Marcus Robinson got the fans out of their seats one last time.
He slammed an alley-oop from a pass off the backboard by Grant Wolfe, on a fast break with about four minutes to play in Effingham's 57-28 win on Wednesday.
It was the final stamp on a clinical undoing of Paris and worked the Flaming Hearts' bench into a frenzy.
No longer than a minute later, Effingham head coach Ron Reed pulled his starters from the game. Teammates met Robinson and Wolfe at half court, as they walked off the floor.
Reed only laughed about it after the game: “It was neat,” he said.
But it was the culmination of what the Hearts did against Paris. They worked the ball around a “really good” 2-3 zone, waiting for the right entry pass in the first quarter.
“(Paris has) a lot of size and strength on their back line,” Reed said. “It's a tough zone.”
They attacked it quicker, in the second quarter, knowing the biggest holes were in the short corner and high post areas of the floor.
Guards like Phil Knight, who finished with a team-high 12 points, attacked the middle of the zone and either sank a jumper or made an extra pass.
The Hearts built a 25-8 lead, giving up four points apiece in the first two quarters, at which point their full-court pressure forced Paris into more of an open-floor game.
“Our pressure was able to speed them up a little bit, get it into the open floor and get them into some quick shots,” Reed said.
Knight, Kennan Mahaffey and Matt Wohltman scored a rush of points in the more fast-paced third quarter, combining for 17 — a game-high for the quarter.
So when Wolfe stole a ball at half court, against a hurried guard, and made the most of a 2-one-1 breakaway by bouncing Robinson a pass of the backboard, he showed how the Hearts opened up the game.
Wolfe and Robinson each finished with six points. Wolfe entered the game in the second quarter to replace Braydon Bone.
Bone left the game with 3:14 to go in the second quarter after being undercut on a fast break layup. A Paris player was called for an intentional foul on the play that sent Bone out of the game permanently.
Reed said Bone suffered an unspecified wrist injury after falling awkwardly on the play.
Effingham (12-4, 5-0) returns to action on the road at 6:15 p.m. Friday in Charleston.
Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Effingham 10 15 17 15 57
Paris 4 4 12 16 28
Effingham: Robinson 6, Mahaffey 8, Knight 12, Wohltman 8, Lark 2, Wolfe 6, Daugherty 9, Foreman 3, Carie 3
Paris: Elmore 5, Spencer 3, Switzer 4, Brewer 2, Lueken 4, Martin 6, Malone 4
Effingham now 5-0 in Apollo
Marcus Robinson got the fans out of their seats one last time.
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
With the District 23 tournament behind them, Newton Post 20 now knows its fate for the Fifth Division Junior Legion tournament this weekend in Bethalto.
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.
Newton Post 20 falls short against Breese Gray 9-3
While the District 23 title ultimately exceeded Newton Post 20’s grasp, their season will continue in Bethalto.
Newton took on Breese Post 252 Gray for the Junior Legion District 23 title as the two division winners, but Breese’s bats proved too much for Newton in an 9-3 loss for Post 20.
“The innings where they put some runs on us, we gave them some extra outs,” said Newton coach John Grunloh. “You’ve got to make the plays when you play better teams.”
Barnes' one-hitter boosts Post 120; Effingham beats Dieterich 1-0
Ryan Barnes hasn’t seen a lot of time with Effingham Post 120’s junior legion team this season, but he showed up in a big way Monday night in a 1-0 win over Dieterich Post 628.
The win kept Effingham’s season alive one more day in the Junior Legion District 23 tournament, as the post will face Salem Post 128 at 5:30 p.m. today for the district’s final spot in the divisional round. Salem Post 128 downed Mt. Vernon Post 141 1-0 in the West Division loser’s bracket, setting up the final with Effingham today.
Newton Post 20 tops Effingham Post 120 7-5 late
Most of the games at the Junior Legion District 23 tournament have seen pitching take control, but the pitchers in Sunday night's Effingham Post 120/Newton Post 20 game faced an uphill battle.
While Brock Mammoser started the game for Post 20 on the hill and struggled, he came through with the biggest hit in the game, putting Newton up for good in a 7-5 win over Effingham.
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