Effingham Daily News
Dieterich sophomore Courtney Flach missed her first two free throws in the fourth quarter of Tuesday night’s season opener against St. Anthony.
But, with only seconds remaining and the score tied at 36, Flach once again found herself at the line in a clutch situation.
This time, she calmly knocked down both shots, sending the Maroons to a 38-36 victory.
“That was very big, especially for a youngster like her - only a sophomore,” Dieterich coach Donetta Ohnesorge said. “She did it when it counted.”
In order to get to the point where Flach could knock down her big free throws, the Maroons relied heavily on senior center Candace Niemerg.
En route to a 20-14 halftime lead, Niemerg led the way with eight points. She also blocked several shots from Bulldog post players.
But, when Niemerg struggled in the third quarter, Mallorie Vahling stepped up for Dieterich.
The sophomore was 3-for-3 from the floor, scoring six of Dieterich’s eight third-quarter points. She would finish the game with 13 points.
“Mallorie is an excellent player,” Ohnesorge said. “She’s one of the players that’s going to have to step up for us, and that’s what she did.”
In the fourth quarter, Niemerg returned to form, scoring five of her 13 points in the last eight minutes.
“She’s fantastic,” St. Anthony coach Bart Wiedman said. “She’s so smart and so good. Defensively, she’s really smart and she got some good shots.”
Overall, the story of the game was turnovers. Both teams struggled with giving the ball away.
The Maroons had 27 total turnovers; St. Anthony finished the game with 20 giveaways.
“I was kind of disappointed in the way we came out and played,” Ohnesorge said. “It wasn’t the kind of ball we need to be playing. Hopefully it was just first game jitters.”
“The name of the game was turning the ball over,” Wiedman added. “The first quarter just killed us. We have to take care of the basketball.”
But, Wiedman added that there was some good that came out of the loss.
“I thought a big plus was that our bench played really well, which is what we’re going to need,” he said.
However, he also noted that expectations are different for this year’s Bulldog team and that they wouldn’t settle for close games anymore.
“Last year we always talked about if we play well, we got a moral victory,” he said. “But, that’s just not what we want this year. We want wins.”
Kate Richards and Makayla Walsh led the way for St. Anthony offensively, each amassing eight points on the night. Melissa Bushur added seven for the Bulldogs.
T-Town tops Sullivan
Behind 19 points from Danielle Repking, the Teutopolis girls’ team jumped out to a 1-0 start by defeating Sullivan 54-50 on Tuesday night.
Jessica Schumacher and Madeline Hartke each had nine points and Haley Giles added six points for T-Town.
After falling behind 15-9 in the first quarter, the Shoes used a 21-point second quarter to tie the game at 30 at halftime.
The Teutopolis JV squad also won, taking down Sullivan 19-5.
North Clay downs Cisne
The Cardinals got their season off to a good start on Monday night, defeating Cisne 47-39.
Teehanna Wyatt and Morgan Walker each had 13 points to lead the way for North Clay.
Kortney Stanfield grabbed eight rebounds to lead the team and also dished out five assists, grabbed five steals and scored five points for the Cardinals.
Central A&M routs Neoga
Despite 18 points from Jillian Deters, the Indians fell to Central A&M on Monday night, 91-36.
E.C. Thies had eight points, Olivia Ott had five points, Maddie Butler had three points and Kristin Deters added two points in the loss.
The JV Indians also lost to Central A&M, 63-16.
Neoga plays again at Arcola on Thursday.