Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL


January 31, 2014

Hearts come back, clinch Apollo crown

Effingham 24-0 on season, 8-0 in conference

EFFINGHAM — It took a gut-check effort for the Effingham Lady Hearts, but Effingham finished off a second-half comeback in a 42-39 win over Mt. Zion, ran its unbeaten streak to 24 and clinched the Apollo Conference in one fell swoop.

Effingham trailed 25-16 at the half and 29-20 with 3:15 to play, but came roaring back with a 16-2 run to take the lead and downed the Lady Braves.

The Lady Hearts are now 8-0 in the Apollo, with second-place Mt. Zion and Salem each with three losses.

"Mt. Zion brought it, and we just kept battling and battling," said Effingham coach Jeff Schafer. "That's why this game was so huge."

Effingham started off slow, scoring just four points in the first quarter as they fell behind 8-4.

Things didn't improve in the second, as Mt. Zion pushed its elad to nine after Effingham cut it to one midway through the quarter.

The Lady Hearts hit just one 3-pointer, usually a staple of their offense, in the first half as Mt. Zion defended them well.

"I still thought we got a lot of decent shots, but we weren't strong with the basketball," Schafer said. "The officials let us play, it was knock down, drag out, and it was physical."

The second half looked like more of the same early, with Mt. Zion holding the Hearts at bay even as Effingham dominated the glass on both ends. Brianna Dick hit a layup with 3:15 left in the third to push the lead to 29-20.

Back came Effingham, with Jantzen Michael hitting two free throws and then Josie Zerrusen took over. She hit a three with 1:30, hit two free throws, and after Mt. Zion went back up four, hit a buzzer-beating three from the right corner to make it 31-30 Mt. Zion going to the fourth.

"That was huge, they kept asking for the out of bounds and I told them to be patient, because I had to read the defense and see if we would get that (shot for Zerrusen) or not," Schafer said.

Effingham held Mt. Zion scoreless until the 2:15 mark of the fourth quarter, as Stephanie Robb, Lauren Stephenson and Michael put Effingham up 38-31.

Tori Johnson and Maddie Rothrock hit threes for Mt. Zion to cut the lead back to 40-39, keeping the game tight.

Stephenson and Michael hit four free throws down the stretch, but the Hearts missed a few more, leaving the door open for Mt. Zion one last time. Brittany Marquardt had a look for a game-tying three, but missed with seconds left and Effingham held on.

Zerrusen finished with 17 points, all in the first three quarters, while Michael added 10 and Stephenson had nine.

"(Zerrusen) stepped up like an All-Stater should," Schafer said. "I'm gonna guess that most people in the building thought this was the night we were going down. They just don't quit."

Robb had eight rebounds and four points, while Caitlin Kaufman grabbed eight rebounds as well.

Effingham was without Maddy Field, who hurt her elbow and wrist in the junior varsity game, and also were missing Marranda Steffen.

Still, the streak lives on for at least another day, with Effingham facing Class 2A's fourth-ranked team, the Teutopolis Lady Shoes at home tonight. Schafer didn't buy that his team was looking ahead to the Teutopolis game, although acknowledged Thursday's game with Mt. Zion was more than it appeared on the schedule.

"I don't think so, I just think Mt. Zion just came out with intensity, we knew it was a trap game between Salem and Teutopolis," Schafer said. "I know Laurie (Thompson) will use it to help them, I know we'll use it to help us no matter the outcome. Whoever has the better offensive night will probably win.

Mt. Zion     8     17     6     8     39

Effingham     4     12     14     12     42

Mt. Zion: Marquardt 3, Rothrock 10, McElyea 4, Johnson 16, Propst 2, Dick 4

Effingham: Michael 10, Totten 2, Stephenson 9, Robb 4, Zerrusen 17


Text Only
  • 7-28NewtonSundaygame2.JPG 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.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-28NewtonSundaygame1.JPG 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.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0725.JPG 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. 

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • daughertyfootball.jpg 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.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mammoser3.jpg 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.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bateman.jpg 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.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bierman.jpg 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.”

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Barnes3.jpg 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.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mammoser2.jpg 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.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Campton.jpg Dieterich Post 628 eliminates Teutopolis Post 924 3-2

    Errors proved to be Teutpolis Post 924's undoing against Dieterich Post 628, as Dieterich's sixth-inning rally in an 3-2 win were boosted by three Teutopolis errors
    To lead off the sixth, Trenton Poe reached on an error by Brock Bueker, and came around to score on an infield single by Ryan Radloff with a throwing error on Bueker. Poe was already on third when the ball went in the Teutopolis dugout, awarding Poe home to tie the game.
    Bryce McClain followed with an RBI single to score Radloff and put Post 628 up for good. Dieterich scored again on a Briar Schmidt groundout where first baseman Brant Bueker tried to get an inning-ending out at second, but the throw was wild and brought home McClain.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

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.