Effingham Daily News
Dieterich's Nick Feldhake played only the second half, and still had 12 points and hit three huge 3-pointers down the stretch of a come-from-behind 67-59 win for the Movin' Maroons over Altamont.
It wasn't because of talent, rotations or strategy that Feldhake didn't play in the first half — it was that the Dieterich sophomore nearly broke his nose during the junior varsity game earlier in the night.
Still, Feldhake scored all 12 of his points in the game's final 11 minutes, hitting a game-tying three and the go-ahead three as Dieterich erased a 42-30 deficit.
"I was debating whether I wanted to come in or not, I decided to do it, and it felt good," Feldhake said.
Dieterich coach Jeff Staser said it was a huge performance out of Feldhake, and it took quite a bit of work between games to get him ready to go.
"We thought maybe he broke his nose, he had blood coming out both nostrils," Staser said. "We were shoving about anything we could find up his nose."
The game was about as fast paced as possible in the first half between the Indians and Maroons, with Altamont looking to run and Dieterich being more than willing to play along.
Altamont jumper out to a 24-14 lead after the first quarter, but Dieterich came fighting back to cut the lead to 31-28 before Altamont pushed it to 34-28 at the half.
Dieterich's last bucket of the second quarter came with 3:44 on a Josh Campbell layup. Outside of two free throws by Tanner Traub to open the third on a Garrett Ziegler technical foul, the Maroons were held without any points or field goals for 8:30, as Ziegler and Derek Jahraus pushed the lead to 42-30.
The Maroons came storming back, something Altamont coach John Niebrugge took responsibility for.
"It's my fault, because I haven't taught them (how to win)," Niebrugge siad. "They followed their head coach, we kind of lost our cool out there. We have to learn how to win ballgames."
Dieterich went on a 12-0 run, capped off by Feldhake's tying three, and after the teams traded points, he hit another to put Dieterich up 47-44 with 5:43 left.
Altamont stayed in it, pulling within one multiple times, but Feldhake's final three with 3:18 put the Maroons up 55-49 and they'd never look back.
"I've been struggling lately, coach has been working with me," he said. "It does a lot (for the team), we've got a lot of places to go now."
Ziegler finished with a game-high 22 points on five 3-pointers, while Jahraus added 14.
The loss dropped Altamont to 13-2 in advance of next week's NTC tournament, but Niebrugge didn't think his second-seeded Indians needed a loss to teach them how tough it could be.
"I hate losing, I'm not a fan of that," he said. "You've got to learn how to win a ballgame."
Traub led the Maroons with 19 points, while Feldhake and Alex Bohnhoff had 12 points each and Lance Niemerg scored 10.
Dieterich improves to 13-5, and the third-seeded Maroons play Beecher City Wednesday night in the NTC quarterfinals. Dieterich topped Beecher City 79-35 Thursday night.
Altamont plays Wednesday as well, facing either Stew-Stras or South Central.
Altamont 24 10 8 17 59
Dieterich 14 14 11 28 67
Altamont: Jackman 8, McGinnis 4, Ziegler 22, Borders 5, A. Goeckner 2, Seidel 1, Jahraus 14, Wolff 2
Dieterich: Traub 19, Campbell 2, Bohnhoff 12, Feldhake 12, L. Niemerg 10, Aherin 8, T. Niemerg 4