With a combined 11 games played and one win altogether, two reeling teams are looking to stop the bleeding in an Apollo Conference clash. The Mattoon Green Wave will look to avoid an 0-7 start to the season, while the Hearts will look to remain perfect in the Apollo despite a rough start to the season.
Here is tonight’s preview:
Team Records: Mattoon (0-6, 0-2) @ Effingham (1-4, 1-0)
Where: Effingham High School
Tickets: Tickets can be purchased at Effingham High School
School Size: Mattoon (926), Effingham (736)
JV Tip-Off: 6:00 p.m.
Varsity Tip-Off: 7:30 p.m.
Opponent’s History: Obie Farmer enters his fifth season with the Hearts. He owns a combined 63-46 record with the games played this year. Farmer led the team to records of 17-6, 18-13, and 17-1 in his first three seasons. That included winning the Apollo in 2021. Last year, the team finished 10-22 and last in the Apollo with a 1-11 record.
Effingham’s Past Results: Effingham participated in the Effingham St. Anthony Thanksgiving Tournament to start the season. The team lost all three games of pool play. That began with a 58-32 loss to Breese Central, an 81-66 loss to Robinson, and a 54-58 loss to St. Anthony. The team began conference play last week and defeated Taylorville 60-57. On Saturday, the team lost to Mascoutah 45-41.
Effingham’s Top Players: Garrett Wolfe is the team’s leading scorer from last year. Wolfe was an All-Apollo selection as a junior and has been a starter since he was a sophomore. All-Apollo cross-country runner Andrew Donaldson returns as a starter as well. The team has four freshmen on the roster.
Effingham’s Team Stats: The Hearts are averaging 49.4 points and allowing 59.0 points per game.
Mattoon’s Past Results: Mattoon began the Apollo season with an 0-2 start. That started with a close 53-51 loss to Mahomet-Seymour. That was followed by a 43-24 loss to Lincoln.
“To be honest, I don’t think it’s a morale problem at this point,” said coach Brandon Jones. “The guys have the confidence and we know that the tide is about to change. Our biggest problem at this point is staying healthy. It seems like every game we have a key player or coach that sustains a significant medical issue. We look to final have a game where no one gets hurts or sidelined due to a medical issue.”
Mattoon’s Team Stats: Mattoon is averaging 41.6 points per game and allowing 53.0 points per game. Taerick Grace led the team with eight points in their loss to Lincoln, while Jackson Helms added six points.
What Effingham Said: Coach did not respond to comment.
What Mattoon Said: “This is a game that will just require everyone to work as a team to execute all of the little things,” said Jones. “If everyone contributes their part, plays their role, and can make it an entire game without a freak accident resulting in another player being sidelined. We will finally get out of the starting gate and off to the races.”