High School Girls Basketball
Lady Railers Senior Night a success over Mahomet-Seymour 74-24
Team improves to 28-0

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[February 01, 2024] 

Railer Nation ~ YOU DID IT!

You showed up in support of the no. 1 ranked Class 3A team in the state of Illinois on Tuesday night! You showed your appreciation for an amazing group of student-athletes that feature a fantastic starting five of seniors Kloe Froebe, Becca Heitzig, Jenna Bowman, Tori Geriets and Taryn Stoltzenburg.

You applauded the video put together by the Uber-talented Derek Parris of SportsChannel 1450 of Springfield that featured some fantastic highlights of their high school career and even some old photos and videos that were absolutely precious. These Lady Railers have been attached to one another since childhood and their friendships primarily date back to preschool. Stoltzenburg entered the friendship circle around sixth grade and you could say, the rest is history.

You also clapped along with the hype video that has played for much of the season, prior to the starting lineups. You even hooped and hollered at the memories of that 36-1 season that ended on March 4, 2023 at Redbird Arena.

You were entertained by the Railette Dance Team, the LCHS Pep Band and the fantastic student section that is Railer Nation. Along with you, these kids each made the gym a fun atmosphere.

From the start of the introductions of the players and student assistants and their parents until well after the final buzzer, you were engaged as a crowd, focusing your attention on these girls and the one boy, of course. Taylor Swift might have Travis Kelce, but these girls got Ryan Fruge and you won’t find a more supportive young guy, relishing his role as student manager/unofficial assistant coach of the Lady Railers.

Joining Fruge on the staff are fellow seniors Destinee Harper and Tamari Pressoir. These three were not only recognized for their dedication to the team, but they were also on the WLCN postgame show with Jay Hardin and Kari Froebe. It was a real treat to listen to all eight seniors being interviewed postgame, along with Coach Taylor Rohrer, by the way.

And hey throughout the game, you cheered loudly as each basket sailed through the net and you let out a disappointed yet collective sigh with each basket that was missed. In between it all, you left your bleacher seat with excitement, cheering and encouraging. You brought an energy to the gym the girls so deserved. And in the end, when Coach Rohrer replaced the starters in the fourth quarter, you rose to the occasion and gave the girls a much-deserved standing ovation and an applause that went on for a significant length of time. Well done.

On the court the game was a success, with Lincoln winning 74-24 over former Apollo Conference rivals Mahomet-Seymour.

The win cements this fact: these Lady Railers have been undefeated at home the last two seasons. Currently their high school record is 97 wins and 19 losses with a lot of, as Kari Froebe has coined it, “#unfinishedbusiness.”

First Quarter

Getting down to business in the first quarter, it was Lincoln with a 21-0 lead to start things off. No typo here. The Bulldogs were held scoreless in the first quarter, or as Jay Hardin likes to say, “We’re pitching a shutout.”

The first quarter may not have been the most beautiful eight minutes of basketball, but with Becca Heitzig draining the first shot and Kloe Froebe going 6-for-6 from the free line and tossing in a couple more shots in the paint, the points were tallying quickly.

Taryn Stoltzenburg was also 2-for-2 from the line early and she drained the first three of the game. Heitzig would also shoot a jumper from the free throw line that bounced and bounced and bounced until it fell through the hoop for another two points.

Tori Geriets also added a bucket in the lane and that’s precisely how the points added up in the first quarter on Senior Night.

Second Quarter

Lincoln is going to go up 28-0 here to start the quarter. The Bulldogs were not enjoying this night in Lincoln, especially since the Lady Railers defense was just tearing them apart. One particular impressive move is just how Froebe swipes the ball from her opponent. She is so smooth and calculating in her effort. First thing, you can see it in her eyes. Her focus is like when a cat is ready to pounce on a mouse. She is connected with that ball and her strategy is all about timing the bounce of the ball.

The poor opponent is just trying to get the ball near half-court and Froebe is like, “Not today.” No matter which direction the opponent moves, Froebe seems to be in step with her, choosing just the right time to swat the ball, without making any body contact, and then she’s off and running towards the basket. It’s a move fans have seen time and time again. She’s got it down pat and there’s a level of excitement each and every time she takes off for the basket, scoring on a layup and quick to resume her position back on defense under the basket. She’s ready to do this maneuver over and over again. Froebe also had a nice spin move in the lane and a pretty bank shot to complete it to make the score 28-0.

Reese Gallier finally put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard with 3:40 on the second quarter clock. Two points! 28-2 the score. Here come the Lady Railers back to stretch the lead to 34-2. But hey, another basket by the Bulldogs, this time by Kylie Waldinger, made the score 34-4. Just before halftime, Heitzig made a great save going out of bounds to toss the ball back into play and into the hands of Jenna Bowman. Bowman acted quickly, tossing it up for the final two points of the half and a 36-4 Lincoln lead.

Third Quarter

It took Heitzig eleven seconds into the quarter to hit a three for Lincoln and stretch the lead to 39-4.

Then how about Bowman in the paint, scoring off the assist from Stoltzenburg. Actually the third quarter ended up being quite the offensive display for Lincoln. The team would toss in 28 points and everybody was enjoying the moment.

Froebe scored on a really nice assist from Heitzig. Heitzig then showed off a great spin move in the lane for two points. Froebe hit a jumper in the lane that looked marvelous.

