MATTOON – After its first postseason girls’ basketball win in nine years, Mattoon is looking for more.
The second-seeded Lady Green Wave, 12-17, is looking to extend a five-game winning streak and its season in today’s 7:30 p.m. championship game of the IHSA Class 3A Mattoon Regional against top-seeded Taylorville, 19-11.
Mattoon used 36-16 rebounding domination in Tuesday’s 49-37 semifinal win over Mount Zion and is looking to use some of that same formula against Taylorville, which beat Charleston 63-43 with a 43-28 rebound advantage as a key.
The Lady Tornadoes literally present a bigger challenge.
“We’ve got to keep them off the boards,” Mattoon coach Jason Morgan said. “(Alex) Norville does a good job of going to the boards and so do the Bollinger sisters (Sydney and Grace).”
Norville had 19 points and eight rebounds in Taylorville’s semifinal win.
Mattoon advanced past the first round of the regional for the first time since 2004 with Samantha Thompson getting 12 points and nine rebounds, Kaitlyn Bath 11 points and 10 rebounds and Taylor Smith 10 points and six rebounds against Mount Zion.
The 2004 season also marked Mattoon’s last regional championship as coach George Reed’s Lady Wave beat Salem 81-68 for the title on its way to a sectional final.
The winner of tonight’s game advances to a 6 p.m. Monday semifinal of the Mount Zion Sectional against the winner of the Rantoul Regional final between Champaign Centennial and Mahomet-Seymour.
Before tonight’s championship game, Mattoon, Taylorville, Charleston, Mount Zion and Shelbyville-Stewardson-Strasburg-Windsor are to have four entries each competing in the Country Financial Three-Point Showdown with four players to advance to the sectional.