The Dieterich Movin' Maroons used a January loss to Patoka to motivate themselves Wednesday night at the Class 1A Red Hill Sectional.
It was more successful than they ever could have hoped for, as Dieterich stomped the Patoka Warriors 61-39 and advanced to Friday's sectional final against St. Anthony.
While Patoka took home a 60-51 win just a little less than two months ago, they had no answers for the Maroons offensively Wednesday. Three Maroons topped 14 points on the night, and Dieterich got every look it wanted to.
"They got us down there, and these kids really, really wanted it," said Dieterich coach Jeff Staser. "Sometimes that's better motivation, losing and getting to come back and face them again than just facing them in a sectional tournament."
The game seesawed back and forth for the first five minutes, with the lead changing hands three times. Dieterich got the 3-pointer to start falling in the final minutes of the first quarter, and continued that into the second.
A 16-9 lead for the Maroons after one swelled to as many as 13 midway through the second quarter, as Dieterich started pounding the ball inside to Devin Aherin.
It's been a tried-and-true formula for the Movin' Maroons (22-8), with Tanner Traub scoring 16, Alex Bohnhoff scoring 15 and Aherin adding 14 of his own Wednesday night.
"We'd like to be able to go inside out, outside in, you name it, that's what we want to do," Staser said. "That's what we are. Inside out, we spread it around."
The Movin' Maroons took a 34-20 lead to the locker rooms at the half, and never stopped working the ball inside. After five first-half threes, Traub hit the only of the second half with 5:56 left in the fourth quarter.
Instead, it was layups, free throws, jumpers and solid post play that did the trick as Dieterich continued to grow its lead in the game's final 16 minutes.
Johnnie Clift and Jered Cain each had 14 points for the Warriors, but the other Patoka players only combined for 11 points on the night as the Maroons threw a number of zone looks at them and used their length to disrupt the Patoka rhythm.
Travis Niemerg added seven points for Dieterich and Nick Feldhake scored five.
Now, the Maroons are on barely-charted waters, playing for a Sectional title for only the second time. They fell to Nokomis 53-39 in 2008.
If it's motivation they need, like they got for Wednesday's game with Patoka, they'll get it. They face a St. Anthony team they split the NTC regular-season crown with -- along with Altamont -- and the Bulldogs bested the Maroons 36-26 on Dec. 20.
"We'll see, the way the kids play, all I tell them now is anything can happen at this stage of the year," Staser said. "You lay your heart out on the floor, the last you want to do is go home, look in the mirror and say 'If I'd only done this.' Right now, they've got the message and they're channeling that energy in the right fashion."
The sectional championship game will begin at 7 p.m., with one area NTC team punching a ticket to next week's Super-Sectional.
Patoka 9 11 10 9 39
Dieterich 16 18 12 15 61
Patoka: Clift 14, Felchlia 2, Allen 6, Cain 14, T. Back 3
Dieterich: Traub 16, Campbell 2, Bohnhoff 15, Feldhake 5, L. Niemerg 2, Aherin 14, T. Niemerg 7