Lady Hearts Set Single Season Record for Wins, But Just Barely

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Published on February 6 2013 3:41 am
Last Updated on February 6 2013 11:32 am
Written by Greg Sapp

The Effingham Lady Hearts won their 21st straight game Tuesday night, downing Taylorville 49-45, but it was a nail-biter all the way.  The game was heard on KJ Country 102.3 and www.kjcountry.com.

This season's edition of the Lady Hearts became the first girls team in school history to reach 25 wins in a season.  They have also won 25 of 26, but they were pushed to the limit by the Lady Tornadoes.

Effingham, plagued by poor shooting all night, still pulled out to a seven-point lead in the first quarter before Taylorville pulled within two, 13-11, by the end of the period.  Things stayed close throughout the second quarter and Taylorville finally outscored the Hearts 12-10 in the period and the contest was tied at 23-23 at halftime. 

Taylorville got on a roll in the third quarter and took an eight-point lead before the Hearts went on a 10-point run to regain the advantage.  Effingham posted a 12-9 edge in the period to lead 35-32 heading to the fourth quarter.  Taylorville and Effingham saw the lead change hands more than once in the final period before the Hearts finally pulled ahead and started making the foul shots that wouldn't fall earlier in the game.  As it was, Effingham only outscored Taylorville 14-13 in the period to win by four points.

Effingham made just 31% of its shots, 13 of 42 and only made 19 of 31 foul shots for 61%.  The Hearts handled the ball well with just 11 turnovers and grabbed 30 rebounds while making four of 14 three-point attempts.

Taylorville hit 40% of its shots, 19 of 47, but made just five of 16 foul shots.

Caitlin Kaufman led Effingham with 15 points, keeping the Hearts afloat in the first half by scoring 12 of her points.  Stephanie Robb scored 13 points, eight in the fourth quarter including four of five from the line.  Josie Zerrusen posted a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds along with five assists.  Also for Effingham: Kelli Utz with seven points, five rebounds and three assists, and Felicia Totten and Maddy Field with two points apiece.

Alex Norville led Taylorville with 18 points.

Effingham is now 25-3 on the season and will take on Olney East Richland in the first round of the Centralia 3A Regional on Tuesday night, February 12.  Olney, by the way, is the last team to beat the Lady Hearts this season.

Taylorville won the JV game 36-25.  Morgan Wilson led Effingham with seven points, while Jantzen Michael, Britanny Beals and Maddy Field each scored four points.

At Effingham

TAYLORVILLE (45)

Dust 4-0 -- 9, Brown 2-0 -- 5, Ballinger 2-2 -- 6, Weber 0-2 -- 2, Norville 9-0 -- 18, Davis 1-0 -- 2, Small 1-1 -- 3. TOTALS 19 FG, 5 FT.

EFFINGHAM (49)

Utz 1-5 -- 7, Michael 0-0 -- 0, Beals 0-0 -- 0, Totten 0-2 -- 2, Stephenson 0-0 -- 0, Kaufman 5-2 -- 15, Robb 4-5 -- 13, Zerrusen 2-5 -- 10, Field 1-0 -- 2, Weiser 0-0 -- 0, Willis 0-0 -- 0. TOTALS 13 FG, 19 FT.

Taylorville          11    12      9    13    --    45

Effingham          13    10    12    14    --    49

3-point FG -- Taylorville 2 (Dust 1, Brown 1), Effingham 4 (Kaufman 3, Zerrusen 1)

Junior Varsity Game

Taylorville 36, Effingham 25

Taylorville -- Jackman 5, Johnson 5, Talley 8, Durham 2, Finks 16

Effingham -- Michael 4, Wilson 7, Beals 4, Stephenson 1, Steffen 1, Field 4, Grewell 2, Nunamaker 2