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.
Effingham football coach Mike McDonald to retire at year's end
The idea of retirement has been on Effingham football coach Mike McDonald's mind for a while.
But he's finally acting on it, as McDonald announced that he plans to retire as the head coach of the Flaming Hearts at the end of the 2014 season.
Switching it up; Newton's Mammoser trying his hands at switch pitching
American Legion fans around the central Illinois area have started to hear of Newton’s Brock Mammoser.
The pole vaulter, point guard and quarterback also finds time for the baseball field, and while he routinely sat in the middle of the order for Post 20 played shortstop and first base with flair, there’s one thing everyone came back to.
He’s a switch pitcher. Mammoser took to the mound left and right for Newton, literally, pitching games with both his left and his right arm.
It all started with a half-hearted suggestion a few years back.
Czachorski: Extra innings intrigue unmatched
Obscenely long baseball games are my kryptonite. Once I get sucked in, it’s impossible for me to stop watching until it’s over. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Cubs, the Cardinals, the Astros or the Mariners — if it’s on TV and it’s going into the twelfth inning or later, you can bet I’m finding a way to tune in.
Newton's season ends in 14-4 loss
Newton Post 20 almost pulled another comeback off against the Orient Miners, cutting a 5-1 deficit to 5-4 midway through Monday night’s game.
But Newton’s Junior Legion Fifth Division tournament run came to an end, as Orient rattled off nine runs in the sixth inning and clinched a spot in the state tournament with a 14-4 win.
Comeback win keeps Post 20 alive in 10-7 win
Newton Post 120 didn’t let a 4-1 deficit get to them against Highland Post 439, using a patient approach in the face of an elimination game.
Three bases-loaded walks in the bottom of the third tied the game at 4-4, and with the bases loaded down 5-4 in the fourth, Tim Weber broke the game open with a two-run double and an error.
By the time the dust settled, Newton led 10-5 heading to the sixth inning and would hold on to a 10-7 win to keep its season alive.
Salem deals Newton first divisional loss
Mitch Bierman started off Newton Post 20’s game against Salem Post 128 with a bang Sunday afternoon, hitting a leadoff triple and scoring on the next batter.
Post 20’s offense didn’t follow his lead from there, as Newton had just three more hits and no runs, and falling in a Junior Legion Fifth Division winner’s bracket game to Salem 12-1 in seven innings.
Newton Post 20 bests Belleville Post 58 in opener 6-1
After a 9-3 loss to Breese Post 252 Gray Monday night, Newton Post 20 coach John Grunloh predicted the five-day break until the Junior Legion Fifth Division tournament would be good for his players, especially his pitchers.Mitch Jansen proved his coach right, spinning a gem in Newton's opener Saturday afternoon as Post 20 made short work of Belleville Post 58 6-1.
Hearts to prep with Mattoon 7-on-7
Two weeks ago, Effingham was supposed to start shaking off the rust with a 7-on-7 football tournament in Mattoon. Naturally, it rained and was canceled.
So Saturday, the Flaming Hearts will head up to Mattoon and play their first 7-on-7 event of the season, taking part in an 10- team field with Mattoon, Rochester, Robinson, Marshall, Cahokia and Pleasant Plains from Illinois, with Terre Haute North and Northview coming from Indiana. Rochester is bringing two squads.
Newton Post 20 plays Belleville Saturday
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Newton will play Belleville Post 58 at 2:45 p.m. Saturday afternoon in Bethalto, in the third game of six on the day.
Effingham's season comes to a close with 11-1 loss to Salem
A 1-0 lead for Effingham Post 120 rapidly evaporated, and the post’s Junior Legion season came to an end with a 11-1 loss in five innings to Salem Post 128 Tuesday night.
The game was for the final spot of District 23 in the divisional tournament, with Newton Post 20 and Breese Post 252 Gray punching their tickets by winning their district divisions.
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