Nancy Stiff said the performance was huge.
Arcola's Taylor Edwards was definitively the best player on the floor for at least six minutes, scoring the Riders' first 11 points in the fourth quarter.
Edwards brought Arcola's one-point lead, at the beginning of the quarter, to an eight-point lead before a different teammate scored in the Riders' 47-35 sectional victory against North Clay.
“I consider her the Tyra Buss (of Mount Carmel) of 1A basketball,” North Clay head coach Curtis Thompson said. “She's just an unstoppable player.”
Samantha Reece made a layup with 1:32 to play that gave Arcola its biggest lead of the game, 45-35, before Bekah Montgomery scored the last two points of the game.
Stiff, Arcola's head coach, said Edwards lifted an struggling offense in the fourth quarter, but the junior got started after halftime.
Edwards and Montgomery combined for Arcola's first 10 points of the second half to lead the Riders to a 32-31 advantage going into the final quarter.
Montgomery's eight points was second on the team after Edwards' game-high 26.
North Clay lost its halftime lead three possessions into the third quarter, after controlling much of the first half and taking a 21-19 lead into the locker room.
Kortney Stanfield scored eight of her 12 points in the first quarter to give the Cardinals an early seven-point lead. The deficit forced Arcola into a change.
The Riders changed from their normally effective 1-3-1 zone into a man-to-man set for the rest of the game.
“We weren't rebounding in (the zone) and we weren't covering (Stanfield) well,” Stiff said. “We got out of our zone and went to the man-to-man, which proved to be the better defense of the night.”
Arcola's quickness alone caused North Clay immediate trouble on the offensive end, while Stanfield was limited to four points in the last three quarters of the game.
Thompson said the Riders' defense forced the Cardinals into turnovers. He said his players didn't see many open shots the rest of the night.
North Clay finished the third quarter on a 4-0 run to bring Arcola's lead within one point and give itself a chance, but Edwards quickly stole the Cardinals' hope.
Teehanna Wyatt went 1-for-4 from the free throw line for the Cardinals, during Edwards' breakout start to the fourth quarter.
Arcola slowed the game down with a nine-point lead, created by Edwards, which forced the Cardinals into a situation they didn't want to be in.
“We knew whenever they pulled up that they started to slow the ball down, spread us out and they were going to run the clock on us,” Thompson said. “We had to go man on them and we knew that would be tough.”
Arcola outscored North Clay 28-14 in the second half to end the Cardinals' season and advance to today's Cumberland Sectional championship against Central A&M.
Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arcola 9 10 13 15 47
North Clay 16 5 10 4 35
Arcola: Karmazinas 2, Reece 4, Fishel 6, Montgomery 8, Conlin 1, Edwards 26
North Clay: Ruholl 2, Walker 10, K. Stanfield 12, Wyatt 11
Nancy Stiff said the performance was huge.
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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