Charleston’s Hannah Buescher drives past Teutopolis’s Lexie Niebrugge Thursday night.

Story and photos by Chet Piotrowski

Charleston’s 1-2 punch of Shae Littleford and Hannah Buescher combined for 49 points in a victory over Teutopolis, 67-56, winning the battle of unbeaten Apollo Conference teams Thursday evening at J.H. Griffin Gym at Teutopolis.

“I thought we played with a lot of energy,” Charleston coach Jeff Miller said. We played as a team. I thought it was a typical team win. Everybody that played contributed. We knew it was going to be a big game. It didn’t disappoint.”

Littleford and Buescher would score all but two of the Trojans’ 17 first-quarter points when Charleston took a 17-14 lead over Teutopolis.

Charleston retained that slight lead into the halftime break after Teutopolis’ Lexie Niebrugge hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it 25-24. The Shoes limited the Trojans to just eight second-quarter points despite early turnovers and missed layups that would later come back to haunt them.

“They (Teutopolis) are a very good basketball team,” Miller said. “As young as we were at times on the floor, we maintained our composure. We made some free throws down the stretch. I thought defensively we did a pretty good job.”

Charleston is now 4-0 and Teutopolis is 3-1.

Teutopolis’ Lexi Niebrugge tries to block a shot by Charleston’s Shae Littleford in The Trojans 67-56 win over the Wooden Shoes. (Chet Piotrowski)

Buescher, who finished with 20 points, scored the Trojans’ first six points of the third quarter, giving them a 31-27 lead. Charleston started to pull ahead. Littleford, with a game-high 29 points, hit the next basket for the Trojans, extending CHS’s lead to six.

“Hannah Buescher was huge for us tonight,” Miller said. “When we’re knocking down outside shots, we’re a different team. We can spread the floor and get to the rim, draw doubles and kick it (out). She was amazing. They were a good combination. As soon as they would double on Shae, then we’d run Hannah.”

Sophomore forward Alycia Triplett would take a pass at the free-throw line and make a turn-around jumper while getting fouled to spark a run in the third quarter. She made the subsequent free throw, giving the Trojans a six-point lead going into the mandatory social distancing timeout IHSA implemented this year. The three-point play gave Trojan’s to a 24-13 third-quarter run.

The Shoes shot 22 percent from the floor on 10-45 shooting.

Triplett and Buescher dominated under the boards, grabbing 12 and 10 rebounds, respectively.

Teutopolis would go down by as much as fifteen in the fourth quarter, 62-47, after a Littleford layup. The Shoes closed to nine with two minutes left on a contested jumper by Izzy Hardiek before Littleford sealed the win with free-throws, making six of nine in the final quarter.

“I’d like to say we wore them down, but they (Teutopolis) are awfully good,” Miller said. “I was real pleased with their energy. They (CHS players) just weren’t going to be denied.”

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Charleston178241867
Teutopolis1410131956

CHARLESTON (67): Buescher 7 4-5 20, Triplett 4 2-3 10, Littleford 10 9-14 29, Shrader 1 0-0 2, Blase 3 0-2 6, Meister 0 0-0 0, Herrington 0 0-0 0. Totals 25 15-24 67. 3-pointers: Buescher 2.

TEUTOPOLIS (56): L. Niebrugge 1 5-6 19, I. Hardiek 2 1-3 8, K. Schumacher 1 3-4 5, G. Tegeler 2 4-6 8, E. Konkel 1 4-8 6,  K. Niebrugge 2 4-6 8, K. Kremer 1 0-0 2. 3-pointers: L. Niebrugge 3, I. Hardiek, 1.