Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

February 22, 2014

Indians hold off Comets 51-39

Altamont can clinch share of NTC today

ALTAMONT — Stew-Stras head coach Shane Smith knew Altamont's Garrett couldn't guard Brandon Helmuth in the post.

The Comets exploited the mismatch to get Helmuth six points in the first half and take a one-point lead into halftime, so Altamont head coach John Niebrugge adjusted his strategy.

Cole Borders took Ziegler's defensive assignment and limited the Comets' star to four points in the last two quarters of the Indians' 51-39 win Friday.

“Coach Smith had a nice game plan,” Niebrugge said. “It started out working pretty well. We kind of matched their size a little bit.”

Jahraus guarded Jason Fry for the remainder of the game and forced a few costly turnovers with his size, but Altamont might have been lost without Aaron Goeckner.

Goeckner practically carried the Indians back into the game after they trailed by seven points early.

His only 3-pointer of the game gave the Indians their first lead, 21-20, with 2:30 to play in the first half. He scored 11 of the Indians' 15 points in the second quarter.

“When he's shooting it well, it makes him that much more of a dual threat,” Niebrugge said. “He's a big part of what we're trying to do.”

Matt Kuhns, getting the start on Altamont's Senior Night, scored all four of his points in the first quarter, coming out with an unmatched energy, Niebrugge said.

Goeckner's fastbreak layup with 51 seconds left in the third quarter gave Altamont its first two-possession lead of the game, 33-29.

The Indians took a three-point lead into the fourth quarter and gradually built on it, as the Comets began feeling their tired legs.

“We ran out of gas,” Smith said. “This is the kind of heart my guys have. They play so hard for guys so undersized and underweight they go out and give it their all.”

Altamont's depth overwhelmed the Comets, especially after Bryse Bugger fouled out of the game with 10 points, with 3:50 to play in the fourth quarter.

The Indians forced the Comets to work harder than they were capable of with tired legs in the quarter, Smith said, so their offense lost its flow.

“We wanted the score to be in the mid-40s and we pretty much did that,” Smith said. “We didn't match their scoring in the last five minutes of the ball game.”

Garrett Ziegler helped the Indians close out the win, making his only 3-pointer of the game to give them seven-point lead. He later grabbed a steal and picked up an assist on a Jake Seidel fastbreak layup that countered a small Stew-Stras run and take an eight-point lead.

Ziegler finished with 12 points, one point behind Goeckner's game-high 13. Justin McGinnis went 4-for-4 from the free throw line, down the stretch, scoring eight of his 10 points in the final quarter.

The win closed out the Indians' undefeated home record this season and they are 23-3. They'll close out the regular season at 3 p.m. today at Cowden-Herrick, and clinch a share of the NTC regular season title with a win, tying with St. Anthony and Dieterich.

Stew-Stras hosts its Senior Night at 6:15 p.m. today against Beecher City.

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

Altamont     8 15 10 18     51

Stew-Stras     15 9 6 9     39

Altamont: McGinnis 10, Ziegler 12, Borders 3, Goeckner 13, Seidel 3, Kuhns 4, Jahraus 6

Stew-Stras: Jones 6, Blythe 5, Helmuth 10, Bugger 10, Fry 8

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Ryan.jpg Czachorski: Lunt the right man at QB

    There haven't been many times I've put pen to paper — or I guess more fittingly finger to keyboard — and written about the Illinois Fighting Illini.
    Part of it is due to their football team's struggles, as it's hard to have an opinion on them outside of "man, they went 1-7 in the Big 10 last year" or "I remember that one time they went to the Rose Bowl, but that's about it." Part of it is staying in my wheelhouse, which is MAC football and my alma mater Central Michigan Chippewas, a topic that doesn't concern many, if any, around here.

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NeogaGresens.jpg Neoga prepares for upcoming volleyball season

    Another area team finds themselves with a new coach holding the clipboard this season.
    Susan Hutchinson is the new volleyball coach for the Neoga Indians, but she isn't new to the game of volleyball. Hutchinson coached at Mattoon for seven years when they were still in the Big 12 Conference. She said her new players had to get used to her coaching style very quickly.

    August 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bulldogs fifth at ISU

    St. Anthony took to the links for the second-straight day and had a strong showing at the Raider/Redbird Classic.
    The Bulldogs finished fifth among a 20-team field, shooting a 318. East Peoria shot a 312 to win it, Normal U-High and Lincoln each shot 315s with Normal winning the tie-breaker, and Bloomington took fourth with a 317.

    August 21, 2014

  • DonovanHammer.jpg St. Anthony will lead with speed

    For the last five years, Eric Morales has been the assistant coach of the St. Anthony Bulldogs soccer team. But this season he will have his chance at the helm and try to help lead the Bulldogs to their first regional title since 2010.
    St. Anthony is missing six seniors from last years team, including its leading goal scorer and starting goalie.

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • JakeLinders.jpg Flaming Hearts win St. Anthony Invitational

    The Flaming Hearts of Effingham were the overall winners and also had the medalist. Effingham shot a team score of 312 to beat the host Bulldogs by nine shots. Hearts senior Jackson Wendling finished with a 72 to take medalist honors.

    August 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Willenborg.jpg Teutopolis takes opener against St. Thomas More

    Teutopolis took the course with a new coach and four players, but as coach Becky Probst said, it takes four to score.
    And those four Lady Shoes took their first match of the year, topping Champaign St. Thomas More 216-227 in both teams' openers at Cardinal Golf Course in Effingham.

    August 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • callawaysmith.jpg Time to tee off, golf season starts fall sports campaign today

    The fall sports campaign kicks off in earnest Monday afternoon, with the first area varsity contests being held in Windsor and Effingham this afternoon.
    The St. Anthony Invitational boys golf tournament will be held at Fox Prairie Golf Course at 1 p.m. in Windsor, while the Teutopolis Lady Shoes host St. Thomas More at Cardinal Golf Course at 4 p.m.

    August 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • AndrewBingham.jpg Flaming Hearts' flexibility a plus; Effingham prepping for upcoming soccer season

    Three days into the practice season, Effingham soccer coach Aaron Witges sees a lot of flexibility.
    It was something his squad had last year, with 10 seniors but young players forcing their way into the lineup as well.
    Coming off a 10-8-3 season, some of those young players will find themselves in new positions for the Flaming Hearts this season.

    August 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 8-16 eff volleyball.jpg Flaming Hearts set with new coach

    The Effingham Flaming Hearts volleyball team will have a new but familiar face leading them on the sideline this season.
    As a former player for the Hearts, coach Mindy McCollum-Boswell will look to lead her team to their first regional title since 2008.

    August 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ryan.jpg Czachorski: Bears backups worrisome

    This might sound shockingly similar to a number of columns I've written in the past, but it bears repeating (excusing a terrible pun).
    The quarterback situation is worrisome.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.