Then Piper Whiteman came in to connect from downtown, not once, but twice. Stoltzenburg also launched a three from the corner, right in front of her grandparents and Railer Nation. The ball swished through the net, giving Lincoln a 62-10 lead at the time.

To end the quarter, Froebe made a layup just ahead of the buzzer and the Lincoln lead was 64-13. The Bulldogs even drained three 3s in the quarter. A good time was had by all.

Fourth Quarter

Run the clock over there, boys! These girls are hungry!

After spending a hot minute working on some offensive plays, the Lady Railers exited the court to much applause around the four minute mark. The score at the time of the senior’s departure: 68-17.

Just prior to the exit, Heitzig would get knocked to the floor by Waldinger and pick herself up. That’s our Becca!

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As the five seniors made their way to the bench, they paused momentarily for a group hug. There were no tears.They know they have plenty of games left. This was just a chapter at Roy S. Anderson coming to an end, but there is still so much to be written. While the crowd gave the girls a standing ovation, Coach Rohrer made her way down the line, hugging each senior.

Railer Nation said it best when the girls exited the court. With Froebe, Heitzig, Bowman, Stoltzenburg and Geriets taking a seat on the bench, the chant began, “Thank you, seniors. Thank you, Seniors!”

Makinley Knapp finished the Lincoln scoring on three baskets in the paint, with Mia Clark getting the assist each and every time. The Bulldogs managed to drop in some points too down the stretch and this kept the 50-point margin win intact.

The final score of the last home game of the season was 74-24.

Kloe Froebe outscores the Bulldogs with 31 points. She also contributed 8 steals, 7 rebounds and 4 assists.

Scoring alert: Froebe is 13 points away from 3,000 career points.

Another scoring update: Both Heitzig and Bowman started the game with 814 career points. So you can do the math from here.

Becca Heitzig continues to roll with the punches and elevate her game. She tossed in 11 points.

How about Taryn Stoltzenburg?! The “Tazmanian Devil” as Jay Hardin calls her, had a tremendous game with 10 points and a handful of steals and assists.

Jenna Bowman goes out on Senior Night with six points and Railsplitters baseball player Colbie Glenn on her arm. With her 5’6 frame, she doesn’t back down from any opponent.

Tori Geriets, “T.G.” as she has been called for quite a while, finished with four points and continues to work hard in the paint, fighting for position against girls typically taller than her 5’8 frame.

Piper Whiteman and Makinley Knapp, the two juniors who will take over leadership roles next season, each finished with six points. Whiteman had two 3s and Knapp scored three baskets in the paint.

Not to embarrass Piper, but the tears were rolling from her cheeks long after the game. If you know Piper, you love her. And she loves you. It’s that simple. Knapp will take her under her wing and encourage her next season, as will the rest of the team, coaches, family and even the fans. While LCHS loses five amazing seniors, Whiteman temporarily loses that closeness with her friends. Of course, they will all go their separate ways, but there is no doubt that they will all find their way back to each other as often as they can. They might have to hop on a plane to see each other from time to time, but hey, Piper, it’s working for Taylor and Travis, and it’ll work for you girls.

The 28-0 Lady Railers are coached by Taylor Rohrer and after the game, she offered her thoughts on the seniors.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to coach this group of seniors,” said Rohrer. “They are incredible basketball players. Everyone who has been to a game knows that. I love coaching them and watching them play. They’re winners in every sense of the word. The best parts of their game is the chemistry they have on the floor, they are great teammates, they’re unselfish, they’re supportive, and they love one another. For me the best parts of each of them (players and managers) are who they are as human beings. They are good people. They are strong, kind, determined, funny and humble. Getting to know each of them has been one of the greatest joys of my life. I will miss them tremendously, but senior night is not the end, it’s a celebration of outstanding high school careers. We still have work to do. One more goal.”

Checking in on the JV game, they were 64-31 winners over Mahomet-Seymour.

Piper Whiteman led the team with 19 points.

Mia Clark had 13 points for the Lady Railers.

The JV team is a remarkable 21-0 on the season.

Be sure and catch the Lady Railers in action this weekend as they travel south to take on two 4A schools.

On Friday night Lincoln will play O’Fallon (21-6) at 6:30 p.m. in the Bank of O’Fallon Shootout. The game will be at the O’Fallon High School Dome in O’Fallon. O’Fallon is currently ranked no. 8 in Associated Press Class 4A Poll.

On Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. the Lady Railers will play Alton (25-1) in the State Farm Shootout at East Alton-Wood River High School. Alton is ranked no. 2 in the Associated Press Class 4A Poll.

These are Varsity games only.

The JV and Varsity teams will be on the road next Tuesday, February 6, 2024 at Normal University High for the last regular game of the season.

Varsity scoring

Lincoln 74

Froebe 31
Heitzig 11
Stoltzenburg 10
Bowman 6
Whiteman 6
Knapp 6
Geriets 4

Mahomet-Seymour 24

Gallier 8
Young 5
Eisenmann 4
Dallas 3
Binkley 2
Waldinger 2

JV scoring

Lincoln 64

Whiteman 19
Clark 13
McCloud 9
Adams 8
Holmes 7
Knapp 6
Perkins 2

Mahomet-Seymour 31

Streicher 10
Martin 8
Welge 3
Fonte 3
Creel 3
Dallas 2
Cox 2

[Teena Lowery]

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