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.
Vonderheide, W/SS win at Charleston 12-0
Christian Vonderheide had the luxury of choosing which was better.
It was either the grand slam, or a complete game shutout thrown by the right hander.
“They are both pretty equal,” Vonderheide said. “Pitching is more of my thing. The grand slam I got lucky. I swung hard, and I was lucky enough for it to go over the fence."
The win could be more important as Windsor/Stew-Stras pounded a 12-0 win over Charleston at CHS Field.
Czachorski: Time to catch Cup fever
I woke up early Friday morning and did something I never do these days -- I flipped on SportsCenter.
It was the top of the 7 a.m. hour, and unshockingly, ESPN led with discussion of the playoffs.
What left me flabbergasted was they were leading with the NHL playoffs, as I was truly unaware ESPN remembered that hockey was a sport.
Indians' bats too much for Eagles
An 11 a.m. start on Good Friday wasn't too early for Altamont, as the Indians pushed 10 across in the first frame and bested Newton 16-1 in five innings.
Power surge: Homers help Shoes beat Comets 8-4
Teutopolis broke open a close game with four home runs and remained undefeated with an 8-4 win over Stew-Stras/Windsor Thursday afternoon.
Cutts carries Cumberland to 4-3 win
His first three hits were no doubters, but Blayke Cutts’ fourth hit on Thursday was a high bouncer over the glove of Olney third baseman Peyton Billington to win in a walk-off.
McNamee: Questions about EIU's Jimmy G
The typical phrase used in situations like this, I think, is: “He shows potential.” I may not have believed anything I was saying, but at least he was in line to be a four-year starter; at least, he had that.
Pirates push past Flaming Hearts 10-2
It took a bit for the bats to warm up, but Cumberland made the necessary adjustments at the plate and took down Effingham 10-2 Wednesday afternoon.
Newton walks off against Dieterich
For the second straight game, Newton earned a win via the walkoff, this time as Caleb Chesnut drove in the game-winning run with two outs to down Dieterich 5-4.
Walsh, Bulldogs fend off Newton 17-8
Makayla Walsh played the role of starter and stopper.
She relieved St. Anthony pitcher Jenna Woltman, who was struggling to locate her pitches, and stopped the bleeding during a four-run fourth inning.
Flaming Hearts handle Olney
Effingham cruised to its second dual win of the year, taking all nine matches from Olney Tuesday afternoon.
- More Sports Headlines
- Vonderheide, W/SS win at Charleston 12-0