Effingham Daily News
Brian Pruett walked down his bench with the seconds ticking off of a 65-46 victory on Monday and shook his starters' hands.
Bethany Oberlink was the first player in line, watching the final minute of the game from the comfort of a padded chair after scoring 25 points to lead Brownstown/St. Elmo's against Dieterich.
The Bombers felt Oberlink's impact all over the floor on Friday, grabbing a steal or rebound or dishing out an assist on what seemed like every other possession.
“She had an awesome night tonight,” said Pruett, the Bombers' head coach. “Her defense starts picking up and her offense picks up and the next thing you know she scored 20 or 25 points.”
Dieterich couldn't match Oberlink's intensity or that of any other Bombers player, so the Movin' Maroons sank after giving up a 16-12 first quarter lead.
Mallorie Vahling made a half-court shot at the buzzer to give Dieterich its four-point lead entering the second quarter, but the Maroons' last highlight became a distant memory. Vahling finished with 22 points.
The Bombers scored the first 12 points of the quarter, led by Audriana Pruett, and took a 32-24 lead into halftime. The Maroons couldn't buy a basket.
“You can't fundamentally do things wrong and stay with teams when shots don't fall,” Dieterich head coach Donetta Ohnesorge said. “We weren't running our plays hard. We just did a lot of things wrong.”
Pruett led the Bombers after halftime, while Dieterich continued its offensive struggles. She scored 13 points in the game, including three 3-pointers.
The Bombers outscored Dieterich 5-0 in the first 1:35 of the third quarter and held a 47-30 lead four minutes later. They made it a 20-point game in the fourth quarter and won by 19.
Pruett said he hopes his team can build off of the win as it begins the second half of the season and he credited his junior varsity team for setting the tone on Monday, beating Dieterich's JV squad as a prologue for the successful evening.
“Our team started the JV game with great intensity and that worked right into the varsity,” Pruett said. “We have to keep this intensity up.”
He said his team wore Dieterich down with its physical play, involving a full-court defense for most of the game and a tireless rebounding effort.
Ohnesorge said her team wasn't up to the challenge. She used early quarter timeouts to try to pump up her players, but nothing worked.
“We came out flat,” Ohnesorge said. “We're going to bury this game, but learn from it. It's just one we took on the chin.”
The Bombers return to the court on Thursday looking to keep their home court fortunes going against Altamont. Dieterich has the week to prepare for its Jan. 21 matchup with Centralia at the Effingham round robin tournament.
Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dieterich 16 8 8 14 46
Brownstown/St. Elmo 12 20 17 16 65
Dieterich: Abbott 6, Flach 7, Ruholl 2, Schmidt 2, Heuerman 7, Vahling 22
B/SE: Pruett 13, Oberlink 25, Austin 9, Fitch 2, Hill 6, Bone 6, Brown 4