By FRED KRONER
Three days after reaching a season-high for points scored, Mahomet-Seymour senior Cory Noe hit a career-high 36 points Friday night as the Bulldogs dispatched Urbana 72-61 to win a Class 3A regional championship on their own home court.
For the week Noe scored 68 points as M-S captured its third regional crown in the past four years.
M-S (21-10) had three double-figure scorers. Collectively, the trio of Noe, Holt Campion and Noah Benedict combined to make 23 of 33 shots from the field (70 percent) and all 12 free throw attempts.
Benedict scored all 10 of his points in the first quarter as the Bulldogs opened up an 18-15 lead after eight minutes. M-S expanded its lead to 36-31 at halftime.
“We felt like the game went in phases and different guys stepped up,” M-S head coach Chad Benedict said. “Noah Benedict carried us in the first quarter, Holt Campion and Brooks Coetzee made a bunch of plays in the second and third quarters, and Cory was special in the fourth quarter.”
Noah Benedict also totaled nine rebounds and eight assists. As a team, M-S was credited with assists on 22 of 28 baskets.
Campion scored 13 points and Coetzee had seven points.
Noe nailed 11 of 11 free throw attempts.
“I cannot say enough about our bench and the effort they put forth in practice,” Chad Benedict added. “We had a great two days in practice in prepping for this game.
“The competition was excellent and we worked as a team to compete at a high level.”
With the win, M-S advances into a sectional semifinal on Wednesday at Decatur Eisenhower against the state’s second-ranked Springfield Southeast, which piled up 94 points on Friday while overpowering Decatur MacArthur, 94-81.
Urbana closes its season with a 9-19 record.
The Bulldogs outscored the Tigers in all four quarters and were backed by a strong cheering section.
“Our fans were excellent tonight and we really appreciate the support,” Chad Benedict said.
M-S’ senior class secured a spot in the record books with the victory, its record-tying 87th in four years.
The Class of 1963 originally set the mark for the most varsity wins in basketball during a four-year period, with 87.
In Friday’s pre-game three-point shooting contest, M-S’ Jack McHale hit 9 of 15 shots to tie for second place individually and advance to the sectional.