In the past, Friday nights were for the boys teams. Tonight, the girls are pushing the boys to the sidelines. The Apollo Conference season begins tonight at Mattoon High School in the best way possible. The two favored teams to win the Apollo square off in a battle between teams boasting two future Division I players. 

Here is the preview of tonight’s game. 

Team Records: Mattoon (4-1) vs. Lincoln (4-1)

Where: Mattoon High School

Tickets: Tickets can be purchased at Mattoon HS

School Size: Mattoon (930), Lincoln (810)

JV Tip-Off: 6 p.m.

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

Opponent’s History: Taylor Roher, formally known as Taylor Richmond, enters his 10th season overall as the head coach. She owned a 117-149 record altogether. In 2015-2016, she led the team to a 22-9 overall record, including a Sectional Championship and Elite 8 appearance. That season has been Lincoln’s only Regional Championship team since 2006. Last year, Lincoln finished 9-9 overall. 

Lincoln’s Past Results: Lincoln left the Pana Thanksgiving Tournament as champions with a 4-1 record. Lincoln defeated Rochester 53-37, Williamsville 79-25, and Pana 61-53. In the pool matches, Mattoon defeated Lincoln 54-45, but the Railsplitters beat Mattoon 56-48 in the championship. 

Lincoln’s Top Players: Leading the way is 5-foot-9 sophomore point guard Kloe Froebe, who was a Class 3A First-Team All-State selection as a freshman. Froebe stuffed the stat sheet last season, averaging 26.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, 4.4 steals, and 4.0 assists. She already has offers from Harvard, Illinois, Illinois State, Ohio, Purdue, and Saint Louis. Also on the team: sophomore Becca Heitzig, who won the Apollo Conference in cross country. 

Lincoln’s Team Stats:  Individual stats are unavailable, but Froebe scored 28 points in the championship game against Mattoon. Lincoln is averaging 58 points per game and allowing 43.4 points. 

Mattoon’s Past Results: Mattoon defeated Pana JV 84-15, Williamsville 68-23, Centralia CORL 69-27, Lincoln 54-45 and lost to Lincoln 56-48.

Mattoon’s Team Stats: Mattoon’s individual stats are unavailable. In the championship game, Mallory Ramage led the Green Wave with 20 points on 9-of-18 shooting to go with five rebounds and three steals. Lilly Ghere scored four three-pointers, while Faith Niebrugge added three rebounds and four assists. Ramage, Ghere, and Niebrugge were all named to the All-Tournament Team. 

What Lincoln Said: Coach was unavailable to comment.

What Mattoon Said: “They are very talented players,” said MHS coach Amanda Aydt. “We need to play good solid defense, rebound, run our offense, and make shots.”