CHARLESTON -- If fans came in about the normal starting time of a varsity girls' basketball game they would have thought the Apollo Conference game between Lincoln and Charleston might end up being a close game. Charleston led 27-20 with 3:08 left in the second quarter. The No. 4 Lady Trojans showed why they are state ranked with a 28-0 run over a span of 8:35 during the 69-31 win over Lincoln.
During the run Charleston sophomore Shae Littleford had a steal and layup and for the 999 and 1,000 points of her career with 6:04 left in the third. Her basket made it 43-20. At the next dead ball, which was 1:12 later Littleford was given the game ball by her coach Jeff Miller.
The 20 wins in a row is also the most in CHS girls' basketball history.
"We had kind of a slow start in that second quarter," said Miller. "We ended up scoring points off our defense and it kind of energized us a little bit. We came out and shot the ball pretty well in the second half. No. 20 is pretty cool and what is even better is that you get No. 20 and Shae Littleford scores 1,000. It was a real good team effort for my girls and I am proud of them all."
Lincoln stayed close thanks to the play of 6-2 junior Leah Schneider, who scored 15 of her 18 points n the first half.
"I thought Bernie did a real good job with Schneider," said Miller. "The problem there was we were not getting any backside help. When she put the ball on the floor we should have someone at the midline to take the ball and that didn't happen. Jackson worked hard and we just need to get her a little more help."
The Lady Trojans held Lincoln, a team that lost to Mattoon 51-46 last Monday, to 0-of-11 shooting in a span of 10:45 during a 42-1 run.
"We kind of started settling for a while and then we came after them in the full-court defense and that is when we took over and played our game," said Shae Littleford. "We dictated the pace."
The run began with two free throws by Jackson. Littelford scored the next three points and Hannah Buescher made a three-pointer and scored off a feed from Littleford. Bailey Crites made a pair of free throws for what was the final points of the half as Charleston led 39-20.
Littelford scored the first basket before getting her milestone points.
"I knew how many points I needed to get before the game, but I wasn't really looking for it," said Littleford. "I really just wanted to win and be 20-0 with our team. Getting the basket was very exciting. Coach was talking to me on the bench. It was a big moment and I am excited to keep going and keep winning this season."
Charleston scored the first nine points of the game but the Railsplitters climbed back to within two, 11-9 on a basket by Cadence Presswood. The Lady Trojans, who played a 1-2-2 trap, led 20-14 after the first quarter.
The defense forced Lincoln into 24 turnovers, while CHS had just 10.
"We are pretty good when we get the other team to run the ball over," said Miller. "I think we are a pretty good passing team at times. We didn't show it in the second quarter."
Littleford said she wasn't looking to get 1,000 points in her career this season.
"When I came into this season I was just looking for our team record and going as far as we can as a team."
Littleford led CHS, 8-0 in the Apollo, with 20 points, while Regan Bollant had 14. The Lady Trojans shot 45 percent for the game compared to just 26 for Lincoln, who fell to 5-15 overall and 2-6 in the conference.
Charleston is off until playing host to St. Thomas More in a rare Wednesday game.
The Charleston junior varsity trailed Lincoln just 6-5 after the opening quarter, but were outscored 18-6 in the second and lost 46-13.
Baley Myerscough and Kiera Campbell had four points each to lead the Lady Trojans.