Effingham Daily News
Newton moved into position to defend its Dieterich Holiday Tournament championship on Saturday, behind Luke Stone's 24 points in a 61-40 win over Oblong on Friday.
The Eagles made a quick adjustment between the first two quarters, which Oblong led 15-13 after one, and started the second quarter on a 9-0 run the set the pace for the rest of the game.
Oblong's Jared Mayhew gave the Panthers a 15-13 lead with two late tip-ins following missed shots at the end of the first quarter and Newton head coach Doug Mammoser wasn't happy about it.
“We felt like we needed to keep Mayhew off the boards,” Mammoser said. “I thought (Lucas) Huston did a good job putting on body on him (after the first quarter).”
Everything clicked into place in the second quarter as Newton outscored Oblong 18-7 to take a 31-22 lead into halftime and the Eagles kept Mayhew off of the offensive boards.
Mammoser said he wanted to limit Dawson Maus, who can shoot the ball from beyond the arc, especially if he's wide open. The Eagles held Maus to 10 points.
Newton made a habit of scoring in transition. The Eagles' full-court press wreaked havoc on the Oblong offense and results — eight steals — allowed them to keep the pressure up the whole game.
“As long as we didn't get beat on it, we stayed with it,” Mammoser said. “The kids on top did a great job. We didn't get hurt on layups.”
Mammoser said he didn't think Oblong had the guards to beat the full-court press. Last year, Oblong had Anthony Johnson, who is now a freshman at Eastern Illinois.
Johnson won the tournament's most valuable player award last season, even though Newton took home the first-place trophy.
Maus and Oblong's other guards didn't play the press like Johnson had in the past, Mammoser said. Rather than trying to drive the ball to the basket, Oblong played to get the ball over halfcourt.
“Anthony Johnson, last year, took care of a lot of your problems,” Mammoser said. “They don't have that guard who is going to rip by and go in there to make layups. That's a tough thing.”
The Eagles scored 24 points in the third quarter, playing the full-court pressure.
Stone's 24 points led the team, while Brock Mammoser added 15 points and Gunner Pickens finished with 12 as the only other scorer in the double figures.
Stone went 11-of-14 from the floor in the game, which Newton went on to win by 21 points.
The Eagles finish pool play with a 3-0 record and advance to the 8 p.m. championship game against Dieterich. Newton has won the last four tournament championships.
Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newton 13 18 24 6 61
Oblong 15 7 10 8 40
Newton: Mammoser 15, Chesnut 6, Pickens 12, Stone 24, Workman 2, Huston 2
Oblong: Maus 10, Laino 2, Spaeth 3, Brown 2, Allen 1, Jacobs 3, Mayhew 7, Mehler 12