With 17 championships in play for the host school, the all-time list for best players at Mattoon’s Holiday Tournament will feature its fair share of Green Wave players. With that said, the talent that has played on the floor at MHS Gym is pretty wide open.
The girl’s tournament dates back to 1979 when the basketball team would officially begin its season. Flash forward to the modern day and the girls get to enjoy the month of November and December before playing in a Christmas tournament like everyone else. This tournament will be the 43rd Christmas Classic played at Mattoon and in those 43 years, there have been some really talented ladies taking the court.
We narrow those athletes down to the top 10.
10. Trina Costello (Monticello) & Kelsey Shipman (Olney)
Both players are former MVP winners. Costello won the award in 1985 with one of the best overall performances ever. Costello recorded 31 points and 17 rebounds in Montocello’s 63-59 win over Mattoon in the round-robin clincher. Monticello’s win was seen as an upset and Costello had a huge hand in that. As for Shipman, she was the 2012 MVP. Shipman was a four-year starter from 2009 to 2012 and helped Olney play in the championship game all four seasons with three championships. The 2012 title was her best performance with 26 points. Shipman eventually played collegiate tennis at the University of Southern Indiana.
9. Kim Maxey (Mattoon)
In the third-ever tournament, Kim Maxey shined with 29 points to lead Mattoon to a 75-57 win over Decatur Eisenhower in the championship. Maxey eventually enjoyed a successful career at Eastern Illinois University.
8. Kara Donnell (Mattoon)
The two-time MVP used her six-foot frame to bully the inside. Donnell helped the Mattoon team win the tournament in 1999. The team played without star guard Megan Sparks due to an injury. Donnell responded with 13 points and 13 rebounds in the 44-35 win over Nokomis. In 2000, Donnell recorded 26 points and 23 rebounds in the Final Four game to get Mattoon to the championship. The 23 rebounds were believed to be a school record at the time. After that, Donnell scored 21 points and 12 rebounds in the 54-51 win over Marion.
7. Barb Blume (Mattoon)
Blume was no one-game wonder back in her playing days. Blume set the single-game scoring record of 42 points in 1988, which wasn’t broken until this last season. Blume won the MVP Award two times. In 1986, Blume helped Mattoon go 3-0 in the round-robin. Blume shared MVP honors with Stephanie Newman. In the final game, Blume scored 17 points, while Neman added 14 points and 11 rebounds. In 1987, Blume won the MVP individually after averaging 26.8 points in three games. Blume eventually played college basketball at Millikin.
6. Avery Jackson & Sierra Thompson (Mattoon)
Before the 2021-22 girls’ basketball team won 30 games last season, it was this dynamic duo that helped Mattoon rise to stardom by leading the squad to 30 wins for the first time in school history. Jackson was the tournament MVP in 2016 but the team equally relied on Siera Thompson as well. The Green Wave was 17-0 after this tournament and recognized by the state after defeating No. 9 ranked Galesburg 45-40. In the game, Jackson scored 18 points to lead the offense, while Thompson had a crucial block in the final 19 seconds. Jackson eventually played basketball at Lake Land College while Thompson played at Bowling Green University.
5. Jody Sanders (Mattoon)
For years, Sanders was the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,790 career points. Sanders was the 1992 MVP and played big minutes when she scored 17 points in Mattoon’s narrow 55-54 win over St. Joseph Ogdon in the championship game. Sanders was a two-time champion in her time at Mattoon.
4. Amanda Glazebrook (Sullivan)
Glazebrook was the team’s point guard for the 1991 state championship. It was the same season that Glazebrook was named the tournament’s MVP. Glazebrook finished her career at Sullivan with 1,683 career points. Glazebrook played college basketball at Illinois State University. She is inducted into the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame.
3. Katie Meador (Salem)
Meador scored over 2,000 career points with Salem and was a constant pain in the Apollo Conference for four seasons. Meador helped Salem make the championship in 2010. Despite finishing with 19 points, Olney defeated Salem 47-36 but Meador was named MVP. In 2011, Meador had a dominant performance with 23 points and 13 rebounds in a 37-35 overtime win over Olney. Meador scored 62% of the team’s points, including all four points in overtime. Meador eventually played college basketball at Florida Gulf Coast.
2. Allyson Glazebrook (Sullivan)
Glazebrook led Sullivan to back-to-back championships in 1993 and 1994. She led the tournament with 189 points in 1993, as well as the team in a 43-42 championship win over Monticello. In 1994, Glazebrook helped the team go from a 34-32 lead in the fourth quarter to a 49-38 win over Decatur MacArthur. As a freshman, she was a part of Sullivan’s state runner-up team. Glazebrook finished her high school career with 1,950 points. She went on to play at Drake and played in two NCAA Tournaments. She is currently an Illinois Basketball Hall of Famer.
1. Mallory Ramage (Mattoon)
There is no bias when it comes to this choice. It’s the right choice. If the pandemic did not happen, Ramage would be the only three-time MVP of this tournament. She also played in one of the greatest games ever played in this tournament’s history last season when No. 1 ranked Mattoon defeated No. 11 ranked Mahomet-Seymour 48-43. Ramage scored 12 of her 30 points in the fourth quarter to help Mattoon clinch the title. Ramage finished her career with 2,486 career points and owns the single-game record of 43 points, as well as the single-season scoring record. Ramage is currently playing basketball at Loyola Chicago. It’s only a matter of time before she becomes a Hall of Famer as well.