Jan. 1—EFFINGHAM — The Effingham/Teutopolis Christmas Classic was not so kind to the Flaming Hearts.
Effingham did not earn a victory in this year's event and fell to 2-14 on the season once the three-day tournament was completed on Saturday.
Effingham opened the tournament against Champaign (Centennial), losing 62-20.
The Hearts trailed 30-5 after the first quarter. They were then outscored 15-13 in the second, 8-4 in the third and 9-7 in the fourth.
Rylan Pals led Effingham with seven points. Hayden Wendling had six. Brady McDaniel had five. KJ Kellams had three and Nolan Fearday, Cannon Bockhorn, Jake Niebrugge and Will Moser all had two.
As for the opposition, O'Neil Johnson led with nine points. Kayden Peat and Kellen Foltz each had eight. Todd Makabu and Grady Makabu each had six. Jadin Schiib and Damarion Baker had five. Voldy Makabu and Demariea Willis each had four. Gavin Taylor had three and Jacobi Posey and Cam Willenborg each had two.
The Hearts then turned around the next day and played two games, with the first coming against Apollo Conference member Mattoon.
Effingham trailed 16-11 after the first quarter. The Hearts then outscored the Greenwave 11-10 in the second. Mattoon would then outscore Effingham 22-16 in the third and 18-15 in the fourth.
Wendling led the Hearts with 20 points. Bockhorn had 12. Kellams had 11. Nolan Fearday and Bushur each had three and McDaniel and Ethan Jones each had two.
Mattoon was led by Andrew Wetzel with 20 points. Bryce Jean had 14. Colton Smith had 13. Karson Rice had six. Cale Kimbro had five and Cole Larson and Madden Johnson each had four.
Effingham then lost to Seneca by a score of 64-45.
The Hearts trailed 16-14 after the first quarter. Effingham outscored the Fighting Irish 12-10 in the second and were outscored 21-12 in the third and 17-7 in the fourth.
Wendling led the Hearts with 14 points. Kellams had nine. Bockhorn had seven. Pals and Jones each had six and McDaniel had three.
Seneca was led by Paxton Giertz with 19 points. Kysen Kinker had 14. Brady Sheedy had eight. Lane Provance had seven. Grant Siegel and Bradyn Siemk each had five and Cameron Shriey and Josh Lucas each had three.
Effingham then closed the tournament with a 59-46 loss to Belvidere.
The Hearts trailed 20-7 after the first quarter. They were then outscored 10-9 in the second and 16-10 in the third. Effingham outscored the Bucs 20-13 in the fourth.
Fearday led the Hearts with 14 points. Wendling had 12. Pals had eight. Jones had five. Kellams and McDaniel each had three and Bockhorn had one.
Belvidere was led by Jason Dean with 13 points. Demetrious Taborn had 11. Brandon West had seven. Colton Baird had six. Nate Stuerer and Matthew Lasiowski each had five. Dom Alvarado had four and Devonne Embry and John Stary each had one.
Newton finishes 3-1 to win the consolation championship
Newton won the consolation championship after losing its first game of the tournament to Highland.
The Eagles (12-4) strung together three successive victories, defeating the Bucs by eight points, Pleasant Plains by 24 and the Greenwave by 13.
Against the Bulldogs, Newton trailed 17-15 after the first quarter. Highland then outscored the Eagles 17-10 in the second and 18-17 in the third. Newton outscored the Bulldogs 16-15 in the fourth.
Caden Nichols led the Eagles with 19 points. Parker Wolf had 17. Dylan Gier had 12. Kody Bergbower had five. Max Meinhart had three and Jacob Weber had two.
Highland was led by Jake Ottensmeier with 31 points. Grant Fleming and Garrin Stone each had 11, Braxton Decker had 10 and Trey Koishor had four.
Newton then regrouped, defeating Belivdere, 75-67, the next day.
The Eagles led 17-15 after the first quarter, outscored the Bucs 20-10 in the second, and tied them in the fourth at 18 apiece. Belvidere bested Newton in the third by a 24-20 score.
"The message was, 'Play within yourself, play your role and don't try to do too much,'" said head coach Troy Bierman on what the message was to his team after the loss to the Bulldogs. "We are still trying to figure things out without Kye (Bergbower), who's going to be our point guard and trying Gus there and that just hasn't been to my liking, so we switched it up and let Caden run the point and move Gus off the ball, so we don't have to worry about some things."
Kye Berbower was sidelined due to an injury suffered during the St. Anthony game. Bierman confirmed that he will miss the remainder of the year.
"I didn't know how bad it was and I was hoping it wasn't bad, but we found out and he's done for the year," Bierman said. "We're using this tournament to figure out who we're going to be without him."
So far, so good, as the Eagles improved to 4-2 without their starting point guard following the win over the Bucs.
Nichols led Newton in that contest with 27 points. Wolf had 22. Gier had 13. Weber had six. Bierman had five and Grant Ochs had two.
The Eagles then beat the Cardinals 53-29 in the evening slate. Newton led 7-5 after the first quarter and then outscored Pleasant Plains 17-1 in the second, 17-11 in the third and tied the Cardinals at 12 in the fourth.
Gier led the Eagles with 17 points. Nichols had 10. Wolf had nine. Weber had seven. Bierman had five. Lance Volk had three and Kody Bergbower had two.
Pleasant Plains was led by Luke Bowsher with seven points. Sean Lowder had five. Michael Carter had four. Cooper Schallenberg. Liam Hatfield each had three and Grady Grisham, Trager Shultz and Henry Griffeth had two and Isaiah Babington had one.
Newton then finished the tournament with a 53-40 win over Mattoon.
The Eagles led 16-6 after the first quarter and outscored the Greenwave 6-5 in the third and 19-12 in the fourth. Mattoon bested Newton 17-12 in the second.
Gier led the Eagles with 17 points. Nichols had 13. Bierman had 10. Wolf had six. Meinhart had three and Kody Bergbower and Weber each had two.
As for the Greenwave, Rice led with nine points. Jean had eight. Jace Gardner had seven. Wetzel had five. Smith had four. Johnson had three and Larson and Kimbro each had two.
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