They like that competition and that challenge that's in front of them. We're going to show up and we're going to play hard and see where that gets us."
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