Bethalto Civic Memorial took advantage of poor shooting and turnovers by Mattoon in the first half to grab a lead that it never relinquished in winning the Class 3A sectional opener at Effingham on Monday night, 57-37.
The Green Wave, which finished the season 27-6, concludes a season in which it went undefeated to win the Apollo Conference title and also won two tournaments – its own holiday event and the Pana Thanksgiving Tournament.
“I am blessed to have the opportunity to coach these ladies,” Mattoon coach Amanda Aydt said. “This is a special team who is dedicated, always works hard, and plays well together. I have really enjoyed coaching this team and want to thank them for a memorable season.”
Civic Memorial (28-5) came out trying to slow down Mallory Ramage, who entered the game averaging 21.7 points per game with .562 shooting on 2-point field-goal attempts and .363 on 157 3-point shots. Ramage also led the Green Wave with 4.3 rebounds, 3.6 steals and 2.5 assists per game. The Eagles kept a defender tight on her for most of the game. The sophomore guard scored four points in a first quarter in which the Eagles moved ahead 14-10.
Civic Memorial expanded its lead by nine in a second quarter in which Mattoon managed only a 3-pointer by Hallie Niemerg, a field goal by Delainey Bryant and two free throws by Jordan Sapp.
The Eagles, meanwhile, made 11-of-22 field goals compared to the Green Wave shooting five-of-17 for 29.4 percent, well below its 42.3 season average.
Civic Memorial post player Anna Hall scored nine of her 14 total points in this first half, just below her scoring average of 16.7. Teammate Tori Standefer contributed eight more. Sapp posted six points to lead MHS in the opening half.
“You have to give Civic Memorial credit,” Aydt said. “They are a great basketball team.”
Ramage made a quick layup to start the second half, cutting Mattoon’s deficit to 30-19 and she then took a charge to gain another possession. But Mattoon missed a layup – and perhaps a chance to build momentum. The Green Wave then missed a few open looks and could not take advantage of a few turnovers and two Civic Memorial starters getting their fourth fouls in the quarter. The Eagles slowly built their lead to 45-26 entering the final quarter.
Mattoon had 14 turnovers, most of them in the first half.
Ramage finished with a team-high 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Bryant added nine.
“I would also like to thank the community and everyone in the Mattoon school district for all of their support throughout the season,” Aydt said. “It really means a lot.”
MATTOON: Haacke 0 0-0 0, Bryant 3 2-2 9, Gill 0 0-0 0, Sapp 2 2-2 6, Pruitt 0 0-0 0, Niebrugge 0 4-4 4, Ramage 4 5-10 13, Niemerg 2 0-0 5. Totals 11 13-18 37. 3-pointers – Bryant 1, Niemerg 1. Rebounds – Ramage 7, Niemerg 5.