GRANITE CITY — The Granite City Warriors got a huge scare with four minutes left in the second quarter of their regular season finale against the Belleville East Lancers on Thursday at Memorial Gymnasium.
The Warriors’ top scorer, junior Addaya Moore, injured her left knee and was sidelined for the rest of the game. She scored 19 points before being injured.
On Monday, Moore returned to play in the Warriors’ first-round Class 4A Granite City Regional game against the Quincy Blue Devils with a brace on her left knee.
“She didn’t dislocate her knee cap, but she strained it pretty bad,” Granite City coach Whitney Sykes-Rogers said. “So I was lucky to have her tonight at all.”
But Moore didn’t help the Warriors pull off the win over the Blue Devils. Quincy advanced to the regional semifinals with a 45-27 win over Granite City.
“We came out and I thought we played well,” Quincy coach Brad Bergman said. “It was a good opportunity for us to come out and play better than what we did last year at this time in the regional. I didn’t feel like we played really well.”
A year ago, Quincy lost 38-26 to the Warriors in a first-round game in the Class 4A Alton Regional and finished with two wins.
With Monday’s win, the Blue Devils are 7-20 and will play crosstown rival Quincy Notre Dame at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the regional semifinals.
“I told the girls they have an opportunity to lose,” Bergman said. “Last year, we didn’t have the opportunity to win or lose. Now, they put themselves in a position to play probably one of the better teams in the tournament on both sides. You take Edwardsville away from that equation and it’s in our hometown and it’s a chance for our kids to show how far they’ve come.”
The Warriors finished their season at 7-20 after winning three games last year. They won a consolation championship at the Carrollton Tournament and finished with two victories in Southwestern Conference play after having none last winter.
Sykes-Rogers said she has high hopes for her team in the 2016-2017 season.
“I think if they put in the time in the spring and summer, we’ll be a lot better,” she said. “We just have to make up our minds that we are going to be better and we are going to put in the time. If they do, we’re going to add to our win total. No doubt about it.”
The Warriors, who were the No. 9 seed in the Granite City Regional, ended their season with a six-game losing streak.
“It was a season of things that didn’t go our way towards the end,” Sykes-Rogers said. “It was very optimistic in the beginning and in the middle. Then all of the sudden, we started losing people and people started getting hurt. It was not a good situation. But like I told them (after the game), nobody is going to feel sorry for you. Other teams go through the same thing. We just have to come out next year and be ready to play. I think we can. This team is good enough to where I believe that they’ll be fine if they put in the work.”
Moore, who transferred from Riverview Gardens, has been a solid addition to the Warriors this season. She was the team’s top scorer at 19 points per game.
On Monday against Quincy, she had to play off the bench. She finished with a team-high seven points.
Sophomore Donyai Garrett, who is the team’s second-leading scorer at 10 points per game, finished with four points. Sykes-Rogers said she also was coming off a recent injury.
“Donyai had a concussion, so she was working her way back from that,” the Granite City coach said. “So she couldn’t play full time.”
Quincy, which is the No. 10 seed, had a pair of 8-0 runs in the first half. After Granite City sophomore Makenzi Meador hit a 3-pointer to start the game, the Blue Devils came back with an 8-0 run to take an 8-3 lead.
Quincy extended its lead to 20-10 after going on another 8-0 run in the second quarter. The Blue Devils led 24-14 at halftime.
Jada Humphrey led the Blue Devils with 12 points, including eight in the second quarter. She three 3-pointers in the game.