Charleston’s Kat Blasé and Shae Littleford slap hands after Blasé’s bucket and foul.

Story and photos by Chet Piotrowski

Charleston’s Shae Littleford dropped 27 points on Mahomet-Seymour in the Trojans’ season opener for a 60-45 victory over Mahomet-Seymour on Monday.

“We were knocking the rust off today and it showed,” Charleston girls coach Jeff Miller said. “Defensively, I thought we did a great job. Our monster is our full-court pressure. We were really successful in the first quarter. In the second quarter, we didn’t. For us to be successful in our monster, we have to score.”

After racing to a 21-6 first quarter lead behind Littleford’s six points, the Trojans let the Bulldogs creep closer with a 15-point second quarter that cut the score to 32-21 at halftime.

Mahomet-Seymour continued pressure behind Cayla Koener’s nine points, nibbling away at Charleston’s lead. Littleford dominated the Trojan’s scoring in the third quarter, posting nine of their 12 points, an issue that Miller would like to resolve.

“We have to have scorers other than Shae out there,” he said. “I thought we were pretty aggressive today. She (Littleford) just has a good motor. Hannah (Buescher) came in and was aggressive. Alycia (Triplett) did a great job defensively. We didn’t score as many and we let them back in the game. Our effort was outstanding from everybody.”

Miller received some balance in the fourth quarter with four points from both Buescher and Triplett and six from Littleford. Plus, CHS pressured Mahomet-Seymour, allowing just eight points –  three from Koener and five from Savannah Orgeron. Koener and Orgeron would lead the Bulldogs in offense with 21 and 15 points, respectively.

“Our offense is based off our defense. We want to score a lot of transition points. I felt like we left a lot out there on the table, too,” Miller said. “There were times we got deep in the lane and then we would kick it back out. We need to take it to the rim.”

Miller was pleased with Kat Blasé’s rebounding performance.

“I’m happy,” he said. It’s the first game for us.”

He said the team, though, needs to work on timing and repetitions.

“The ball sticks in our hands when it should be moving.,” he said. “They know what we’re doing. We’re just not reacting.  We’re thinking too much right now. It’s difficult because it’s our first game out. We don’t want to take bad shots.We’re inexperienced.”

Miller believes the team’s work ethic will prevail through the season.

“Our effort was great,” he said. “That’s what is expected.  The effort is always there. We call it Charleston basketball.”

MAHOMET-SEYMOUR: (0-1): D Thomas 2 0-1 4, C Koerner 5 9-14 21, A Bunting 1 1-2 3, C Pruitt 0 2-2 2, S Orgeron 5 2-2 15. Totals 13 14-23 45. 3-pointers – Koerner 2, Orgeron 3.

CHARLESTON (1-0): H Buescher 3 0-1 6, A Triplett 5 1-3 11, D Meister 1 0-4 2, S Littleford 11 5-7 27, A Shrader 2 0-0 5, K Blase 3 1-1 7, S Herrington 1 0-0 2. Totals 26 7-16 60. 3-pointers – A Schrader 1.

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Cutlines/photos by Chet Piotrowski

Charleston’s Hannah Buescher guards Mahomet-Seymour’s Cayla Koerner.

Charleston’s Shae Littleford looks for an open teammate through the defense of Mahomet-Seymour’s Cayla Koener.

Charleston’s Hannah Buescher steals the ball from Mahomet-Seymour’s Durbin Thomas was colliding with Abigail Bunting.

Mahomet-Seymour’s Sydney Esker looks for opening through the defense of Charleston’s Kat Blasé, Addison Shrader, and Shae Littleford.

Charleston’s Alycia Triplett shoots over Mahomet-Seymour’s Chloe Pruitt.

Charleston’s Shae Littleford passes the ball to teammate Hannah Buescher.

Charleston’s Shae Littleford attempts a layup off a fast-break.

Charleston coach Jeff Miller talks with Alycia Triplett after she fouled out midway through the fourth quarter.