St. Anthony gave Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City everything it could handle last month before falling to the state-ranked Lady Hornets, 36-31, in the championship game of the National Trail Conference Tournament.
It was a different story on Thursday at the Enlow Center, however. And the differences were about as subtle as a Micah Jones spin move in the low post.
The Lady Hornets (5-2) dominated on every level this time around, hitting eight of their first nine shots from the floor and never looking back in a 60-32 rout.
CHBC was fueled by a vintage game by senior Micah Jones (19 points, 21 rebounds, seven assists, three blocks) and a career night by up-and-comer Autumn Riley (20 points, four rebounds).
"This time we came out, I think, a little bit more ready to play ball," CHBC coach Carolyn Wendte said. "We just came off the loss to T-Town (on Tuesday), and that's how I challenged them tonight, ÔYou had your loss, we can handle a loss, but you learn from your loss and come out fired up and ready to play. I think they did a very good job today."
After going just 3-for-16 from the floor in CHBC's first meeting with the Bulldogs (4-4), Jones set the tone with an electric first-quarter display.
Jones immediately drew double and triple teams in the post, and unselfishly dished to Kacie Hilt and Ava Paruleski for the Lady Hornets' first two baskets.
Jones then converted on the first of her three first-quarter three-point plays.
CHBC finished 8 for 11 from the field in the first quarter, recording assists on six of those field goals for a 19-7 lead. Jones was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field and 3-for-3 from the line in the quarter, playing the role of distributor to boot.
"Micah is a phenemonal, she's a great player," Wiedman said. "Not only scoring, but reading double teams and hitting people for open shots. It's hard to handle and kinda took the wind out of sails in the first quarter."
Jones made 7 of 8 shots and was essentially a point forward.
"Micah did an excellent job," Wendte said. "What we've been working on in practice is, when Micah draws that double or triple team, we've got to cut on the weak side and we've got to find that open man. And our second option is to look up high, and we caught Ava up there a few times up high."
Paruleski finished in double figures for the second straight game, finishing with 11 points, and appears to be returning to full strength after struggling with a lingering illness early on.
"Ava's gradually getting back a little more on her feet," Wendte said. "Her shot's building and she's putting some points on the board for us."
But it was Riley who took game-high honors in the scoring column for CHBC, showing off a diverse array of mid-range and post moves. Riley finished 7-for-12from the field.
"Autumn Riley could be an awesome player for this team," Wendte said "This summer, Micah went down and I told Autumn, ÔThis is your time to shine. She never really had that option with older kids ahead of her. That kid doesn't even know what her potential in basketball is yet."
Jones capped her big night with a rare 3-pointer in the fourth quarter, as a Lady Hornets' team that has struggled mightily from long range hit four trifectas.
"That's what we've got to work on," Wendte said. "That's what made us good last year - we had the inside-out game."
It was a struggle all the way around for the Bulldogs, who were just 15 of 45 from the field, including a seven-minute drought without a field goal in the first quarter. St. Anthony also made just 1 of 7 free throws, but Wiedman was most concerned about his team's defense, which was a strength the first time the Bulldogs played CHBC.
"Defensively, we have been good, but today our defense just wasn't good," Wiedman said. "This is the first time, I can honestly say, since the first game of the year that we weren't ready to play. We weren't mentally in it."
Megan Nuxoll led St. Anthony with 10 points and four rebounds, while Katie Richards had nine points. But it was a game to forget for St. Anthony.
"We were five individuals playing out there tonight," Wiedman said. "We weren't a team. But we're still young and we're playing a team with a lot of experience and an all-stater."
CHBC will host state-ranked Pana tonight. St. Anthony will host T-Town on Monday.
CHBC 60, St. Anthony 33
CHBC 19 13 17 11 - 60
St. Anthony 7 8 9 8 - 32
CHBC - Ward 1-1 0-0 2, Jones 7-8 4-5 19, Miller 0-1 2-2 2, Edwards 1-4 0-0 2, Riley 7-12 6-10 20, Paruleski 4-9 0-0 11, Hilt 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 22-38 12-17 60.
St. Anthony - Gardewine 1-4 1-4 3, Bushur 2-6 0-0 4, Mumm 1-4 0-2 2, Nuxoll 5-8 0-2 10, Richards 4-8 0-0 9, Walsh 1-11 0-0 2, Dust 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 15-45 1-7 32.
3-point goals - CHBC 4 (Paruleski 3, Jones), St. Anthony 1 (Richards). Rebounds - CHBC 33 (Jones 21, Ward 4, Riley 4), St. Anthony 17 (Nuxoll 4, Richards 3, Bushur 3). Turnovers - CHBC 15, St. Anthony 11. JV Score -ÊCHBC 40, St. Anthony 36.
Flaming Hearts roll in Apollo opener
Effingham will play Charleston on Jan. 31 for a chance to beat the Trojans for a third time this season and if the game is anything similar to the previous two, the Flaming Hearts will have the season sweep.
The Hearts dominated the Trojans on Friday 65-29, beating Charleston for the second time in less than two weeks, during which Effingham accumulated 133 points in two games.
Barnes, Beecher City beat Cowden-Herrick
Cowden-Herrick and Beecher City don't meet often anymore across the span of a school year.
With co-ops in every sport but varsity volleyball and boys basketball, the rivals had one of their rare matchups Friday night for Beecher City's Homecoming.
Fittingly, the game was headlined by a former Hornet and current Eagle, as Brady Barnes had 23 points for Beecher City as they bested the Hornets 60-44.
T-Town's Zerrusen, Koester make HOF
Two star players from two of the last three Teutopolis boys basketball teams to make the IHSA final four, including the only championship team, are entering the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Maxey, SE/B down Cougars in OT
Allowing St. Elmo/Brownstown’s Levi Maxey to have the ball with the game on the line was the last thing South Central head coach Rick Simmons wanted on Tuesday, but the first thing he knew the Eagles would look to.
Indians race past Pirates
Eight minutes was enough for the Indians to get their legs beneath them, as they raced out to a definitive 71-35 victory over the Pirates to start their season.
Effingham moves to .500 with win over Robinson
Effingham had its first home match of the season Tuesday against the Robinson Maroons, and sent the fans home happy.
The Flaming Hearts won six of the eight contested contests and took the dual 48-27 on the night.
Altamont holds off Dieterich comeback
There was a sense of deja vu at Dieterich High School Monday night, with Dieterich and Altamont facing off for the second time in three days.
And while the game played out differently, that sense extended to the final. Altamont bested Dieterich 51-46 Saturday at the NTC Tournament, and beat the Lady Maroons by a nearly identical 52-46 score Monday.
Neoga's offensive outburst sinks Tri-County
Neoga rattled off 14 unanswered points in the third quarter, doubling its lead and putting Tri-County away for good in its 79-44 win on Monday.
Braves' trapping takes down Bulldogs
Mt. Zion used a 1-2-2 zone with super-aggressive trapping tendencies to great affect, besting St. Anthony 61-39.
Wohltman's big game leads Hearts to third place
Effingham got stronger as the game went on Saturday as the Flaming Hearts took third at the St. Anthony Turkey Tournament with a 59-49 win over Breese Central Saturday.
That strength came from the standout perfomance turned in by Matt Wohltman, who poured in 22 points on the evening against the Cougars.
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