JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
Shelbyville celebrated Senior Night on Thursday, but they couldn’t celebrate a win. Tolono was just a few points better every quarter and the Rams struggled to score once again, losing 45-31.
Tolono gradually built an 8-0 lead in the first 4:00. Sophomore Madison Boone finally got the Rams on the board with a 3-point play. She scored off an inbound play, was fouled, and converted the free throw. Senior Ram Lindsay Floyd made two free throws to trail 10-5. A Tolono press late in the period led to a fast break two and the Rockets led 14-5 heading to the 2nd.
The Rams made a 6-0 run early in the 2nd, but couldn’t get the lead and faded before the break. Despite the Tolono press, the Rams got the ball down the floor and Lindsay Burton hit a put back to open the 2nd. Boone blocked a shot at the Tolono end and Courtney Schultz scored in transition, cutting the deficit to four points, 13-9.
Burton then dribbled in and hit bank shot from the wing to make it a 2-point game after just 2:20 of the 2nd, 13-11. Tolono had to call time-out. Tolono scored on a base line drive, but Boone had a spin move in the lane, missed and Burton put it back, 15-13.
Tolono missed and the Rams had a 1-and-1 to tie the game, but missed the front end. A minute and a half later, Shelby had another 1-and-1 to tie, but just made the first shot to still trail by one with 2:00 left in the half, 15-14. Tolono finally scored inside with 18 seconds left in the half and Shelby couldn’t answer, trailing 17-14 at the break.
The Rams had done a good job of playing their way back into the game by the half. But in the 3rd period, they turned the ball over too much. Tolono went on a 12-0 run to lead 29-14. Shelby finally scored on two Schultz free throws with 44 seconds left in the period. They got another foul and Floyd made both ends of a 1-and-1. Floyd then scored from the floor, capping a 6-0 Ram run over 34 seconds to cut the lead to 29-20.
Tolono had an inbound on the side with 10 seconds left in the 3rd. They got the ball in and nobody picked up Tolono’s best scorer who went to the key and nailed a trey at the buzzer, 32-20.
Tolono maintained their lead, but with 4:03 left in the game, Burton hit her own three from the key and Boone sank a long bank shot from the wing to get the Rams within nine points with 3:00 to play, 36-27. Shelby got the lead down to eight points with 1:15 to play, after Floyd made two more free throws and Olivia Williamson drove in for a bank shot, 39-31.
Tolono made free throws in the final minute and cemented the win.
Senior Lindsay Floyd joined Lindsay Burton in leading the Rams with nine points, each. Floyd made 7 of her 9 at the line, making a perfect 7-of-7. Burton scored inside, made a trey for her nine. Schultz and Boone followed with five points each.
Tolono was co-led by Hartman and Maxwell, both with a game-high 15 points. Bingaman followed with six points.
Shelbyville was bumped up to Class 3A and will have a week to practice before entering Mattoon 3-A Regional play. Shelbyville (#5 seed) opens against Charleston (#4 seed) on Monday, February 11 at 7:30 p.m. If they win, they will play #1 seeded Taylorville the next night at 6 p.m.
Tolono 45, Shelbyville 31
Ram stats: Floyd 9 (FG, 7/7 FTs), Burton 9 (3-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 0/2 FTs), Schultz 5 (FG, 3/7 FTs), Boone 5 (2 FGs, 1/3 FTs), Williamson 3 (FG, 1/2 FTs). Team FGs 9. 3-pointers: 1 (Burton). Team FTs 12-of-22.
Tolono stats: Hartman 15 (5 FGs, 5/8 FTs), Maxwell 15 (3-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 6/7 FTs), Bingaman 6 (2 FGs, 2/4 FTs), Martin 3 (FG, 1/2 FTs), Cunningham 2 (FG), Stone 2 (FG), Stumborg 2 (FG). Team FGs 15 (1-3). Team FTs 14-of-21.