MSHS Boys’ Basketball
Any coach of any sport can always find something that needs improvement after any contest.
Mahomet-Seymour boys’ basketball coach Chad Benedict wasn’t about to rock the boat Saturday night.
“We need to do a better job taking care of the ball,” Benedict said following the Bulldogs come-from-behind 55-49 victory over Belleville Althoff in the final game of the St. Joseph-Ogden Christie Clinic Shootout.
In addition to nine second-half turnovers, there were also some missed free throws before the team secured its 12th win in 16 games.
And yet, in the coach’s final analysis, there were many more positives than negatives.
Wins and losses are charted, but for Benedict, the outcome of games is not the primary focus.
“It’s more how you play the game, and I like how we play the game,” he said.
M-S had every reason to falter, falling behind at halftime and still trailing with less than 3 minutes left in the third quarter against an opponent which started three players standing at least 6-foot-4.
“We responded well,” Benedict said. “It was a different day. The kids sat around a lot (during the day) and it was reflected in our start. We didn’t have a lot of energy.”
After a first half when M-S totaled 20 points, the team came out and notched 16 third-quarter points.
The Bulldogs, who trailed 21-20 at halftime, carried a 36-32 cushion into the final period.
The Crusaders kept close, but a combined 6-for-6 accuracy from the free throw line in the final 45 seconds enabled M-S to salvage the victory.
Brooks Coetzee — who hadn’t scored a point — drained 4 of 4 late free throws while teammate Cory Noe — an 84 percent shooter from the line through 16 games — nailed 2 of 2 attempts.
“Brooks is an athlete who has been in pressure situations and knows how to rise up,” Benedict said.
“He plays with a ton of confidence.”
Noe, who was chosen as Player of the Game, hit a game-high 22 points, netting 10 of his points in the final 4 minutes, 18 seconds after Althoff pulled within 41-37.
Teammates joining him in double figures were Noah Benedict (15 points) and Jordan Veldman (10 points).
Veldman scored eight of his points in the third quarter.
“Veldman is working his way back (from mononucleosis) and is just now back in form,” Chad Benedict said.
When Althoff clamped down on Noe and Noah Benedict to start the second half, limiting each athlete to one field goal in the third quarter, “Jordan took advantage of what the defense gives,” Chad Benedict said.
Holt Campion’s offensive contribution was four points, but the 6-4 senior made his presence felt on defense.
“Holt kept their big guy (6-7 Patrick Readye) off the boards,” Chad Benedict said.
Readye was held to two rebounds.
Noah Benedict, Coetzee and Noe all cleared five rebounds for the Bulldogs. Campion had a game-high five assists and Noah Benedict had four.
Collectively, M-S and Althoff (3-12) were 0-for-18 from three-point range.
M-S’ tallest player, 6-6 Grant Coleman, remains sidelined while recovering from a high ankle sprain.
The Bulldogs return to action with a Tuesday game at Mattoon (10-6).
Fifteen Bulldogs won at least one match and 10 squad members posted at least one pin as the team placed 11th in the 25-school Sycamore Invitational.
The top M-S placers were Lucas Morgan (160 pounds) and David Griffet (285), each of whom were third.
Teammates Wyatt Heimann (170) and Ben Stahl (220) were each fifth.
Stahl, Seth Buchanan (285) and Griffet all registered three pins in the day-long event.
Stahl made quick work of his opponents, ending his wins with falls in 1 minute, 1:39 and 1:33.
Buchanan’s fastest fall was 56 seconds. Griffet had two first-period falls, with the quickest in 52 seconds.
Buchanan ended in ninth place.
Heimann and David Spencer (138) each reached the 20-win mark for the season with their performances at Sycamore. Spencer placed sixth in his weight class.
Morgan, Stahl and Griffet share the team lead in wins for the season with 24 apiece.
Other Bulldogs with notable achievements for the day were Kyle Johnson (152), who had a 4-1 record and placed 17th, and Skylar Yancy (152), who recorded two pins and ended 19th.
MSHS Girls’ basketball
Senior Erin Lenschow became the second 1,000-point scorer on the Mahomet-Seymour girls’ basketball roster this season on Thursday.
She scored a game-high 20 points in a 61-46 victory over visiting Taylorville, the third consecutive win for the 9-6 Bulldogs.
Lenschow reached the 1,000-point mark in the fourth quarter. She is the 10th Bulldog to reach that mark in a career.
In the team’s season-opener, junior Amanda Franklin scored her 1,000th point, the majority of which were scored at Arthur Okaw Christian.
Against the Tornadoes, Franklin dropped in 14 points. Also scoring in double figures for M-S was Abbie Velazquez, with 11 points.
Lenschow nailed four three-point shots and Velazquez hit three long-range shots against Taylorville.