This has to be the biggest week marked for nearly all winter sports coaches. From state-ranked teams to potential milestones, all sports are going to have some conversations about what this week means to their respective programs.
Let’s start with Class 3A No. 10 ranked Mattoon’s girls basketball team.
Mattoon is coming to its biggest win of the season last Thursday. Mattoon stormed into Teutopolis, the No. 5 ranked team in Class 2A and walked out with a 50-44 win. The team is now 17-1 and riding a 13-game winning streak. Their next test will be on the road at Mahomet-Seymour, which the Green Wave defeated twice at their holiday tournament.
The Bulldogs were once state-ranked and own a pretty solid team. This will be another tough test for the Wave, who are currently 6-0 in the Apollo Conference. Mahomet-Seymour is 3-2 in the conference and a loss to Mattoon would likely spell out their chances of contending for the conference title the rest of the year.
After Mahomet-Seymour, Mattoon must travel to Lincoln, the No. 6 ranked team in Class 3A, on Friday. That could be the game that helps decide the Apollo title. Just to make it even more interesting, Mattoon will host St. Joseph-Ogdon, the No. 20 ranked team in Class 2A.
Three former or current state-ranked opponents in one week? That’s going to be a true grind.
In other news, the Mattoon sub-sectional information was released. Herrin is the only school that has been confirmed to be a host school. The rest of the sub-sectional features Carbondale, Centralia, Charleston, Effingham, Marion, Mattoon, Mt. Vernon, and Olney.
Maybe, Mattoon can make a call?
Speaking of a grind, the Charleston boys basketball team will play Mount Zion in the rubber match. Charleston could reach its 12th win of the season, which would tie the highest amount of wins they have had in a season in the last eight seasons. Charleston hasn’t had a winning season since the 2012-2013 year, while the Trojans’ highest win total in the last 11 years is 16 from the 2010-2011 season.
Twenty wins has to be something the Trojans are talking about. The Trojans have 12 games left on the regular-season slate. It’s a possible goal. The last time the team won at least 20 games was the 2003-2004 season. This game with Mount Zion will have sub-sectional implications.
The Mattoon and Charleston boys basketball sub-sectional information was released. Decatur MacArthur and Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin will be Regional sites. The rest of the sub-sectional includes Charleston, Decatur Eisenhower, Mt. Zion, Rochester, Springfield High School, Springfield Lanphier, and Springfield Southeast.
With three games this week, Mattoon has a chance to get back above .500. Mattoon will play three straight games at home this week, which will be a nice change for a team that has traveled a lot this season.
As for wrestling, both Mattoon and Charleston will compete in the Apollo Conference Tournament Thursday on Thursday. Both teams have been wrestling very well as of late. Hopefully, both teams will have some representation on the All-Apollo list.
Buckle up Coles County.
It’s going to be a fun week for sports.