Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

February 4, 2014

Second quarter run leads Neoga over Altamont

Alex McNamee
Effingham Daily News

ALTAMONT — Neoga’s 18-2 run to end the first half, taking a 10-point lead into the locker room, made it difficult for Altamont to find a way back into Monday’s game.

The second quarter was all the Indians needed to separate themselves from Altamont as the two teams traded basket for basket in the second half. Neoga won 54-41.

“We talked at halftime about how we have to win a possession and stop a possession,” Altamont head coach Katie Lurkins said. “Unfortunately, we traded possessions in the second half and were never able to chip away at that 10-point lead.”

Neoga trailed 19-13 early in the second quarter, before EC Thies helped the Indians mount a comeback.

Thies made back-to-back 3-pointers with five minutes to go in the half — one that tied the game, 19-19, and a second to take the lead 22-19.

Lurkins said her team lost track of Thies in Neoga’s transition offense, leaving her open for the shots.

In the second half, Altamont’s defensive struggles continued. The Indians were unable to stop Neoga, but when they did, they couldn’t couldn’t score on offense.

“We’re such an internalized team, but we have to start being external and saying, ‘This is where my person is,’ to start directing traffic for everyone,” Lurkins said. “Finding people was what we really struggled with.”

Neoga came out, in the second half, with the same momentum and intensity that brought the team into the locker room with a lead.

Whenever Neoga came up empty on the offensive end, the Indians matched a stop against Altamont.

“(Altamont is) a scrappy team on defense and just don’t give up,” Neoga head coach Kim Romack said. “Our girls matched it tonight. We had the momentum coming into the half and came out and matched it.”

Neoga and Altamont put up identical numbers on the scoreboard, besides the second quarter. In three of the four quarters, the teams tied, 34-34. Neoga outscored Altamont 20-7 in the second quarter.

Neoga spaced out its scoring with three players in double figures. Jillian Deters, on her senior night, scored 15 points, while Madison Butler also added 15. Thies finished with 14.

Altamont’s Madison Ohnesorge scored a game-high 23 points, while no other Indians player scored more than four points.

Neoga (17-8) returns to action on Wednesday against Shelbyville. Altamont continues its road trip on Thursday at Centralia Christ Our Rock Lutheran.

Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or alex.mcnamee@effinghamdailynews.com.

Altamont     14 7 10 10     41

Neoga          11 20 10 13     54

Altamont: M. Ohnesorge 23, L. Ohnesorge 4, Vaughn 2, Smith 2, Tillman 4, Wendling 4, Burns 2

Neoga: Butler 15, Ott 4, Thies 14, Deters 15, Erickson 2, Roy 4