Story and photos by Chet Piotrowski
Junior guard Mallory Ramage (above) kicked off a 9-0 spurt for Mattoon late in the first quarter, giving the Green Wave the jolt it needed to pull ahead of Mahomet-Seymour Thursday evening en route to a 45-38 victory at Mattoon High School.
“I’m happy with how we played,” said Mattoon coach Amanda Aydt. “I thought the girls played hard and fought the whole time. They battled. I thought they did a good job of following the game plan and executing on both ends of the court. Im just really proud of our girls.”
Early on, baskets came at a premium. It was 3-3 midway through the first quarter when Mahomet-Seymour’s junior Nichole Taylor converted a free throw to give the Bulldogs a 4-3 lead. That’s when Ramage scored a basket to start the nine-point run giving the Green Wave a 13-4 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
“I thought Mallory played well,” Aydt said. “She did a great job of running the offense for us. She does a great job of attacking the basket. She knows when to attack the basket and when to pull it out and run the offense.”
Senior guard Delainey Bryant. who finished with a game-high 15 points, made two second-quarter 3-pointers to help guide the Green Wave to a 25-18 halftime lead.
“Delainey had an excellent game,” Aydt said. “She did a great job attacking the basket. She did a great job of being ready to shoot and hitting that open shot. Defensively, she did a great job of getting deflections and getting steals. She had an overall great game.”
Junior guard Faith Niebrugge kickstarted Mattoon’s struggling offense going into the fourth quarter by grabbing an errant pass and tossing it off Taylor’s leg and out of bounds before falling out of bounds herself.
“She brings a lot of energy out there on the floor,” Aydt said. “She did a great job defensively, communicating and making the right rotations and boxing out and finishing plays. She’s not afraid of anything.”
The Green Wave would take possession buoyed by Ramage’s two baskets and go on a six-point run that extended their advantage to 41-25.
“We did a good job of running the offense and get some good looks and started to finish,” Aydt said. “I thought as a team we did a nice job of getting rebounds and pushing it. Delainey and Mallory did a great job of running the floor. We did a great job of communicating and rotating. Everyone was in the right spots.”
MATTOON (45): Haacke 1 0-0 3, Greeson 1 0-0 2, Bryant 5 2-3 15, Ghere 1 0-0 3, Pruitt 1 0-0 2, Niebrugge 2 0-0 4, Ramage 6 2-2 14, Haldorsen 1 0-1 2. Totals 18 4-6 45. 3-pointers – Bryant 3, Haacke 1, Ghere 1.