Effingham Daily News
Even in the postseason, some nights just go one team’s way and go completely against the other.
Such was the case Wednesday night, as Dieterich rolled to a 76-37 win over Stew-Stras to advance to the Cumberland Regional title game and end the Comets’ season.
Stew-Stras committed 23 turnovers and never found a rhythm on offense, while Dieterich got the shots it wanted early and often.
“They came out with their gameplan and followed it,” said Stew-Stras coach Shane Smith. “We obviously didn’t follow ours very well. Tonight, they just didn’t have it. That’s just how basketball goes. We weren’t ready, and they got us.”
The Movin’ Maroons used their inside-out offense to perfection early, getting short jumpers from Devin Aherin and Travis Niemerg to fall, opening up the perimeter for Tanner Traub, Nick Feldhake and Alex Bohnhoff.
While Traub, Aherin and Feldhake both scored in double figures, it was Bohnhoff who put his fingerprints all over the game.
Bohnhoff put up a game-high 22 points, slashing through the Stew-Stras offense in the half-court, and jumping passing lanes for easy steals and layups in transition. His speed has been a talking point for coach Jeff Staser all season, and that didn’t change Wednesday.
“He’s really quick,” he said. “Free throw line to free throw line, him and (Altamont’s Garrett) Ziegler are pretty quick.”
Dieterich got up 22-11 after the first quarter and would race out to a 42-20 lead at the half, breaking down the Stew-Stras defense repeatedly.
Smith said the Comets just didn’t have their defensive fundamentals down.
“We weren’t calling switches at all tonight, we knew we had to help off of screens, and for some reason, collectively, we didn’t call switches tonight,” Smith said.
The Movin’ Maroons would lead by as many as 35 points in the fourth quarter and extended its lead to 41 before the end of the game.
For Stew-Stras, Brandon Helmuth and Ted Kessler each had eight points, while Jason Fry and Mark Jones added six each.
Feldhake and Aherin each had 12 and Traub had 11 for the Maroons, with the offense flowing at a very efficient clip all night.
“We got up and down the floor, we knocked down, I think, 6-of-11 from three in the first half,” Staser said. “As a coach, you can’t ask for much more than 42 points and the way we played.”
Stew-Stras’ season ends with a 9-18 record.
Dieterich moves to 20-8 on the season, and will face off with a Neoga team it beat twice during the season, once in conference play and once at the NTC tournament.
“The team that actually puts a good defensive show on Friday night will be the team that will actually prevail,” Staser said. “It was on display tonight, they’ve been listening and working on it.
The Cumberland Regional title game begins at 7 p.m. Friday.
Stew-Stras 11 9 9 10 37
Dieterich 22 20 18 16 76
Stew-Stras: Jones 6, Rincker 3, Overbeck 2, Helmuth 8, Bugger 4, Fry 6, Kessler 8
Dieterich: Campton 2, Poe 3, Traub 11, Campbell 2, Bohnhoff 22, Gephart 2, Feldhake 12, L. Niemerg 4, Aherin 12, T. Niemerg 6