MATTOON -- Fans who saw Mattoon seniors Ashlyn MacDonald and Bella Coffey last Monday against Olney might have thought it was senior night then after the way they dropped 25 and 19 points, respectively.
But it was not senior night. Last night was actually senior night for the Lady Wave, and both of their performances were fitting of a senior night just the same as a week ago. But with 26 seconds left in the game, Taylorville stole the lead and the win.
Mattoon held a 13-point lead going into the fourth quarter, but Taylorville had a spectacular final two minutes of the game to get a 61-56 victory.
Before the game, Mattoon’s four seniors, MacDonald, Coffey, Avery Risinger and Paige Arthur were honored. Team manager, senior Madison Ashby, was also recognized.
The first time the two teams met, on Dec. 4, Taylorville emerged victorious 62-47, and for most of the game Monday night, it appeared Mattoon would get revenge and the win for the seniors.
MacDonald and Coffey lead the scoring for the Lady Wave, scoring 22 and 29 points, respectively.
“I thought our seniors stepped up tonight and played great,” Mattoon head coach Amanda Aydt said. “I appreciate and thank them for all their hard work and dedication to the program.”
The first bucket of the game came from MacDonald, who scored on a post shot, after Risinger fed her the ball inside. Risinger finished with two points.
After that, MacDonald fueled Mattoon for the rest of the first quarter, going into the second quarter with 12 points.
Coffey added five points of her own in the first, off a three-pointer and two free throws. Coffey and MacDonald were the only Mattoon scorers in the first and third quarter. Coffey would show up later in the game to help her team pull away.
The second quarter was a slower quarter for the Lady Wave, scoring 11 points. The only quarter Mattoon scored fewer points in was the fourth, when they scored nine points. In the second, Coffey had two threes, MacDonald made a post shot and sophomore Hallie Niemerg added a three as well, giving Mattoon a 28-24 lead at halftime.
Coming out of halftime, Coffey took over.
She got into a groove in the third quarter that Taylorville had no answer for. From the 6:50 mark to the 3:40 mark, Coffey singlehandedly went on a 14-2 run, that included four threes, to extend Mattoon’s lead over Taylorville to 42-28.
She would add another three with three seconds left in the quarter, and MacDonald added the other two points for the team with two and a half minutes to go in the third. Mattoon ended the third quarter with a 47-34 lead.
Then Taylorville silenced the gym.
With 2:09 left in the game, Mattoon held a close 53-52 lead. Over the next minute, MacDonald made a shot and Coffey made a free throw to give the Lady Wave a four-point lead.
Then, starting at the 45 second mark, Taylorville junior Natalie Snyder scored seven straight points to take Mattoon’s lead away. Snyder ended the game with 29 points, leading her team and tied with Coffey for game-high scoring.
She got two straight steals and layups off of Mattoon inbounding passes, then got an and-one layup and made free throw with 26 seconds left.
Coffey nearly tied the game with 6.8 seconds left, but Aydt called a timeout before Coffey shot it because Mattoon almost lost the ball.
Coffey then got a chance for the tie off the inbounding play, but the three hit the back of the rim and bounced out.
Taylorville then made two free throws with half a second left to completely ice the game.
MacDonald, Coffey, Risinger and Niemerg were the only Mattoon players to score.
After the game, Aydt said she was very proud of her team.
“I thought the girls did a lot of things well,” she said. “We executed on offense, and we played well on defense.”
Mattoon is now 10-17 on the year, and Taylorville improved to 11-14.
The JV team won their game 46-27. Junior Amari Brown and sophomore Hallie Niemerg led the JV team in scoring, both with nine points in the contest.