Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

January 7, 2013

Where there's a Will, there's a way; Shoes clip Mount Vernon at Shootout

EFFINGHAM — Kyle Pruemer could have tried to pull a Christian Laettner in the closing seconds of Teutopolis' game against Mount Vernon Saturday at the St. Anthony Shootout. But he stuck to the Wooden Shoes' gameplan and pulled a Valparaiso instead, helping T-Town to a thrilling 48-46 win.

Pruemer caught a three-quarters court baseball pass from Jared Waldhoff on the left elbow with 2.5 seconds remaining - just about the same spot on the floor that Laettner launched his famous fadeaway to stun Kentucky in the 1992 NCAA Tournament.

Pruemer resisted the urge to mimic Laettner's high-difficulty shot and found an open man with a touch pass instead, perfectly executing a play that was very similar to the one made famous by Valpo in the 1998 NCAA Tournament.

The difference? Unlike Bryce Drew, who hit a game-winning 3-pointer for Valpo, the Shoes' open man just so happened to be cutting toward the basket.

And Teutopolis proved that where there's a Will, there's a way, as Cody Will's layup won it at the horn.

"Coach set it up," Will said. "We only had two seconds, so we had to get it in quick. Kyle made the touch pass and, luckily, it worked out for us. I just wanted to get it up as quick as I could and hoped it'd go in."

Will's game-winner gave the 6-foot-2 junior the only two points of the game in just his third career varsity start. It also gave T-Town its first lead since Pruemer scored on the opening possession of the game.

The Rams (8-7) led by three with 45 seconds remaining after Travis Mitchell sank both ends of a 1-and-1 opportunity, and they had an opportunity to make it a two-possession game after Trevor Flota was fouled on a steal. Flota missed the front end of a 1-and-1 opportunity, however, and Derek Smith responded with a three-point play with 27 seconds to go to tie the game.

Will and Brett Mette then stripped Mount Vernon freshman Brandon Fitzjerrells on his way to the basket to give the Shoes a chance to win it in regulation.

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