OLNEY — A disappointing fourth quarter proved costly for Effingham High School Monday evening at Olney.

After leading for the entirety of the first three quarters, the Flaming Hearts fell apart in the final period and took a 49-48 Apollo Conference girls' basketball defeat at East Richland High School's Ron Herrin Gymnasium.

"We kind of went to sleep," said EHS Coach Jeff Schafer of the deciding stanza. "There were a couple big plays we didn't make. We didn't finish the game, and that's disappointing."

Effingham (7-7, 2-5 Apollo) led 12-8 after one quarter and 24-17 at halftime. That edge dwindled to 34-33 in the third period, but eight fourth-quarter turnovers ended possession after possession and allowed the Tigers to lead for the majority of the final eight minutes.

Tatiana Colclasure paced the Hearts with 16 points, scoring 10 of them in the fourth quarter to keep her EHS squad afloat.

Super sub Hayley Jamerson provided 12 points off the bench, while Hillary Collins also contributed 12 — including a buzzer-beating three-pointer off the glass to close the final margin from four points to one.

Junior guard Taylor Stevenson, fresh off an MVP performance in Olney's championship run at the Mattoon Holiday Tournament, led the Tiger attack with 17 points, while 5-foot-9 junior Ebany Brumfield was 8-for-11 from the field and finished up with 16 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots.

Although she scored four points in each quarter, Brumfield's impact was especially frustrating for the Hearts in the first half as she collected five of her six offensive rebounds and turned four of them into putback buckets.

Overall, Olney (14-5, 5-2) scored 10 second-change points in the first half. Otherwise, the Hearts' halftime advantage could've been much more than seven.

"I was pretty pleased with our first half, but that was one thing I wasn't happy about," said Schafer of the Tigers' work on the offensive glass.

The Hearts managed to never allow their lead to slip away in the third quarter, although it dwindled to a single point on four separate possessions — including the last one, which ended with Brumfield's first non-putback field goal.

Effingham nearly doubled its turnover total in the third period as well, raising that tally from six at halftime to 11. Olney also had trouble taking care of the ball, going from four turnovers to 10 over the course of the third quarter.

Marissa Runyon, another junior, tied it for the first time when she hit one of two free throws just 43 seconds into the fourth quarter, and sophomore Heather Ernst made it 36-34 in the Tigers' favor when she hit two of two foul shots after going 0-for-2 on her previous trip to the line.

Even though Olney was a lackluster 12-for-20 from the line in the fourth quarter and just 2-for-8 from the field, it was more than enough as the Hearts didn't manage a single field goal attempt until Colclasure put in a runner off the glass with 3:58 to go.

That shot tied the game at 37-37, but the Tigers went up for good when Ernst converted two more free throws.

Schafer's club looked incredibly out of sync offensively over the final period, while the Tigers realized they were having success attacking the Hearts' zone and drew a plethora of bonus foul shots.

Brumfield even sat three minutes of the fourth quarter with four fouls, but the Hearts did nothing to take advantage.

"We didn't take advantage," said Schafer of that situation. "We posted Sam (Zerrusen) up three or four times, and never got it to her."

While Olney seems to have itself firmly set in the top portion of the Apollo Conference, Effingham finds itself with a lot of work to do if it wants to make the final loop record a bit more respectable.

"We've lost some close games," said Schafer of the first half of Effingham's conference run. "We've seen everybody once, and now we need to try to turn the tables on some of them and finish .500.

"We're very capable. There's not that much difference between Olney's 14-win team and our seven-win team. We just need to believe in ourselves, and we'll be okay."

Effingham travels to Newton Thursday, playing a struggling Eagles squad it has already handled twice this year. Olney stays home, hosting Robinson.

Dustin White can be reached at 217-347-7151 ext. 123 or dustin.white@effinghamdailynews.com.

At Ron Herrin Gymnasium


Earleywine 1-5 0-0 2, Hayes 0-0 0-2 0, Collins 5-11 1-2 12, Jamerson 6-8 0-0 12, Pontious 0-0 0-0 0, Colclasure 7-9 0-1 16, Frey 0-0 0-0 0, Zerrusen 2-8 2-2 6. TOTALS 21-41 FG (51.2) 3-7 FT (42.9).

OLNEY (49)

Stevenson 6-14 5-6 17, Luna 1-7 3-4 5, Runyon 1-3 2-6 4, Ernst 1-9 5-8 7, Volk 0-2 0-0 0, Harrison 0-0 0-0 0, Brumfield 8-11 0-1 16. TOTALS 17-46 FG (36.9) 15-25 FT (60.0).


--------8----9---16---16 ---—---49

3-point FG — Effingham 3-7 (Collins 1-1, Pontious 0-1, Colclasure 2-3, Zerrusen 0-2), Olney 0-6 (Stevenson 0-1, Ernst 0-5). Rebounds — Effingham 27 (Earleywine 8, Jamerson 5), Olney 31 (Brumfield 14, Runyon 7). Offensive Rebounds — Effingham 5 (Earleywine 2, Collins 2), Olney 12 (Brumfield 6, Ernst 4). Team Rebounds - Effingham 2 (1 offensive), Olney 0. Total Fouls — Effingham 20, Olney 10. Fouled Out — Effingham 1 (Pontious). Blocked Shots — Effingham 0, Olney 3 (Brumfield 3). Assists — Effingham 4, Olney 3. Steals — Effingham 7 (Colclasure 3), Olney 10 (Ernst 3). Turnovers — Effingham 19, Olney 13.

Junior Varsity — Effingham 35, Olney 22.


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