Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL


February 28, 2014

Tough tests continue for Teutopolis at state

Lady Shoes face #1 Champaign St. Thomas More

NORMAL — Madeline Hartke, Teutopolis’ leading scorer, missed the last two games of the regular season and didn’t play in the Shoes’ regional opener against Vandalia.

Tendinitis in her left heel kept her on the bench until the third quarter of the Shoes’ regional championship win against Greenville on Feb. 13, when Teutopolis head coach Laurie Thompson warned her, “don’t come out crazy on me.”

Hartke score a calm nine points in the Shoes’ 54-43 win, but launched into orbit ever since.

She finished with a double-double in two of the last three games, including a 20-point and 15-rebound performance in the Shoes’ sectional championship victory against Mt. Carmel. She scored 20 points in each of the last two games.

“She works hard, everybody knows that, and that’s what is making her stand out right now,” Thompson said. “We don’t have this 20-point scorer, but there are things Madeline brings — the rebounds — that are crucial to the rest of the team.”

Hartke, a Maryville commit, averages a team-high 12.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. The senior may face her toughest challenge today in trying to score around Champaign St. Thomas More’s Tori McCoy, the 6-foot-4 forward ranked 10th on ESPN’s 2016 recruiting rankings.

There isn’t time to invent a shrink ray, so Hartke and her teammates are practicing ways of getting around McCoy’s post presence.

“We’ll look to get her out of sync,” Hartke said. “If she’s out of her line, we’ll go back door on her. Or we’ll try to pull up early, before you even reach her.”

McCoy leads Class 2A’s top-ranked St. Thomas More Sabers (31-2) in scoring and rebounding, averaging 18.7 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. She shoots about 60 percent from the floor, meaning the Shoes’ defense will be just as important against her.

Tuesday was the first day Thompson and her coaches began studying film of McCoy and her teammates, after keeping all of their attention on Monday’s Breese Central game, and Thompson said the Sabers are much more than a one-woman show.

McCoy is four inches taller than any Teutopolis player and her partner in the post, Alexa Wallen, is listed as a six-footer. Thompson plans to make the best of the athletes she has, including starting center Haley Giles.

Giles is the Shoes’ third leading rebounder, averaging 3.2 per game, and tallest player. She knows she will be a part of Thompson’s defensive formula.

“I’m definitely going to need some help-side (defense), but we’re going to try to get her in foul trouble and hopefully get her out of the game to make it easier for us,” Giles said.

Hartke said there are ways the third-ranked Shoes (28-5) will try to get inside McCoy’s head when she doesn’t have the ball, like “scooting” her off of her line in the post.

But as much of a height advantage as the Sabers have with McCoy, Thompson said they’re a running team that likes to score quick points off of their defense — similar to the way the Shoes play, from time to time.

Thompson slowed her offense down in the sectional championship, knowing that they would otherwise be playing into the hands of Mt. Carmel and star guard Tyra Buss.

She said she’s prepared to do it Friday against St. Thomas More and its quick guard, Randa Harshbarger.

“We can’t get into a running game, if we can’t outrun them,” Thompson said. “If I feel like I’m with them, we’ll do it a little bit and if not, I’ll try to be the patient approach.”

Senior guard Cierra Thompson compared Harshbarger to Buss, a 47-point per game scorer that the Shoes limited to 15 points in their sectional win, but said the Sabers’ senior is more of a driver.

Their success against Buss’ Mt. Carmel team and a previously unbeaten Breese Central team, on Monday, gives Teutopolis the confidence to compete against the highly-touted Sabers, who’ve been the top-ranked team in Class 2A from the first poll of the season.

“It helps a lot that we know we can do it,” senior Jessica Schumacher said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s Tori McCoy, Tyra Buss or any other girl. It’s just another team.”

That’s the attitude Thompson wants her team to take into the game, knowing the Sabers are tasked with stopping Hartke, Thompson, Schumacher and the rest of the team.

Cierra Thompson averages 10.7 points per game and leads the team with 63 assists this season. She makes about 40 percent of her 3-pointers.

“We have to keep them in check, but they have to keep us in check,” Laurie Thompson said. “We still have to be the aggressive offense and take it to them. We can’t back off.”

Teutopolis is making its first appearance at the state final four since finishing third in 2008, while St. Thomas More is returning after a second-place finish last season.

The Shoes are bringing a lot of confidence into the semifinal, which starts at 6:30 p.m. today at Illinois State’s Redbird Arena in Normal, especially after avenging a mid-season loss to Breese Central in their Super-Sectional triumph.

But they don’t plan on settling after the Breese Central win. They know their season will end Saturday, but it’s up to them which trophy they bring home.

“We’re ready for it,” Cierra Thompson said. “We got where we wanted to be, which we waited four years for, but we know we still have two games we want to win and intend to win.”

The winner plays in the Class 2A state championship game at 8:15 p.m. Saturday against the winner of Friday’s last game, between Prophetstown (30-2) and Elmhurst IC Catholic (25-6).

Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or alex.mcnamee@effinghamdailynews.com.

Text Only
  • 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

  • Teutopolis, Deters down Altamont Post 512 2-0

    TEUTOPOLIS — Lucas Deters didn't get a ton of run support from his Teutopolis Post 924 teammates, but he didn't need much in a complete-game shutout, and Teutopolis ended Altamont Post 512's season with a 2-0 win Sunday afternoon.
    Deters' efforts at the Junior Legion District 23 tournament kept Teutopolis alive in the loser's bracket to face Dieterich Post 628 immediately following the win.

    July 21, 2014

  • Poe.jpg Two-out rally pushes Dieterich to win; Post 628 beats Vandalia Post 95 4-3

    Down one with two outs and Vandalia Post 95 ace Zach Schaal coming in in relief, Dieterich Post 628 had a tough task to keep its season alive.
    But down 3-2, Cole Hartke and Charlie Thoele laced back-to-back singles to score Briar Schmidt and Flach, respectively, to take a 4-3 lead.
    Clayton Campton held the lead in the seventh, striking out two and getting Post 95 in order to keep Dieterich's season alive.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jansen.jpg Late Newton rally downs Robinson 4-2

    Newton Post 20 rarely had an answer for Robinson Post 69's Brayden Burch, but thanks to a few key Robinson errors, Newton took their District 23 opener 4-2 Friday night.
    With the game tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Mitch Jansen led off with a walk, followed by Tim Weber reaching on an error by Robinson shortstop Zander Laino and a bunt single by Luke Geier.
    Mike Carr came through with a bloop single to center, scoring Jansen to put Newton up 2-1.Burch struck out John Grunloh and Joe Stone, but second baseman Cameron Neese booted a grounder by Mitch Bierman and two more runs scored.

    July 19, 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.