After a successful start to the season, Cody Drone is thankful. 

The first-year head coach had as good of a Thanksgiving break as anyone as the Charleston Trojans opened the season with a 3-1 record. After a 2-12 season last year, the team has already surpassed last year’s win total. A win over non-conference foe Robinson could double it and it’s only November.

“When you come in as a new coach and bring a new basketball system sometimes early games can be challenging to say the least, but I am very happy with our team’s start and the way we are competing,” said Drone. “The team is buying in and working extremely hard in practice and it feels great to see that pay off come game time. We need to continue to buy in every day in practice but right now I am happy with the direction of this team and the basketball program here at Charleston.”

Here is the preview of tonight’s game. 

Team Records: Charleston (3-1) vs. Robinson (1-2)

Where: Baker Gym

Tickets: Tickets can be purchased at Baker Gym. 

School Size: Charleston (796), Robinson (464)

JV Tip-Off: 6:00 p.m.

Varsity Tip-Off: 7:30 p.m.

Opponent’s History: Mack Thompson enters his 11th season overall coaching the boy’s basketball program. Thompson owns an overall record of 153-131, including winning three Regional Championships in 2012, 2013, and 2017. Robinson is the home to former NBA lottery pick Meyers Leonard, who led the Maroons to a 27-5 record and a state championship in 2009-2010. Robinson is coming off a 9-7 record in a COVID-shortened season, which was their first winning season since 2017-2018. Robinson, a former member of the Apollo, now competes in the Little Illini Conference. 

Robinson’s Past Results: Robinson participated in the Effingham St. Anthony Tournament. The Maroons started the year with a 50-36 win over Effingham St. Anthony but then dropped a 62-54 contest to Effingham and 45-40 to Breese Central. Their final game in the tournament was not reported. 

Robinson’s Top Players: Robinson returns their leading scorer from last year in Noah Gilmore, a 6-foot-6 sophomore forward. Gilmore averaged 11.4 points and 4.6 rebounds. The team also returns junior point guard Wesley Jackson, who averaged 6.6 points and 4.6 assists last year. The team lost three seniors, including second-leading scorer Nick Weber and their leading rebounder in Jeff Goble.

Robinson’s Team Stats:  Robinson has just two seniors on the team and is led by majorly sophomores and juniors. As a team, Robinson is averaging 48.0 points per game. 

Charleston’s Past Results: Charleston is coming off an appearance in the championship game at the Paris Thanksgiving Tournament. Charleston defeated Georgetown-Ridgefarm 81-56, South Vermillion (IN) 53-37, and Paris 56-43. In the championship, Charleston was defeated by Mt. Zion 64-44. Jaksen Braun and William Applegate were named to the All-Tournament Team. 

Charleston’s Team Stats: Charleston is averaging 58.3 points per game. Grady Smitley is coming off a 12-point performance against Mt. Zion, where he led all scorers. Applegate scored 11 points and led the Trojans in scoring against Paris with 16 points.

What Robinson Said: Coach was unavailable to comment.

What Mattoon Said: “Robinson is a very well-coached team and a team that plays really hard,” said Drone. “Defensively, they pressure the ball extensively and trap ball handlers so as a team we will need to handle the pressure of their defense.”