MAHOMET — Inconsistency has been a theme of Mahomet-Seymour basketball all year long.
M-S coach Ryan Bosch has proven that he isn't afraid to dip into his bench as nine Bulldogs are in the regular rotation, but it's been hard to find the right combination all year long.
Some days, Grant Coleman and Connor Kamphaus are cooking. Other days, it's Kobe Essien and Jordan Veldman.
The lack of consistency has been a big reason why M-S has stayed under .500 for most of the season.
But M-S finally bucked the trend and put it together on Friday night. Seven Bulldogs scored more than six points as M-S thrashed Mount Zion 73-48 in front of a big home crowd.
"When they all click at once, it can look good," Bosch said. "It's really helpful when we get contributions that deep into the bench. I don't know who's going to be the leading scorer, or who is going to have the ability to contribute, but we've got certainly nine guys who can contribute on any given night."
M-S blitzed Mount Zion from the opening tip, jumping out to an early 18-6 lead thanks to buckets from six different Bulldogs. Coleman and Kamphaus both drained long triples, and Lucas Turner's sweet pull-up 18-foot jumper bookended the big run.
Mount Zion clawed back to within 22-13 at the end of the first quarter, but that was the closest the Braves would get the rest of the night. Another back-breaking trey from Kamphaus sent the Bulldogs into the break with a 45-24 halftime lead.
M-S would lead by as much as 31 in the second half and all 14 Bulldogs on the roster got into the game.
"It's exciting in there," Bosch said. "They're happy. They've worked hard to get to a place where they win a game like this. They deserve to celebrate like this. I was really pleased with the team effort. It felt like they were sharing the ball, playing with each other, and they can be exciting to watch."
Kamphaus really controlled the game throughout. The gritty senior is just wired to score. His jab steps got the Braves' defenders off balance, and Kamphaus was able to explode to the rim at will.
Oh, and then when Mount Zion tried to cut off the drive, Kamphaus drained all three treys. He finished with a team-high 14 points to go along with four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
"He was really coachable in the stuff we've talked about," Bosch said. "Finishing at the rim strong, not just relying on his speed to get there. Thought he shared the ball. Thought he had a couple really nice plays on help-side defense. He wouldn't have made that play in November, I'm just going to call that out, and he's making that play now. That's what's got him here. He's been so coachable."
Coleman finished with 13 points and three steals.
Essien had 10 points and six rebounds. His defensive efforts were huge, too. On one possession, Essien had back-to-back powerful swats.
"We were struggling with their size and their girth; they're big and went out of their way to pound it in on us and Kobe was up to the challenge," Bosch said. "When he goes in and plays that way defensively, the offense follows suit. He's certainly got the potential to do that, it's just the consistency."
Turner, Lener and Jack McHale all scored eight points. McHale hit two three-pointers. Lener added four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Veldman chipped in with six points and four rebounds. Veldman was 4-for-5 from the free throw line.
Tyler Uken, Nic Liagridonis, Ben Greenberger, Connor Thomason and Mason Butler were rewarded with playing time late in the game. The M-S bench exploded when Uken executed a beautiful lefty hook.
"They push the first group of six or seven guys really hard this last week," Bosch said. "They made it really competitive and when they do that, they have to understand how much of the team success they're a part of. That can be hard when you're 17 or 18 years old and you're not playing as much as you'd like to. Those seniors, Connor and Ben, they're 100 percent in. Whether they play zero or they play 10 minutes, they're all-in."
Effingham 68, M-S 63. Coleman erupted for 22 points on 9-for-15 shooting, but Effingham came from behind in the fourth quarter and defeated M-S 68-63 on Saturday. The Bulldogs held a 54-51 lead heading into the final eight minutes but couldn't pull off the big road win.
Braden Finch hit three treys and finished with 11 points.
Kamphaus added 10 points and a team-high six assists.
Lener and Veldman both scored nine points. Lener filled the box score with five assists, four rebounds and three steals.
M-S dropped to 9-13 on the season.
Urbana 65, M-S 52. Urbana led by just five points at halftime, but took control in the third quarter, extending its lead to 48-35, and the Bulldogs couldn't get over the hump.
Coleman had 18 points.
Kamphaus added 11 points, three rebounds and three assists.
The difference in the game was at the charity stripe. Urbana went 16-for-23, while M-S shot just nine free throws all night long.
Braden Finch and Turner each had six points. Essien added four. Connor Thomason bagged a three-pointer. Veldman and McHale each had two points as M-S slipped to 9-14 on the season.
The Bulldogs will be on the road today against Taylorville, with the junior varsity starting at 6 p.m. and the varsity at 7:30. On Tuesday, M-S will travel to Normal West for a nonconference showdown.