Tuesday afternoon belonged to Pietro Lentini.
Carlinville’s sophomore forward notched three goals against Teutopolis in the semifinals of the Class 1A St. Anthony Sectional, leading his team to a 4-0 victory.
Lentini scored his first goal barely a minute into the game, taking a pass from Kyle Levan and putting it into the back of the net.
Then, approximately 10 minutes into the game, Lentini scored again, putting the Wooden Shoes in a big hole, out of which they could not climb.
After Lentini’s second goal, the Wooden Shoes did settle down defensively and began working their offense a little bit more effectively.
But Carlinville goalkeeper Andy Pruitt made several spectacular saves, including one on a shot by Ryan Westendorf late in the second half, to ensure the shutout for the Cavaliers.
“We definitely had some chances on their defense,” Teutopolis coach Dustin Jansen said. “We were beating their defense, but that keeper is tough back there. He was brutal for us.”
He added that he was very happy with his team’s overall effort, especially after the first 15 minutes.
“You take that 10-15 minutes out of the first part of the game and I wouldn’t change anything,” he said. “(Carlinville is) a first class team — they are very fast and they have very good ball handling. They made us step up our game.”
After the early onslaught, the Shoes settled into a rhythm, amassing six shots, four of which were on goal.
“About that 15-minute barrier, we stepped it up,” Jansen said. “We started making counter-attacks, we started possessing the ball, we got up to their speed — the whole nine yards.”
Lentini scored his third goal with 12:57 remaining in the second half, and Levan scored Carlinville’s other goal shortly thereafter to put the game out of reach.
But, despite the lopsided loss, Jansen said his team has a lot to be proud of this season, most notably winning a regional championship the year after losing several key seniors.
“It always hurts losing,” he said. “But when you can lose to a team like Carlinville, playing the way we played today, you can hang your head high.”
Jansen added that he was very pleased with the efforts of goalkeeper Seth Belford, who had never played soccer until this year.
“He had some excellent saves today and kept his composure, even when he was scored on,” Jansen said.
After the game, Belford was sitting by himself on the bench when Jansen came over to offer some words of encouragement.
“He gets very down on himself when he feels he let the team down,” Jansen said. “So I told him we couldn’t have done it without him. He stepped it up all through the year, gradually getting better. He was our best option, and not just our best option — he was a dang good option.”
Tuesday afternoon belonged to Pietro Lentini.
Flaming Hearts roll in Apollo opener
Effingham will play Charleston on Jan. 31 for a chance to beat the Trojans for a third time this season and if the game is anything similar to the previous two, the Flaming Hearts will have the season sweep.
The Hearts dominated the Trojans on Friday 65-29, beating Charleston for the second time in less than two weeks, during which Effingham accumulated 133 points in two games.
Barnes, Beecher City beat Cowden-Herrick
Cowden-Herrick and Beecher City don't meet often anymore across the span of a school year.
With co-ops in every sport but varsity volleyball and boys basketball, the rivals had one of their rare matchups Friday night for Beecher City's Homecoming.
Fittingly, the game was headlined by a former Hornet and current Eagle, as Brady Barnes had 23 points for Beecher City as they bested the Hornets 60-44.
T-Town's Zerrusen, Koester make HOF
Two star players from two of the last three Teutopolis boys basketball teams to make the IHSA final four, including the only championship team, are entering the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Maxey, SE/B down Cougars in OT
Allowing St. Elmo/Brownstown’s Levi Maxey to have the ball with the game on the line was the last thing South Central head coach Rick Simmons wanted on Tuesday, but the first thing he knew the Eagles would look to.
Indians race past Pirates
Eight minutes was enough for the Indians to get their legs beneath them, as they raced out to a definitive 71-35 victory over the Pirates to start their season.
Effingham moves to .500 with win over Robinson
Effingham had its first home match of the season Tuesday against the Robinson Maroons, and sent the fans home happy.
The Flaming Hearts won six of the eight contested contests and took the dual 48-27 on the night.
Altamont holds off Dieterich comeback
There was a sense of deja vu at Dieterich High School Monday night, with Dieterich and Altamont facing off for the second time in three days.
And while the game played out differently, that sense extended to the final. Altamont bested Dieterich 51-46 Saturday at the NTC Tournament, and beat the Lady Maroons by a nearly identical 52-46 score Monday.
Neoga's offensive outburst sinks Tri-County
Neoga rattled off 14 unanswered points in the third quarter, doubling its lead and putting Tri-County away for good in its 79-44 win on Monday.
Braves' trapping takes down Bulldogs
Mt. Zion used a 1-2-2 zone with super-aggressive trapping tendencies to great affect, besting St. Anthony 61-39.
Wohltman's big game leads Hearts to third place
Effingham got stronger as the game went on Saturday as the Flaming Hearts took third at the St. Anthony Turkey Tournament with a 59-49 win over Breese Central Saturday.
That strength came from the standout perfomance turned in by Matt Wohltman, who poured in 22 points on the evening against the Cougars.
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