MATTOON — If there was any doubt in anyone’s mind the Paris Lady Tigers could handle the Mattoon Lady Green Wave, those were dispelled in the first eight minutes of Wednesday’s …
MATTOON — If there was any doubt in anyone’s mind the Paris Lady Tigers could handle the Mattoon Lady Green Wave, those were dispelled in the first eight minutes of Wednesday’s contest.
In one of the more highly-anticipated matchups of the new year, the Paris Lady Tigers blew out the 18-1 class 3A Apollo Conference team 60-29.
Paris — ranked first in the Associated Press Class 2A poll for the second week in a row — put their 22-game winning streak on the line against 14th-ranked Class 3A Lady Green Wave in a game featuring two teams with similar styles.
The big difference in this game is one team dominated on the defensive end of the court. Paris held Mattoon to just 11 points in the second half en route to a 60-29 victory in a game that had plenty of press heading in.
The Mattoon gym was pretty evenly split between fans of the Lady Tigers and fans of the home team in spite of the fact that the junior varsity contest tipped off at 5 p.m.
The Lady Tigers never trailed in the contest and led by 34 at one point in the second half.
While their offensive performance was considered subpar based on their scoring outputs earlier in the season, their defensive performance is what had fans talking on their way out of the Mattoon gym.
At the end of the first quarter, the Lady Tigers held a 19-8 lead. Mattoon was forced to use one of their timeouts during an 8-0 Paris run.
The second quarter was much the same as the visitors forced another timeout on their way 38-18 halftime lead buy outscoring the hosts 19-10 period.
Even for those fans who have been watching the Lady Tigers all season, what took place in the third quarter was nothing short of miraculous.
Paris held Mattoon to just one made basket and one made free throw while scoring 13 points.
With the IHSA mandated running clock in the fourth quarter, Paris Coach Dave Tingley emptied his bench at the six minute mark.
When asked after the game what the feeling was in the locker room following their 23rd win, Tingley answered, “Pure bliss.”
“We really felt like we let one get away last year (a three-point loss for the Tigers). I know that it is two different teams, but the fact that these teams have combined for just one loss adds to that. We did not underestimate this team by any means and to the girls it is just validation of the fact that they just beat a really good team by 30 points.”
Senior Sarah Isaf once again led the way with 22 points in the contest — including hitting three three-pointers. Karrington Krabel recorded a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds. Madyson Rigdon knocked down a pair of threes on her way to 10 points in the game. Jenna Gates had nine points and five assists in the game, and Kaitlyn Littleton added five points off of the bench.
Rigdon was also tasked with guarding Mattoon’s leading scorer Mallory Ramage and held her to just 13 points.
The Lady Tigers will begin action today in the Little Illini Conference tournament as they face Robinson at 3 p.m. Should they win that game, they will play again on Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. against the winner of the Marshall/Newton.
The championship game is scheduled for Thursday at 8 p.m. and if the seedings hold, may fature a rematch bewteen the Lady Tigers and the lney Lady Tigers.
All games will be played at Robinson High School.
Paris 65, effingham 32
The Paris Lady Tigers returned to their home floor for just the second time in 2020 on Monday as they hosted the Effingham Hearts.
Effingham hardly knew what hit them as the Tigers grabbed a 25-point lead at the half, then cruised to a 65-32 victory. With the win, the Lady Tigers improved to 22-0 ahead of their showdown at Mattoon on Wednesday night. Effingham fell to 7-11 on the season.
Paris came out on fire in this game scoring the first eight points of the contest. In fact, the Tigers set their season-high in three-point baskets with 13 and could have had many more.
Coach Dave Tingley is always looking for areas for his top-ranked squad to improve, and offensive rebounding was one of those areas. However, it is difficult to improve in that area when the team shoots over 60 percent for the game.
Sarah Isaf led all scorers in the game with 22 points — including four 3-pointers- — and six rebounds. Katelyn Littleton came off the bench and knocked down a pair of threes on her way to 11 points. Trinity Tingley also made a couple of shots beyond the arc to finish as the only other Tiger in double-figures with 10. Jenna Gates scored eight points and handed out six assists, Madyson Rigdon had seven points and three steals, Kendra Young added three, and Karrington Krabel and Deming Hawkins finished with two points each.