Mount Zion has not lost a game in the Apollo this season.

So the Trojans are going to be heavy underdogs tonight.

At least this time the team will have a few games to lead up to this matchup. The first game had been the season opener for Charleston after Paris canceled its Thanksgiving Tournament at the last minute. Now that the team has played 15 more games under its belt, this game ought to be a lot closer. 

Here is the preview of tonight’s game. 

Team Records: Charleston (6-9, 3-3) @ Mount Zion (17-2, 6-0)

Where: Mount Zion High School Gym

School Size: Charleston (796), Mount Zion (763)

JV Tip-Off: 6 p.m.

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

Mount Zion’s History: The 21-10 team last year was the first winning season since 2016-17. In his tenure at Mount Zion, Dale Schuring owns a 44-52 record. In 15 years as the boys coach of ALAH, Schuring compiled a 268-150 overall record. His tenure also included a 121-98 record in eight seasons as the girls basketball coach. 

Mount Zion’s Past Results: Since beating Charleston 62-37 in the first meeting, Mount Zion has been on a roll. That includes a perfect record in the conference. Among similar opponents, the Braves have beaten Olney 58-51, Mattoon 75-43, Taylorville 73-55, Effingham 59-48, and recently Bloomington 70-49. The team’s two losses on the year are to Belleville 63-62 and Sterling 62-56. 

Mount Zion’s Top Players: The team will be led by 6-foot-8 senior forward Carson Cuddy, a likely First-Team All-Apollo consideration this season. The team also has 6-foot-7 junior forward Gage Owens and 6-foot-3 junior forward Grant McAtee. Lincoln Koester and Evan Hamrick were both of the team’s top JV players last season. 

Mount Zion’s Team Stats:  Individual stats are not available. The Braves are averaging 67.1 points per game and allowing 50.7 points per game. 

Charleston’s Past Results: Charleston has played two games since Christmas break. That includes a 75-56 loss to Casey-Westfield and a 56-40 win over Mattoon last Friday.  

Charleston’s Team Stats: According to MaxPreps, William Applegate and Caleb Oakley are the co-leaders in scoring with 12.4 points per game while Luke Bonnstetter adds 10.6 points. 

What Mount Zion Said: “I think we have several offensive weapons and we generally play at a faster pace than most conference teams, which wears people down over the course of the game,” said Schuring. “I expect them to be much better with more clearly defined roles now that they have played multiple.”

What Charleston Said: “Mount Zion is a team loaded with solid scorers,” said coach AJ Alexander. “Their ability to stretch the floor with their shooting and lethal drives make them especially dangerous. This time around I expect much better competition than the first game of the season. However, we know how solid this team is and we will have to compete with discipline and consistency in every possession in order to be successful.”