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Photo by Caleb Motsinger
Civic Memorial senior forward Addie Ballard goes up for a shot Thursday night against Carbondale. She scored 15 points and had 11 rebounds.
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Photo by Caleb Motsinger
After winning in Carbondale Thursday the Civic Memorial Eagles are 31-2. They will now advance to the Decatur Super-Sectional at Millikin University.
CARBONDALE – Addie Ballard said the Civic Memorial High girls’ basketball team sought a quick getaway in their sectional championship game Thursday.
The Eagles certainly practiced what they preached.
They scored the game’s first nine points and built an insurmountable 25-2 advantage before settling for a 56-40 victory over host Carbondale in the Terriers’ Class 3A Sectional.
While Carbondale closed its season with a 21-9 record, the 31-2 Eagles move on to the Decatur Super-Sectional at Millikin University. CM, riding a 15-game winning streak, meets defending state champion Quincy Notre Dame at 7 p.m. Monday. Quincy ND defeated Rochester 46-31 to win the Normal Sectional.
“Winning a sectional championship is something special,” CM coach Jonathan Denney said of the Eagles’ first sectional basketball – for girls or boys. “It’s great for our team and our community to be part of something like this.”
The Eagles made it great from the get-go. Ballard, a 5-foot-11 senior forward, scored six of CM’s first nine points. Overall, she contributed 15 points and 11 rebounds.
“They (Terriers) were playing on their home floor, so we wanted to jump out ahead of them and try to get a big lead,” Ballard said.
Carbondale missed all eight of its field-goal attempts and had six turnovers in a forgettable first quarter. The Eagles, who made 9 of 15 shots, surged in front 21-2. They stretched their lead to 32-8 in the second quarter before the Terriers finally got going.
But it was too little, too late by that time.
“We couldn’t have had a better start,” said Denney, stressing the need for the Eagles to come out and take control. “Our pace, our energy and our style of play were everything I dreamed of doing. We took their crowd out of the game.
“We hit them with a blitzkrieg.”
Freshman Allie Troeckler pitched in 14 points, while Megan Trost collected 12 rebounds to go with nine points. The Eagles outrebounded the Terriers 19-3 in the first half and prevailed in the battle of the boards by a 31-23 count.
“Our No. 1 goal was to outrebound them,” Denney said
Ballard’s big night included making 11 of 14 free throws. She was 2-for-4 from the field.
“Addie did a great job in the regional championship game,” Denney said of the win over Highland. “She did tonight, too. She has really stepped it up for us.”
Ballard added, “It was one of my better games of the season. I’ve really been working on my free throws.”
CM hit 19 of 39 shots and committed just eight turnovers. Carbondale made 13 of 36 shots and had 16 turnovers. McKena Miller (13 points) and Kaili Bacon (12 points) led the Terriers, who made only 4 of 15 shots the first half. The Eagles managed to survive and thrive despite making just 17 of 30 foul shots.
“It means so much to win this game. It’s great,” Troeckler said. “As soon as we got the lead, we weren’t going to stop.”
Ballard said, “Our big goal was to win the sectional because we never had won one.”
Next up is Quincy Notre Dame and an opportunity to reach the state semifinals next weekend at Illinois State University in Normal.
“We’re looking forward to the challenge,” Denney said. “We need to handle their pressure and match their intensity.”
And another quick start would be equally appreciated.
CARBONDALE CLASS 3A SECTIONAL
CM 56, CARBONDALE 40
CM 21 11 13 11 – 56
Carbondale 2 11 11 16 – 40
CM (31-2) – Niemeier 7, Zipprich 7, Fencel 4, Ballard 15, Trost 9, Troeckler 14. 2FG-18 3FG-1 FT-17 PF-17
Carbondale (21-9) – S. Miller 2, Greer 3, M. Miller 13, Jones 6, Bacon 12, Williams 4. 2FG-11 3FG-2 FT12 PF-24