By Joe Gisondi

Mattoon girls basketball has started the season 11-0, won a holiday tournament in Pana, put itself atop the Apollo Conference standings and earned a state ranking by MaxPreps. While the Green Wave are ranked No. 5 among Class 3A teams in the state by Max Preps, the state IHSA poll has not included it within its top 10 weekly voting.

Let’s break down the Green Wave’s strong start by the numbers.

Class 3A MaxPreps rankings

2 Fenwick
4Civic (Bethalto)
8Rich South
9Mater Dei

The fourth quarter has been intriguing for the Green Wave, but not for the reasons most might expect. Mattoon has not been locked in tight battles down the stretch. In fact, the opposite has been true.

Entering the final quarter this season, Mattoon has held a 48.36-22.36 advantage, sometimes forcing a running clock required in games where a team holds a 30-point lead at any point.

Mattoon clearly dominates these opening three quarters, as you can see by the stats below. In the fourth quarter, though, the Green Wave hold only a 1.28 point advantage, which is likely because coach Amanda Aydt offers more game-time experience to non-starters when the game is already in hand.

Scoring by quarters this season

Scoring quarters1234

Mattoon has won by an average of 22.64 points this season, the closest game being against host Pana in its holiday tournament – although the Green Wave trailed Lincoln 15-13 in their Apollo Conference game earlier this month.

Scoring Differential

DiffOpponentMHS scoreOpp
37Okaw Valley7033
18Brownstown/St. Elmo5739
5Pana 5247
12Lincoln 5442
26Mahomet 5731

The Green Wave average 12.8 steals per game. Lincoln was the only opponent this season in which Mattoon did not record double-digit steals as a team. Mattoon recorded 16 against Brownstown/St. Elmo’s in the second game of the season and followed up with 15 last week against ALAH and 14 against both Taylorville and Effingham.

Guard Mallory Ramage, guard Delainey Bryant and guard/forward Faith Niebrugge have recorded the most steals so far. Ramage, who has posted the most thefts in all but one game, averages 3.45, followed by forward Niebrugge at 2.91 per game, Bryant (1.9) and Hallie Niemerg (1.18).

“Hallie has done well on defense and is always ready to catch and shoot,” Aydt said. 

OppTeam Steals Leaders
Okay13Ramage 4, Bryant 2, Nieb 2
St Elmo16Ramage 3, Haacke/Sapp 2
CORL13Niebrugge/Ramage 4
Wm’sville10Ramage 4, Bryant 2
Pana13Ramage 4, Bryant 1
Lincoln9Niebrugge 5
Effingham14Ramage 5, Niebrugge 4
Marshall11Ramage 6, Niebrugge/Bryant 2
Taylorville14Ramage 5, Niebrugge 4
Mahomet13Bryant 4, Ramage 4
ALAH15Ramage 3, Haacke 2

Mattoon averages 26.8 rebounds per game even though it does not have a single dominant inside player; rather, three players each average more than four rebounds per game – Niebrugge (4.45), Ramage (4.27), Bryant (4.18). And Niemerg, who recently led the team in this category across three successive games, averages 3.55, just ahead of Jordan Sapp (3.36).

“Faith gives us a spark coming in off the bench,” Aydt said. “She does an excellent job of rebounding and playing defense.”

Sapp has led the team in this category three times. Bryant, meanwhile, posted the season-high of 11 against Mahomet a few weeks ago.

“Jordan does a great job of communicating on defense and making sure everyone is where they are supposed to be,” Aydt said.

Ramage, who has led the team in scoring and 3-point shooting through the season, averages 21.7 points a game on 59.2% shooting for field goals and 34% for 3s. Bryant is next best at 10.8 points per game on 50.9% and 42.3% shooting, respectively.

“Delainey has been taking the ball to the basket as well as making her shots from the outside,” said Aydt. “Mallory is our leading scorer and excels in every area of the game. She makes everyone around her better.”

Individual scoring

Bryant 1050.931.0
Niemerg 4.351.916.1
Farmer 1.471.4n/a
Greeson 1.036.4n/a

Here are a few other Mattoon individual and team stats through 11 games.

Free-throw leaders

Minimum: 10 attempts

Ramage 31/3881.6%
Bryant 13/2161.9%

Assists leaders

Ramage 2.73

Team Stats

Free-throw Pct66.9%
2-pt Pct49.5%
3-pt Pct27.5%
FG Pct42.3%
Off Rebounds10.4 rpg
Def Rebounds15.9 rpg

“Everyone has been doing their job,” Aydt said. “Our players always play hard and give 100 percent.”

Mattoon next plays host to Charleston at 11 a.m. on Saturday. You can read the complete local high school sports schedule in the upper-right hand corner of under ‘Prep Schedule.’