For the Daily News
Dieterich didn’t play as well as it could’ve in the Dieterich Holiday Tournament championship game on Saturday — not even Newton’s coach thought so.
Newton won its fifth consecutive tournament championship against the host Movin’ Maroons, 50-30, but Dieterich wasn’t its normal self.
“We can take credit for some, but (Dieterich) didn’t shoot the ball very well,” Mammoser said. “They were out of sync a lot this evening.”
The Eagles’ defense forced 13 turnovers in the first half, holding Dieterich scoreless in the second quarter after the Maroons led 10-9 at the end of the first.
Dieterich was held scoreless for at least 10 minutes and trailed 26-10, until making a free throw with 5:56 left in the third quarter.
The Maroons struggled to score. All-Tournament player Tanner Traub was held to five points in the game, but they trailed by only 14 points near the end of the third quarter when Newton changed momentum with a five-point swing.
After Dieterich stole the ball to start a fast break, a Newton player drew a charge to give the Eagles the ball back.
Luke Stone, who scored 13 points and was named the tournament’s most valuable player, made a layup on the next possession. Then, Brock Mammoser made a 3-pointer at the buzzer after an empty Dieterich possession.
The Eagles led 35-16 after Mammoser’s 3-pointer, as the buzzer sounded and Mammoser pumped his fist with excitement.
“That was a big momentum swing,” Dieterich head coach Jeff Staser said. “We had a couple possessions to get back in it.”
Staser was left searching for answers after the game. He said he knew Newton would play in its full-court defense, but the Maroons struggled against it.
Dieterich beat Newton earlier this season, against the same pressure defense.
“It’s one of those nights, as a coach, I scratch my head and wonder what else I could have done,” Staser said. “We had all the issues.”
Doug Mammoser said he wanted his defense to play differently than they did in the early-season loss to Dieterich, during which the Maroons played fast and beat the press.
“We wanted to try to disrupt it a little bit, ease the tempo,” Mammoser said. “We just didn’t want to get beat. We didn’t want to let shooters get open in transition.”
Dieterich’s Alex Bohnhoff was the only player who scored in double figures for the Maroons. He scored 11 points, including three 3-pointers.
Brock Mammoser led the Eagles with 14 points, but it was Stone’s unselfish play, especially on the final possession of the third quarter, that showed how important he is to the team, the coach said.
“Leader of our group,” Mammoser said. “He gave it up and we hit the three for a big momentum swing. Not a lot of people will do that.”
Luke Stone earned most valuable player honors after leading Newton to a championship victory on Saturday.
“He takes care of so many problems,” Newton head coach Doug Mammoser said. “He’s a special player and you don’t see many that have that much talent and his motor. Some college is going to be happy to get him.”
Brock Mammoser joined his teammate, representing the Eagles on the all-tournament squad. Dieterich’s Tanner Traub and Alex Bohnhoff each made the team.
Beecher City’s Brady Barnes was selected to the team, finishing the tournament with a 25-point game on Saturday.
Nick Hudson and Kollin Seaman were selected from Arcola, which placed third.
Red Hill’s Dalton Murray, Oblong’s Koert Mehler and Christ Our Rock Lutheran’s Caleb Boehne rounded out the team.
Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newton 9 8 18 15 50
Dieterich 10 0 6 14 30
Newton: Mammoser 14, Weber 2, Chesnut 12, Stone 13, Workman 6, Huston 3
Dieterich: Poe 3, Traub 5, Bohnhoff 11, Feldhake 2, L. Niemerg 4, Aherin 4, T. Niemerg 1