Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

December 5, 2012

Roundup: T-Town defeats Salem, 57-52

SALEM — Teutopolis fell in love with the 3-point shot early on Tuesday night at Salem. And for good reason: The Wooden Shoes nailed four of their first five attempts from beyond the arc against the Wildcats.

But T-Town’s love affair with the trifecta soured as the night went on — even though the Wooden Shoes stubbornly refused to call it quits. Andy Fehrenbacher’s team made just three of its next 30 three-point attempts against Salem’s zone defense.

The latter unsightly stat looked like it might help carry the Wildcats to a huge upset, but just when the Shoes’ obsession with the long-range shot looked like it would lead to its demise, back-to-back treys from Reed Hardiek in the fourth quarter had T-Town madly in love with the 3-point shot again.

The latter trey put the Shoes (5-1) up 55-52 with three minutes remaining, and T-Town never looked back, staving off a major upset with a 57-52 win.

Hardiek finished with 16 points off the bench, as the Shoes overcame 26 percent shooting from downtown (10 for 38), a rare quiet night from Kyle Pruemer, and Jared Waldhoff and Derek Smith’s foul trouble.

Smith and Devin Falbe looked like they might single handidly lead T-Town to victory early on, as they combined for 20 of the Shoes’ 23 first-quarter points.

The Wooden Shoes enjoyed an 11-point lead in the opening frame, 23-12, after scoring off steals on three straight possessions, the first by Smith, the second by Falbe and the third by Hardiek, who was fouled and completed a three-point play.

But an athletic and resilient Salem team refused to fold, responding with a 16-6 run that cut T-Town’s lead to just one.

The Wildcats drew even with the Shoes, 34-34, on a 3-pointer with 30 seconds to go in the half, but Rourke Schultz put T-Town back in the lead heading into the locker room with a stickback just before the horn sounded.

It was a dogfight from there, as the Shoes continued to struggle from long range in the second half. Salem managed to take a four-point lead in the third quarter, but T-Town battled back, and Hardiek’s 3-pointers proved to be game-savers, as Waldhoff and Smith were both saddled with four fouls heading into the final three minutes of play.

Salem had a chance to tie the game with a 3-pointer in the final minute of play, but Falbe came up with a steal and fast-break layup to put T-Town up five points and pretty much seal the deal.

Falbe finished with 11 points, joining Smith and Hardiek in double figures. Pruemer didn’t score until the three-minute mark of the third quarter, and it proved to be his only basket of the game. The 6-foot-6 senior was bothered by a leg injury.

The Shoes will enjoy a long break before hosting Effingham on Dec. 11.

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