For the first time since 2015, Mount Zion will bring home the Apollo Conference title. With two games left on the conference slate, Lincoln technically has a chance to tie the Braves if Mount Zion were to drop two straight games and Lincoln won their final two. With that said, Class 3A No. 9 ranked Mount Zion can win the outright title tonight with a win at Mattoon. 

Will the Green Wave play spoiler and keep the Apollo race open another week or will the Apollo race conclude tonight?

Here is a preview of tonight’s game. 

Team Records: Mattoon (7-20, 3-7) vs. Mount Zion (25-2, 10-0)

Where: Mattoon High School

Tickets: Tickets can be purchased at MHS Gym

School Size: Mattoon (929), Mount Zino (763)

JV Tip-Off: 6:00 p.m.

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

Opponent’s History:  Dale Schuring has helped the Mount Zion boys basketball program revive to competitive status. In his first season, the team went 7-26, and then suffered a 1-14 season in his second. However, the 21-10 team last year was the first winning season since 2016-17. In his tenure at Mount Zion, Schuring owns a 44-52 record. Before Mount Zion, 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: Mount Zion is currently riding an 11-game winning streak. Since losing to Sterling on December 29th, the Braves have not lost. Among those wins, that includes a 58-49 win over Effingham, 70-40 win over Charleston, 55-51 win over Rantoul, 61-40 win over Mahomet-Seymour, 65-26 win over Taylorville, and recently a 45-34 win over Lincoln. The win over Lincoln dropped the Railsplitters to 8-2 in the conference. 

Mount Zion’s Top Players: The team will be led by 6-foot-8 senior forward Carson Cuddy, who is potentially the best player in the conference right now. Against Lincoln, Cuddy scored 15 points. Ethan Hamrick owns an All-Tournament finish this season, while Lyncoln Koester has consistently been right around the team’s second-leading scorer. 

Mount Zion’s Team Stats:  Individual stats are not available. The Braves are averaging 62.7 points and allowing 46.8 points per game. 

Mattoon’s Past Results: Last Thursday, Mattoon defeated Effingham 44-43 and did not play against until Tuesday. The Green Wave dropped a tough conference road game at Taylorville 66-61. 

Mattoon’s Team Stats: The Green Wave are averaging 46.9 points and allowing 62.7points per game.