MATTOON — Mattoon used a strong first half and pulled away in the fourth quarter to top Mount Zion 69-49 on Friday.
The Green Wave scored 8 of the first 10 points in Friday's Apollo Conference boys basketball game and never trailed in the game.
"I thought the first half we played really well," said Mattoon coach Ryan Ghere. "We took care of the basketball and made shots."
Mattoon started out on fire from 3-point range against the Braves' man-to-man defense, hitting 5-of-8 in the first 5:10, including three by Jaydn Princko. His 3-pointer with 2:50 left put the Green Wave up 17-6.
The Braves (0-6, 0-2 Apollo) didn't let the Green Wave lead get bigger than 19 points in the third quarter, trailing 52-33 with 1:58 left. The Braves trailed just 52-41 after three quarters and just 55-43 with 6:52 left in the game when Mattoon went on a 10-4 run to pull away.
"Mount Zion plays hard, and the coach (Bryon Graven) is a good coach and he is going to have them ready for the game," Ghere said. "They could have easily folded up at halftime. That is what we talked about at half was to come out in the first four minutes and put the game away and we didn't do that."
Mount Zion was led in scoring by sophomore Mekhi Adams with 10 points.
Springfield Southeast 84, Eisenhower 53
SPRINGFIELD — The loss was ugly for the Panthers, made uglier by the officials according to Eisenhower coach Rodney Walker.
Eisenhower (2-4) trailed 18-14 after the first quarter, but Southeast outscored the Panthers 24-9 in the second to pull away.
“In my years of coaching this was by far the worst game to coach and worst game to watch," Walker said. "The Panthers came with a lot of fire and ready to compete with the number two team in the state, but we were basically just taken out of the game. There was so much inconsistency and confusion from the referees all night. Neither team could really get into a flow.
"Our boys did what they could, but at times it almost got violent. Both programs run a good program, and we’ve never had any instances with Southeast. Our kids communicate with each other all year round, but tonight it could have gotten ugly, and it was all because of the inconsistencies and confusion on the part of the referees.
"I never blame losses on referees, but they totally killed the tempo and made a game that was supposed to be fun very ugly and dangerous. They lost control early in the game, and they just got to be nit-picking. I’m just glad it’s over and everybody made it home safely. We’re young, but we’re strong. We’ll be back.”
Eisenhower was led by Brylan Phillips with 16 points. For Southeast, Terrion Murdix had 22 points.
Springfield 69, MacArthur 67
SPRINGFIELD — MacArthur's Keon Jones had 27 points, but two free throws with nine seconds left by Springfield's Zaire Harris gave the Senators the win.
"We didn’t really play as well tonight as we usually do," MacArthur coach Ron Ingram said. "Coming off of two games where we played hard, we just didn’t do that tonight. We were very lackadaisical. They have a lot of talent on their team, and they just outworked us tonight."
BCC 62, Teutopolis 48
BLOOMINGTON — Bloomington Central Cathlic coach Jason Welch will tell you “we go as Luke goes” in reference to senior guard Luke Yoder.
Friday night, Yoder went.
He went to the basket, he went through defenders and found open teammates, and in the final three minutes, he went to the free-throw line and made all five attempts. Yoder ended with 21 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
“The thing about Luke is, maybe the season didn’t start exactly the way he’d like, but his attitude was about as good as you’d ever want,” Welch said after the Saints’ home opener. “He just comes to work every day with his lunch pail and ready to help the team in any way possible.”
Senior forward Tommy Nelson added 20 points as Central improved to 2-5. The Saints used a 13-2 surge in the third quarter to turn a 34-33 deficit into a 46-36 lead.
Yoder scored on two drives and assisted on another basket in the run. Teutopolis (5-2) never got closer than seven after that.
Teutopolis had good size with 6-7 senior Clint Weber and 6-6 senior Dawson Smith. Smith had 19 points and Weber 17, but the Wooden Shoes were unable to dominate inside as much as coach Chester Reeder had hoped.
“They played well and forced us into situations that we didn’t want to be in,” Reeder said. “But our whole key was the paint. Offensively we needed to be in there and defensively we needed to keep them out of there. We flat out didn’t execute that.”
Teutopolis was 3 of 12 from the field in the fourth quarter to end at 41 percent (19 of 46). Central was 22 of 47 for 47 percent.