No matter who the Hearts put on the court on Friday night, their offense worked like a finely-tuned machine against Mattoon at Effingham High School.
Whether it was a layup from a post player or a three-pointer from a guard, the Hearts were able to create open shots all night long, leading to a 53-39 victory.
Nine Effingham players got on the score sheet, led by Tim Gardewine, who came off the bench to score 12 points for the Hearts.
“I thought Tim Gardewine really had a great basketball game for us,” Effingham coach Ron Reed said. “He had one of his best games of the season.”
Alex Carie was the only other Heart in double figures, scoring 10 points on the night. Jake Stombaugh added nine points and Hunter Keith had seven points.
It was the first game back from suspension for Jake and Josh Stombaugh, and their presence gave Effingham (5-1) a major boost.
“I was happy for Josh and Jake Stombaugh,” Reed said. “This was their first game back and they made some good plays.”
Josh came off the bench, as did Gardewine, leading to a solid effort overall from the backups.
“I thought a lot of our guys played really well,” Reed said. “Our bench really contributed a lot.”
The offense worked inside-out for most of the night. If there weren’t any open layups, guys like Gardewine, the Stombaughs and Clark Williamson would kick it out to the perimeter, where Carie, Keith and the rest of the guards were waiting for their shots.
“They wre able to kick it out and we got Alex and Josh and Hunter some pretty good looks out there,” Reed said.
Defensively, the Hearts played well too, twice holding the Green Wave to under 10 points in a quarter.
“Defensively, we were pretty good,” Reed said. “Hopefully we’ll learn from this about how to put games away when we have a lead.”
Michael White was the only Mattoon player to reach double figures, scoring 11 points on the night.
Reed said he was pleased with his team’s overall effort, but added the Hearts still have plenty of room for improvement.
“I like what I saw from our guys,” he said. “But, we still need to work on some things and try to get better in some other areas.”
Now, the Hearts will have three days to prepare for a date against the Teutopolis Wooden Shoes in Teutopolis.
Reed said his players are excited for the opportunity to square off against the nearby rivals.
“It’s a tough place to play over there,” Reed said. “It’s always a lot of fun and a great atmosphere.”
Effingham 53, Mattoon 39
Mattoon 9 10 9 11 — 39
Effingham 14 18 11 10 — 53
Effingham — Gardewine 12 pts., Carie 10, Stombaugh, Ja. 9, Keith 7, Lark 4, Knight 4, Stombaugh, Jo. 3, Williamson 2, Frey 2
Mattoon — White 11 pts., Sparks 8, Speer 8, Hutchinson 4, Pilson 3, Kittell 2, Vieth 1