Effingham Daily News
Only four players scored for Dieterich Thursday night against undefeated North Clay.
Those four were enough, though, to deal the Cardinals their first loss of the season as the Lady Maroons won 64-57.
It was a tough, hard-earned win for the Maroons, who came back from an early deficit to take down North Clay with a big second-half effort.
"I felt like the girls kept playing hard, and I felt like we outran them a little bit," said Dieterich coach Donetta Ohnesorge.
North Clay (5-1) got going early, leading for nearly the entirety of the first half as Kortney Stanfield carried the Cardinal offense to a 19-14 first-quarter lead.
She'd finish the first half with 14 points, going step-for-step with Dieterich's Mallorie Vahling, who had 15 points of her own in the half.
The Lady Cardinals led 34-31 at the break, thanks to a buzzer beater by Rachel Smith.
But Stanfield was bottled up in the second, only scoring five more points for the game as the Maroons took control.
"Kortney's definitely our go-to player, we've just got to continue finding everybody that can take it to the hoop," said North Clay coach Curtis Thompson. "We missed a lot of easy shots that we've been hitting."
Vahling was steady in the second, scoring eight points to raise her game total to 23.
A Courtney Flach 3-pointer with 1:36 left in the third tied the game, and Dieterich took the lead for good with a Vahling putback to end the third up 46-44.
Flach had 17, Rachel Schmidt had 12 points, but the real boost of energy late came from Elizabeth Abbott's 12 points, which was a nice sign for the junior forward.
"Elizabeth was a spark out there," Ohnesorge said. "She's going to be a nice ballplayer.
"She's got to realize, she always likes to play defense, but she's got to play offense too."
Flach helped ice the game in the fourth, even after a Morgan Walker layup with 4:31 left tied the game at 52-52. Flach had eight of her 17 in the final quarter, and make her mark at the free throw line during the bonus.
The Dieterich defense stepped up throughout the second half to earn the Maroons the victory, Thompson said.
"They had great intensity on their ball pressure," he said. "Defense was definitely their strong point tonight."
That ball pressure allowed Dieterich to move the ball in the fast break and force some North Clay fouls, as Ohnesorge alluded to.
Walker had 11 points, Smith scored nine and Teehanna Wyatt scored 12 on the night for North Clay.
North Clay plays at Sandoval Monday in MTC play.
Dieterich (3-5) has two full weeks to improve off the win, as the Maroons are off until their Holiday Tournament from Dec. 26-28.
Dieterich 14 17 15 18 64
North Clay 19 15 10 13 57
Dieterich: Abbott 12, Flach 17, Schmidt 12, Vahling 23
North Clay: Bible 6, Smith 9, Walker 11, K. Stanfield 19, Wyatt 12