Prep Boys Basketball

Teams of the decade: Blue Devils continue building historic tradition

Quincy High's Aaron Shoot (3) splits between a pair of Collinsville defenders for two of his first-half points during the Blue Devils' Class 4A Regional game against the Cahoks Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018, at Blue Devil Gym. | H-W Photo/Phil Carlson
Phil Carlson 1|
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jul. 19, 2020 12:01 am

It's hard to imagine any decade passing without something historic happening in the tradition-rich Quincy High School boys basketball program.

Last decade's highest moment happened to be more historic than most.

The Blue Devils reached the 2,000-victory plateau, becoming just the third high school program in Illinois history to reach the magical mark. It coincided with a 23-win season -- the best record in more than a decade -- and a Class 4A regional championship -- the first since 2009.

Throw in two players reaching 1,000 career points, the consistent renewal of the crosstown rivalry and the first Black head coach in program history taking charge and history happened at every turn.

With that said, here is the QHS boys basketball program's all-decade team for 2010-19, as selected by Senior Sports Writer Matt Schuckman:

Parker Bland, Forward, Class of 2017

The All-Western Big Six Conference selection averaged 15.5 points and 5.7 rebounds while shooting 50.8 percent from the field as a senior. The four-year varsity player and three-year starter became the 21st player in program history to score 1,000 career points. The 6-foot-4 forward changed his game over time, too. Bland was 6 of 22 from 3-point range in the first three years of his career, but as a senior, he made 20 3-pointers and shot 40.8 percent from beyond the arc.

Jirehl Brock, Guard, Class of 2019

One of the greatest football players in program history proved to be pretty solid on the hardwood as well. "A gamechanger," one opposing coach called Brock. That was because of his defense, athleticism and ability to play above the rim. As a senior, Brock earned second-team all-area and All-Western Big Six Conference honors as he averaged 8.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.5 steals. A three-year starter now playing football at Iowa State, Brock finished his career with 225 steals.

Zach Burry, Guard, Class of 2014

A first-team All-Western Big Six Conference selection, the all-state golfer and future Illinois State University all-conference linkster showed he had a smooth stroke shooting the basketball as well. He led the Blue Devils in scoring as a senior, averaging 12.1 points as Quincy finished second in the WB6. He proved to be clutch, too. Against Urbana in the QHS Thanksgiving Tournament, Burry tied the game at 41 with a 3-pointer from the corner with 53 seconds remaining in regulation and buried the game-winning 3-pointer from the right wing in front of the QHS bench as time expired.

Mike Dade, Guard, Class of 2016

Dade started his senior season off in the best way imaginable, hitting a half-court shot that enabled QHS to defeat Chicago Marshall 49-47 in the championship game of the QHS Thanksgiving Tournament. He became indispensable in leading the Blue Devils to 21 victories and a share of the Western Big Six Conference championship. A first-team all-area and first-team All-WB6 selection, Dade averaged 10.7 points and 6.1 assists.

DeAngelo Dean, Forward, Class of 2012

Dean became the third Blue Devil in an 11-year span to lead the Western Big Six Conference in rebounding as he grabbed 10.1 boards as a senior. He earned first-team All-WB6 honors, all-state honors from the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association for a second straight year and was the 2012 Herald-Whig Player of the Year as he averaged 16.6 points. As a junior, Dean led the Blue Devils in scoring and rebounding as he averaged 15.3 points and 7.5 rebounds.

Lincoln Elbe, Guard, Class of 2015

An All-Western Big Six Conference pick and Illinois Basketball Coaches Association special mention all-stater as a senior, Elbe helped the Blue Devils exceed expectations with their second-place finish in the WB6 and a 16-win season. Elbe averaged 10.3 points and 4.6 assists, while making 49 3-pointers. His free throw with three-tenths of a second remaining in regulation against Rock Island forced overtime, and the Blue Devils beat the state-ranked Rocks 72-62 in double-overtime as Elbe finished with 16 points and seven assists.

Zach Forbes, Guard, Class of 2010

During a career-high 38-point performance against Hinsdale South as a senior, Forbes tied a school record with seven 3-pointers and he finished his career with 1,095 points, which ranks 16th in school history. Only 21 players have scored 1,000 points at QHS. The 2010 Herald-Whig Player of the Year who went on to play soccer at DePaul averaged 21.7 points at home, 21.3 points overall and scored in double figures in every game his senior season. The Illinois Basketball Coaches Association all-state selection led the Western Big Six Conference in scoring at 19.7 points.

Martin Kvitle, Guard, Class of 2013

As a senior, Kvitle shouldered the responsibility of being the Blue Devils' primary ball-handler and scorer, averaging 16.4 points, 3.5 assists and 3.3 rebounds, while earning All-Western Big Six Conference honors. He got to the free-throw line 198 times. As a junior, Kvitle moved from shooting guard to point guard at Christmas and guided the Blue Devils to victories in 11 of their final 12 games and a share of the WB6 title. He averaged 12.3 points and 3.1 rebounds, while shooting 78 percent from the free-throw line.

Aaron Shoot, Guard, Class of 2018

A third-team all-state selection by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association and an honorable mention all-state pick by the Associated Press, Shoot helped the Blue Devils go 23-5 his senior season, win a third straight Western Big Six Conference championship and their first Class 4A regional title since 2009. Shoot led the Blue Devils in scoring at 15.3 points, while averaging 3.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.6 steals and shooting 57 percent from the field, 84 percent from the free-throw line and 42 percent from 3-point range. He was an All-Region 24 selection at John Wood Community College.

Jaeden Smith, Guard, Class of 2019

A record-setting senior season culminated with Smith earning first-team All-Western Big Six Conference honors and leading the Blue Devils in scoring at 15.4 points. The Maryville University soccer signee set the single-season record for free-throw percentage, shooting 91.2 percent, and became the program's all-time leading 3-point shooter with 147 treys made. The Blue Devils ended the regular season with four straight victories and wrapped up third place in the WB6 by beating Galesburg 67-59 as Smith scored 28 points and went 19 of 20 from the free-throw line.