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 email@example.com.
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.
Teutopolis advances to 4th straight Super-Sectional
Teutopolis couldn't have started each of the first three quarters any better.
The Wooden Shoes Shoes took an 11-0 lead in the first five minutes of the first quarter and started the second and third quarters on 7-0 and 9-0 runs, respectively.
Their third-quarter outburst gave them the 17-point lead that was too much for Greenville to come back from. The Shoes won 64-53 to advance to Tuesday's Class 2A Carbondale Super-Sectional at Southern Illinois University. It's Teutopolis' fourth-straight trip to the Super-Sectional round.
Maroons make history
With just more than 12 minutes left, Dieterich's offense was scuffling and the Movin' Maroons trailed St. Anthony by 11, 34-23.
Then Alex Bohnhoff kick started the Maroons' offense with a pair of 3-pointers, and Dieterich completed a big comeback to down their NTC rivals 58-51 and win its first-ever sectional title
Zerrusen reflects on 1K milestone, career
Josie Zerrusen used to be a handful for her Effingham coaches, but turned into a headache for opponents by the end her senior season.
Zerrusen, the only one of four Hearts seniors to reach 1,000 points in her career this season, was preoccupied with scoring points as a sophomore on a 20-10 team in 2012.
But the Hearts improved as Zerrusen matured, recording 54 wins in the last two seasons, including a school-record 28 this season and a regional championship. Zerrusen grew up by changing her attitude and refusing to take summers off.
All-NTC showdown set at sectionals
At least one area team will play Monday at Southern Illinois University for Super-Sectionals. Teutopolis is looking to make it two.
Tonight will mark the end of the road for either St. Anthony (22-10) or Dieterich (22-8), as the NTC rivals clash for the Class 1A Red Hill Sectional championship. A win would be Dieterich’s first-ever sectional crown, and it would be the first for St. Anthony since 2001.
Teutopolis (20-9) is looking to advance to the Super-Sectional round for the fourth-straight season and is playing for a sectional title for the fifth-straight year. The Wooden Shoes take on Greenville for the Class 2A Vandalia Sectional title.
Olney ends Effingham's season
Effingham battled offensive woes in waves this season and found ways to win almost 80 percent of the time, but not on Wednesday.
Olney, one of the Hearts' 20 victims this year, ended Effingham's season with a 35-32 win in the Salem Regional, surviving a poor shooting night as well.
Dieterich advances in convincing fashion
The Dieterich Movin' Maroons used a January loss to Patoka to motivate themselves Wednesday night at the Class 1A Red Hill Sectional.
It was more successful than they ever could have hoped for, as Dieterich stomped the Patoka Warriors 61-39 and advanced to Friday's sectional final against St. Anthony.
St. Anthony edges Oblong 72-69
BRIDGEPORT — A rare miss by Oblong’s Koert Mehler made the most noise.
Mehler heaved a 75-foot, full-court shot that barely rimmed out to send the game to overtime; instead, St. Anthony (22-10) survived 72-69 to advance to Friday’s Class 1A Red Hill Sectional championship.
Mette leads Wooden Shoes past Breese Central
Breese Central simply has to be getting sick of the Teutopolis Wooden Shoes.
Teutopolis moved to 4-1 in its last five games against Breese Central, and knocked out the Cougars at sectionals for the second straight year with a 63-40 win Tuesday night at the Class 2A Vandalia Sectional. If that wasn’t enough, the Lady Shoes ended Breese Central’s season in girls basketball last week as well.
Neoga's Romack heading to Lincoln Land
Neoga coach Ted Kerner praised his ace pitcher Tyler Romack's ability to read players and quickly learn their tendencies on the mound.
St. Anthony's Walsh commits to be a Cobra
Makayla Walsh made it official Friday afternoon, as the St. Anthony Bulldogs' shortstop signed to play softball at Parkland College next season.
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- Teutopolis advances to 4th straight Super-Sectional