Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL


January 16, 2013

Hearts take battle of Effingham 48-39

EFFINGHAM — There was a lot on the line for the Effingham girls basketball team Tuesday night.  The Hearts were riding a twelve-game win streak into a battle for citywide bragging rights against the visiting Bulldogs of St. Anthony. 

What's more, they were looking to take control of their own Effingham Tournament and jump out to an early 2-0 tourney-record. 

Yet the game was anything but easy for coach Jeff Schafer and his battle-tested squad. The Hearts would watch their ten-point lead slowly disappear in the fourth quarter as the resilient visitors fought back into contention.

Then, when it seemed St. Anthony had turned the tide for good, Josie Zerrusen delivered the final knock-out blow.  Ahead 39-37 with under two minutes to play, Zerrusen hit a three-point dagger from the baseline, extending the Hearts' lead to five and putting the game on ice. Effingham would go on to take the victory by a final tally of 48-39.

"We came down the floor and bam," Schafer said, "The lead gets back up to five. That was kind of like our knock-out punch."

The Hearts managed to take control of the game, at least momentarily, with their 16-point third quarter.  Effingham turned a four-point halftime advantage into a 10-point third quarter lead.

"We're good when we execute," Schafer said. "In the first half, it's not that we were were telegraphing our passes, we just didn't hit that person that was open."

For the second time in as many nights, St. Anthony used a valiant fourth-quarter comeback to give themselves a chance at victory.  Trailing 34-24 as the fourth quarter began, the Bulldogs clawed back into contention behind a balanced offensive attack.

Back-to-back buckets from Kate Richards and Megan Nuxoll had the Bulldogs within five, and St. Anthony would pull within three moments later when a Lexie Niebrugge jumpshot put the score at 36-33.  The run came after the St. Anthony defense finally began to slow the vaunted Effingham attack, grabbing rebounds and generating turnovers to keep the game close.

"I feel like we finally put together four quarters of basketball," Bulldogs' coach Bart Wiedman said. "We made our defense become our offense and that's what gets us back into ballgames."

Effingham and St. Anthony would trade baskets on their ensuing possessions, before a Megan Nuxoll jumper had the game back within two at 39-37.  The Hearts wasted no time calming the visiting crowd, with Zerrusen burying the deep three the next trip down the court.

"She's one of the people that we always want to go to," Schafer said.  "She provides a huge mismatch because she can stay outside or drive it in inside."

Zerrusen led all scorers on the night, finishing with 17 points and four rebounds.  Stephanie Robb and Lauren Stephenson were also two key contributors for Effingham, scoring eight and six points, respectively.

For St. Anthony, the Bulldogs were led by the complete-game efforts of Kate Richards and Megan Nuxoll.  Richards delivered nine points and four rebounds, while Nuxoll added eight points and four rebounds of her own.  Makayla Walsh shared the team-high with nine points.

With the victory, the Hearts' 13-game win streak lasts at least another day.  Effingham plays for the third time in as many days when lay their 17-3 record on the line against Centralia at 7:45 p.m. tonight.

St. Anthony has the day off before returning to action on Thursday against Neoga.  The Bulldogs fall to 12-9 with the loss.

Effingham 48, St. Anthony 39.

Effingham 14 4 16 14 - 48

St. Anthony 12 2 10 15 - 39

Effingham-  Zerrusen 17, Robb 8, Stephenson 6, Kaufman 5, Totten 5, Utz 5, Michael 2.

St. Anthony- Richards 9, Walsh 9, Nuxoll 8, Bushur 6, Wendt 4, Niebrugge 3.


Text Only
  • Cox.jpg Cardinals fly by Blackhawks 16-0

    The frustrations from a tough 7-6 loss by North Clay to South Central Tuesday were relieved on the field Wednesday, as the Cardinals blasted the Sandoval Blackhawks 16-0 in five innings.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • czachorskimug.jpg Czachorski: My own field of dreams

    A few weeks ago, I sat behind the backstop at Evergreen Park, watching St. Anthony and South Central play baseball and taking photos when I overheard a conversation.
    It was a few seven- or eight-year-old kids, just talking about the game in front of them, nearly gushing over some of their favorite players on St. Anthony.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Green.jpg Green settling into Whitecaps rotation

    Since inking his pro deal, Effingham and University of Louisville alum Chad Green has donned a number of different jerseys.
    In just over a year, Green's played for the Gulf Coast League Tigers, the Lakeland Flying Tigers, the West Michigan Whitecaps and, even just for a day or two, the Detroit Tigers.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Vonderheide.jpg Windsor/Stew-Stras combines for five-inning no-hitter

    The second inning was good to Windsor/Stew-Stras again.
    The Blue Devils scored 17 runs in the second inning of their 19-7 win against Cumberland on Tuesday, then scored 10 more in the same frame of a 16-0 rout of Ramsey on Wednesday, all while being shut out in the first inning of both games.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Altamont downs Charleston 6-2

    At least it’s the last year of the Ohnesorges for Altamont’s opponents.
    That’s the sister duo of Madison and Lauren that have been top athletes at Altamont High School. The pair produced once again in a 6-2 win over Charleston at Karch Field.

    April 23, 2014

  • ZGard1.jpg Pitcher's duel: Gardewine leads St. Anthony over Teutopolis 1-0

    Zach Gardewine gripped the game ball tightly in his right hand and smiled.
    It’s not every day a pitcher shuts out the loaded Teutopolis lineup and he knew it. Gardewine became the first player to blank the Wooden Shoes, in St. Anthony’s 1-0 win on Tuesday, since Dieterich duo Tanner Traub and Jake Bohnhoff on March 22, 2013.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • 4-22Ziegler.jpg Ziegler's choice an easy one

    Lake Land College’s Grace Ziegler had a choice after her two years playing were up.
    The Altamont alumna basically whittled her options down to this: continue to play basketball collegiately at a four-year institution, or transfer to a four-year institution to have a traditional college student experience.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Vonderheid.jpg Vonderheide, W/SS win at Charleston 12-0

    Christian Vonderheide had the luxury of choosing which was better.
    It was either the grand slam, or a complete game shutout thrown by the right hander.
    “They are both pretty equal,” Vonderheide said. “Pitching is more of my thing. The grand slam I got lucky. I swung hard, and I was lucky enough for it to go over the fence."
    The win could be more important as Windsor/Stew-Stras pounded a 12-0 win over Charleston at CHS Field.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • czachorskimug.jpg Czachorski: Time to catch Cup fever

    I woke up early Friday morning and did something I never do these days -- I flipped on SportsCenter.
    It was the top of the 7 a.m. hour, and unshockingly, ESPN led with discussion of the playoffs.
    What left me flabbergasted was they were leading with the NHL playoffs, as I was truly unaware ESPN remembered that hockey was a sport.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • White2.jpg Indians' bats too much for Eagles

    An 11 a.m. start on Good Friday wasn't too early for Altamont, as the Indians pushed 10 across in the first frame and bested Newton 16-1 in five innings.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

AP Video

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.