Effingham Daily News
For the third time in exactly one month, Effingham and Charleston lined up across from one another Friday night.
And for the third time in exactly one month, Effingham made short work of its Apollo Conference foe, taking down the Trojans 58-32 in its first game of the Effingham-Teutopolis Christmas Classic.
Effingham (6-2) has now beaten Charleston by an average margin of 29 points, after a 68-43 win on Nov. 27 and a 65-29 win on Dec. 7.
Still, Effingham coach Ron Reed was quick to give the Trojans some praise after their second game of the day. Charleston gave Chicago Al Raby a game at 3:30 in Teutopolis, before falling to the Raiders 62-51.
"I don't know how much that first game took out of them," Reed said. "They were very impressive in that first game, and they had to battle a lot. Tonight was a little different story."
Charleston came out and gave Effingham a fight for the first quarter and change, taking it to Effingham inside.
The Flaming Hearts led 15-12 after one behind seven points from Leighton Lark, and a Will Strader 3-pointer cut the lead to 19-17 with 7:01 left in the second.
From there, the wheels fell off for Charleston. The Effingham bench, led by Marcus Robinson and Braydon Bone, pushed the lead out to 25-17, and by the half, Effingham had gone on a 14-1 run to take a 33-19 lead.
"I thought we did a good job keeping them out of the middle," Reed said. "Most of their shots came from outside, I thought we cut off driving lanes pretty well and helped out well."
Matt Wohltman and Kennan Mahaffey scored the first five points of the quarter, and soon Effingham was doubling up the opposition.
The bench saw extended minutes, even when the game was closer in the first half. Kevin Daugherty led the team with 12 points off the bench, while Bone, Marcus Robinson, Grant Wolfe, Luis Ramos and Michael Carie all scored.
The depth is something they've been working toward and Reed is happy with the progress.
"Those guys have been practicing very well, they've been challenging the group that's been starting," he said. "I'm hopeful we can keep adding depth and building on our team."
Effingham is 1-0 in pool play now, and they face Chicago Al Raby, also 1-0, at 12:30 p.m. today at Teutopolis High School.
"I don't know if that was their real team we saw today, because of their travel," Reed said. "They're very athletic, we're going to have a do a good job getting on the boards, we're going to have to try to stay in front of them the best we can and hope to take care of the basketball."
In the day's other game, Mt. Vernon downed Mattoon 64-48. Teutopolis is 1-0 in that pool, Mt. Vernon is 1-1 and Mattoon is 0-1.
Teutopolis faces Mattoon at 11 a.m. at Teutopolis today.
Charleston 12 6 8 6 32
Effingham 15 18 13 12 58
Charleston: Huddleston 3, Gowin 4, McInerney 5, Strader 7, Bell 7, Moore 2, Hoover 4
Effingham: Ramos 2, Bone 4, Robinson 2, Mahaffey 7, Wohltman 6, Lark 11, Wolfe 5, Daugherty 12, Foreman 5, Carie 4
Charleston 17 8 12 14 51
Chicago Al Raby 12 18 17 15 62
Charleston: Huddleston 5, Gowin 17, McInerney 5, Strader 10, Bell 7, Smith 3, Hoover 4
Al Raby: Echols 5, Rogers 4, Presley 17, Anderson 10, Mayfield 2, Barnhart 2, Phillips 4, Doesie 2, Kimble 3, Brown 7, Milan 6
Mt. Vernon 13 16 23 12 64
Mattoon 12 8 16 12 48
Mt. Vernon: Nelson 2, Fitzjerrells 22, Hunter 3, Hawkins 22, Pike 15
Mattoon: Vieth 2, Wetzel 5, Hutchinson 2, Kittell 10, Pilson 13, Scott 16