Erin Blair brings the ball downcourt for Charleston during Friday afternoon’s game against Cairo.

By Dillan Schorfheide

The script was flipped for Charleston’s girl’s basketball team during its second game of the 27th Annual Charleston Girls Holiday Tournament.

After a healthy trouncing over Cairo in its first game, 55-35, the Lady Trojans were on the wrong end of a lopsided final score: A 55-22 loss to Effingham.

In both games, the Lady Trojans did not get many chances to score inside the paint and around the basket.

The difference in the first game was that when the inside option was cut off, Charleston could still kick the ball out to an open shooter who converted 3-pointers.

Against Effingham, though, Charleston was suffocated ––and not only did not find many opportunities inside, but could not get many open looks from behind the arc either.

Charleston coach Jeff Miller said that a big reason Charleston’s offense did not produce is because of the mentality that comes with starting four freshmen.

“The freshman mentality is to pass first and to think scoring second,” he said. “I’ve got to have more girls that are thinking to score first.”

The statistic that jumps from the box score to show the circumstances around Charleston’s scoring is that only three players scored for Charleston, all freshmen: Alycia Triplett, Erin Blair and Shelby Herrington.

Triplett and Herrington both scored in double-figures for the Trojans, with Triplett scoring 10 and Herrington leading the team with 11 points.

Although her name does not appear in the scoring column, one of the two players whom Miller said stood out to him was the lone senior on the team: Morgan Hutchins.

“She played her butt off,” Miller said.

Herrington, who, besides leading the team in points, was the other player Miller said really stood out to him –– and her performance garnered high praise from him.

“That was without a doubt the best game that Shelby’s played this season: offensively, defensively, rebounding and things like that,” Miller said.

Herrington also owns a unique streak from the loss: At the end of the first, second and third quarter, Herrington hit a buzzer-beating shot in each quarter.

At the end of the first quarter, Harrington grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back up for two points to beat the buzzer. In the second quarter, she stole the ball and laid it in on the break as time expired, and, at the end of the third quarter, she once again beat the clock by grabbing another offensive rebound and putting it back up for a basket.

Even though Charleston’s youth showed in the loss to Effingham, Miller said he wants to see improvement from the team each game.

“Got to get better every night out and I think the girls are doing that,” he said. “They’re starting to figure things out they just got to figure things out sooner rather than later.”

Charleston ended the first day of tournament play 1-1, which means the Trojans start play Saturday against Teutopolis at noon. Currently, Teutopolis appears to be the top team in the red pool (Charleston, Effingham, Cairo and Teutopolis) after Teutopolis defeated Effingham earlier Friday.

If Charleston loses to Teutopolis, the Trojans will play the fourth-place team from the gold pool (Danville, Paris, Sacred Heart and Tri-County) at 4:30 p.m.