Mattoon’s Faith Niebrugge (above) passes the ball to Delainey Bryant.
Story and photos by Chet Piotrowski
Mallory Ramage scored 30 points in a 47-41 victory over Teutopolis on Tuesday.
The Shoes made sure that didn’t happen again two days later.
Teutopolis limited the all-state junior guard to 17 points, including just one point in a 12-3 opening quarter that Mattoon could never rally past, in a 55-43 loss Thursday evening at J.H. Griffin Gym.
The 6-foot Emily Konkel was responsible for Ramage in man-to-man defense, forcing the the 5-foot-10 junior to the perimeter.
That was by design Teutopolis, head coach Laurie Thompson said.
“She’s a good player,” Thompson said. “We had to have help, early help, a lot of help. She still got her points. She’s going to get points. Maybe one outside shot she hit a three I believe. That’s what we were going to give up, was the outside shot. We really didn’t want her to get down low because she’s going to make it. And she did. We put her on the free throw line because we fouled her. We had to put a lot of effort towards her to keep her under control.”
Teutopolis, which has been inconsistent on offense, played aggressively Thursday night,” Thompson said. “I thought we played better than the other night. We were aggressive. We made some more putbacks and finished. I was very pleased with that. Defensively, I thought we did a nice job. From Tuesday to today I thought we turned around and the things that we didn’t do well. We did well tonight.”
Thompson said she didn’t want Ramage scoring from the post, which is why theyforced her to shoot from the outside.
Ramage eluded the Shoes defense for seven second-quarter points.
“If you would have seen us play Tuesday night, we weren’t the same way,” Thompson said. “We weren’t aggressive. We were panicky. We played stronger tonight with confidence. That’s what I told the girls. ‘Confidence! You guys are a good team!’ We got some lumps, but guess what you bounce back and get mentally tougher.”
Mattoon coach Amanda Aydt said she was pleased with her team’s performance.
“I thought we did good job of running the offense, but we didn’t make shots,” Aydt said. “Defensively, we’d get a stop but then they would get an offensive rebound and put it in.”
Aydt said 5-foot-3 Faith Niebrugge played tenaciously, snagging three rebounds and recording two steals.
Ramage, who had averaged 30 points over her previous five games, dished out five assists, grabbed three rebounds and had a steal and a blocked shot.
“Faith Niebrugge did a lot of little things that made a difference,” Aydt said. “She keeps the ball in play. She does so many things that don’t show up on the scoreboard.”
Teutopolis’ Lexie Niebrugge led the Shoes with 15 points, leaving her four shy of 1,000 for her career.
“Lexie had a rough night, but she’s out there to lead,” Thompson said as her guard was 0-11 from the 3-point line. “If Lexie isn’t out there helping to handle the ball and getting rebounds, we don’t win that game. She’s vital. She had a off-night from three-point land and that sometimes happens.”
Teutopolis was awarded nearly three times more free throws, making 18 to seven for Mattoon.
Mattoon drops to 5-4 overall while Teutopolis is now 7-3.
MATTOON: Haacke 1 0-0 3, Greeson 2 4-4 8, Bryant 3 0-0 7, Pruitt 3 0-0 6, Niebrugge 1 0-0 2, Ramage 6 3-5 17. Totals 16 7-9 43. 3-pointers: Haacke 1, Bryant 1, Ramage 2.
TEUTOPOLIS: Niebrugge 5 5-8 15, Cremens 3 2-2 9, Hardiek 4 0-0 8, Schumacher 2 1-3 5, Tegeler 3 4-6 10, Konkel 1 6-7 8. Totals 18 18-26 55. 3-pointers: Niebrugge 1.