By Mike Monahan

Coaches usually chat before their respective teams hit the floor.

But first-year Charleston girls basketball coach Jeremy Hudson and Mattoon coach Amanda Aydt had more to talk about than usual prior to Saturday’s Apollo Conference matchup between the two schools.

Both are Oakland High School graduates, and Aydt was teammates with Hudson’s sister Brandi. 

“I grew up watching Amanda play,” said Hudson. “My sister is a year older than her and they were on a team that went to sectionals. So, I got to watch her growing up. It was kind of fun to coach against her.”

Aydt, a 2004 grad and Hudson, a 2009 grad, both played basketball. 

“It is unique,” said Aydt. “It is pretty neat having two Oakland grads coaching against each other. We have known each other for a long time. He was at some of the games watching. His brother Silas is one year younger than I am and Brandi is a year older than I am. “

As for the game, Mattoon scored 15 unanswered points during a stretch of 7 1/2 minutes to take a commanding 25-4 lead with 3:13 remaining in the first half allowing the state’s No. 3 Class 3A team to rout Charleston, 72-11. 

Besides the ranking by Max Preps, the Green Wave are also ranked No. 10 in the AP state poll.

“The girls played well,” said Aydt. “The ones that came off the bench played well. It was a solid team win. I thought we did a good job of passing the ball and running our offense until we got a great shot. I thought our ball movement was good. Defensively, I thought we did a good job of communicating and talking and rotating on the help side.  I thought we played good team defense as well. I was proud of the girls. It was a good solid win.”

After a basket by Charleston’s Hayden Clapp, one of two sophomores who started for the Trojans, Mattoon led 10-4 with 2:44 remaining in the opening quarter. 

The Green Wave started a 15-0 run with a bucket by Paige Farmer on a pass from Faith Niebrugge. Mallory Ramage then scored on a pass from Farmer, who, in turn, scored and Chloe Pruitt knocked in a basket to make it 18-4 after one quarter.

Mattoon continued to score at ease while CHS had trouble controlling possession, turning over the ball 34 times.

Two more assists by Ramage, one to Lily Ghere and one to Ella Conyers, pushed the lead to 18 and Ramage hit a 3-pointer for a 21-point MHS advantage before the run ended with a basket by Allason Logsdon. The first half ended with a step-back 3-pointer by Ramage for a 33-9 lead. 

Charleston didn’t score for 7:22 in which it was outscored 33-0. 

Hudson did find positives in the game. 

“I was happy with the way we defended in the first half,” said Hudson. “They are a good team. We lost Mallory (Ramage) a couple of times, which you can’t do. She is Mallory and she is going to put some points up. Outside of a couple of mistakes early, I thought we defended pretty well. We got into our offense and were able to run them a little bit. I think we missed some shots that we would like to have back. We definitely missed some passes early that we would have liked to have back. There were definitely some positives coming out of it. Obviously, when you play a team like this, you learn some things about your team. We are going to get back to work and get ready for the next one.”

Mattoon, 17-1 overall and 6-0 in the Apollo Conference, plays at Mahomet-Seymour on Tuesday in a conference game, while Charleston 1-14 overall and 0-6 in the conference, plays host to Mount Zion in another conference contest. 

It (the win) was great,” said Farmer, one of three players in double-digits for Mattoon with 10 points, including six in the first quarter. “I am glad we were all able to work together and it was a good win beating Charleston. I think getting in the passing lanes and being ready to go for a steal is a lot easier to do with a good lead. At halftime we talked about jumping the screens and not switching on screens and passing the ball, doing the little things right. The season has been great. It is one of my favorite years. I love all the girls and we all work well together.”

Ramage led Mattoon with 24 points, while Ghere had 12 and Faith Niebrugge led in rebounds with seven. Ramage also dished out eight assists. The Green Wave shot 48 percent from the field. 

Allason Logsdon led the Trojans with four points and five rebounds. 


CHARLESTON: Chupp 1 0-0 2,  Addison Logsdon 1 0-0 3, Allason Logdson 2 0-0 4, Jones 1 0-0 2, Annalise Logdson 0 0-0 0, Watson 0 0-0 0, Flynn 0 0-0 0, Bryant 0 0-0 0, Campbell 0 0-0 0, Totals 5 0-0 11

MATTOON: Ghere 5 2-2 12, Pruitt 4 1-1 9, Farmer 5 0-0 10, Niebrugge 1 1-2 3, Ramage 9 2-2 24, Maple 0 0-0 0, Sanders 1 0-0 2, Jurka 0 0-0 0, Conyers 3 0-0 8, Sewell 2 0-0 4. Totals 30 6-9 72

3-point goals: Charleston 1-3 (.333) Addison Logsdon 1. Mattoon 6-20 (.350) Ramage 4, Conyers 2. Rebounds: Charleston 15 (Allason Logsdon 5), Mattoon 31 (Niebrugge 7). Turnovers: Charleston 34, Mattoon 6 Shooting percentages: Charleston 5-19 (.263), Mattoon 30-63 (.476).