MAHOMET — Grant Coleman won't celebrate his senior night for one more year, but he wasn't about to let a special night have a sour ending.

The Mahomet-Seymour junior erupted in the third quarter last Friday, pouring in 16 of his game-high 24 points in the frame as M-S flipped a 28-24 halftime lead into a 29-point advantage midway through the fourth quarter.

M-S cruised past Charleston 79-55 in the final home game for seven Bulldogs.

"It's nice to go out on a two-game winning streak at home," M-S coach Ryan Bosch said. "It's nice to send the seniors off this way. They work so hard. They deserve to have this kind of feeling and this kinda game at home. It's what you dream about when you're a kid growing up, is having a senior night like this."

Seniors Connor Kamphaus and Jordan Veldman got the Bulldogs off to a hot start in the first quarter, as M-S stretched its lead out to 15-8. Veldman got to the rack whenever he wanted, and Kamphaus toyed with Charleston all night long with a couple beautiful fadeaway jumpers.

Charleston wouldn't go quietly. Riding the hot hand of Isaac Miller, Charleston rallied to tie the game at 24 late in the first half.

Miller was terrific all night long, finishing with 17 points on just 11 shots. He drained three treys and ripped down a trio of rebounds.

Miller's big-time performance had one bad consequence: it woke up the sleeping giant.

"Miller being so good is the kind of inspiration Grant Coleman needs sometimes," Bosch said. "One-on-one challenge to match."

Boy, Coleman did more than "match" Miller in the second half. Coleman flipped in a layup off a beautiful inbounds play to start the third quarter be-fore absolutely going off.

Coleman drained three long treys, converted an old-fashioned three-point play and capped the quarter with a steal and a behind-the-back dime to senior Lucas Turner for a layup.

M-S scored 32 points in the third quarter alone, and it was one of the best stretches of offense the Bulldogs have played all season long.

"I think offensively, we can be pretty potent," Bosch said. "When Grant gets hot like that, it obviously makes us look really good. It was a team effort. I thought Cole Lener guarded his butt off, Jordan Veldman was great on the defensive side of the ball. There was plenty of credit to go around the whole night."

With the Bulldogs comfortably ahead, Bosch was able to insert seldom-used seniors Ben Greenberger and Connor Thomason. Both drained long three-pointers which sent the M-S student section into a frenzy.

"Dude, that was awesome," Greenberger said. "The fans here are always fantastic. They support me all the way. Getting them that hyped at the end on my senior night, that was a great feeling."

Turner, Veldman, Kamphaus, Thomason, Greenberger, Jack McHale and Dawson Finch were the seven seniors that were honored.

"These seniors mean a lot," Bosch said. "They've done a lot of things for the first time when we asked them to. Whether that was their approach to the weight room or changes to the playbook that they've grown up with their whole life, they've taken everything in stride.

"Everybody wants to start their senior year, and some of these guys have had to come off the bench. The way they've handled that, the way they've led this team, has been nice."

Turner was second on the team with 13 points.

Veldman added 10 while Kamphaus chipped in nine points, four assists and three rebounds. Finch had six points and a couple assists.

Thomason and Greenberger both had three points.

McHale didn't crack the scoring column, but the senior has played big all season long. He finished with three assists and four rebounds in his final home game.

"It was crazy to see the atmosphere blow up when everyone was hitting their shots," McHale said. "It was a great experience. This team means everything to me. We've been together ever since we were 9 years old. It's crazy to see our chemistry and us coming together and playing as a whole group."

 

Looking ahead

M-S will wrap up its regular season on the road against Mattoon tonight. M-S will head to Rantoul for the Class 3A regional quarterfinals on Monday. The Bulldogs will try to beat Rantoul for the second time this season. A win would propel M-S into a semifinal showdown with Champaign Central on Tuesday.