Effingham Daily News
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