Struggles continue: Lady Bulldogs come up short against Effingham

The Mahomet-Seymour Lady Bulldogs handled Effingham's full-court pressure defense for three quarters, but Effingham knocked down 16-of-17 free throws and defeated M-S 50-33 on Monday.

"I thought we did a good job of controlling the pace of the game," M-S coach Nathan Seal said. "We took a step in the right direction on the road in a tough environment against a great team. It's just unfortunate that we weren't able to pull out the win."

M-S trailed just 29-23 heading into the final quarter, but Effingham exploded for 21 fourth-quarter points, thanks to converting at the charity stripe and drilling a couple threes.

"Late in the game when we put pressure on them and tried to force a steal and trap, they just knocked down 16-of-17 free throws," Seal said. "So, that's a very good team, but I thought our girls played with a lot of toughness and with a lot of fight. We talk about never backing down, and I thought our girls did just that. We gave ourselves a chance down the stretch. They made some shots that took the wind out of our sails."

Senior Kailyn Northrup led the way with 10 points for M-S. Northrup hit two big triples, and she grabbed four rebounds and had two assists. Maddy Wade also chipped in with 10 points on 4-for-8 shooting from the field.

"You hit shots and it always helps," Seal said. "Kailyn played well. I thought she handled the ball well against the pressure. I thought Maddy did a good job attacking the basket."

Fellow senior Keida Nichols only had three points, but she hauled in 12 rebounds to go along with one assist and one steal.

"Keida played with tremendous effort tonight," Seal said. "Had 12 boards. Her effort on the defensive end was great. It's just toughness, hustle and desire. She played like a leader. She was helping the team on the defensive end. She handled the ball for us. Relentless on the boards. She's playing like a senior and we need that from her."

But it wasn't just Northrup, Wade and Nichols that gave the Bulldogs a boost. Ashley Wheeler came off the bench and hit all three of her shots to finish with six points. She also was second on the team with four rebounds.

"Ashley came in and played well," Seal said. "We were able to put her in the middle of the zone. She's able to knock a shot down, make a few layups and she made some great passes to teammates. I think she played a really good game for us. She gives us some toughness and some height and she's able to rebound. She's also a really good shooter."

Abby Kyle had two free throws, as only six Bulldogs were able to score. Makayla Rosenbery had two rebounds, one assist and two steals.

"I don't think we have any quit in us," Seal said. "I really think we're getting better. I told them that we've such a tough schedule and I know that it doesn't get a lot easier moving forward, but hopefully, we'll be able to get some wins in the near future."

The Bulldogs slipped to 3-5 overall and have lost four straight games. Effingham improved to 8-1. Despite the losing streak, Seal is encouraged with the progress his team has made.

"We took a step in the right direction tonight," Seal said. "If we keep taking care of the ball and playing with that effort, wins will come."


Looking ahead

M-S hosted Rantoul on Thursday, but results weren't available at press time. The Lady Bulldogs will be in action Saturday as they will host Lincoln. The varsity contest tips off at 12:30 p.m. On Monday, M-S will host Champaign Centennial. Junior varsity gets underway at 6 p.m. with varsity to follow.


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