Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL


March 8, 2014

Maroons make history

Dieterich downs St. A for first-ever sectional title

BRIDGEPORT — With just more than 12 minutes left, Dieterich's offense was scuffling and the Movin' Maroons trailed St. Anthony by 11, 34-23.

Then Alex Bohnhoff kick started the Maroons' offense with a pair of 3-pointers, and Dieterich completed a big comeback to down their NTC rivals 58-51 and win its first-ever sectional title.

The Movin' Maroons ended the game on a 35-17 run after the Bulldog defense defended very well with pressure for the first 20 minutes of the game. Bohnhoff, who had just two points through two-and-a-half, lit the spark for the offense.

"God bless him, he's looking at an opportunity, he pulls up and I'm going 'We're going to live and die by it, because that's what we've done all year,'" said Dieterich coach Jeff Staser. "They were huge, there's no doubt."

By the end of the third, Dieterich had cut the deficit to 37-34, and after St. Anthony's John Goeckner hit two free throws to start the fourth, Dieterich took control.

The Maroons rattled off a 10-0 run to take the lead for good, with Nick Feldhake burying a three to tie the game and converting a three-point play to take the lead 42-39 with 5:42 to play.

Feldhake would finish with a team-high 17 points, tied with Bohnhoff, and was a constant on offense even through a slow first half for his team.

"I get the ball, it comes to me, I feel it and I shoot," Feldhake said. "It's just a dream come true now. It feels awesome, it feels like we've accomplished a lot. We've got more places to go."

Dieterich (23-8) led 48-41 with 2:33 left, only to see Connor Greene and Alex Hoelscher hit big shots to cut the lead to 48-45 with 1:19 left. But the Maroons put the game away at the free-throw line and advanced to the Class 1A Carbondale Super-Sectional on Tuesday.

The defensive press that St. Anthony used to great success in the first half waned in the second, as Dieterich adjusted and found the shots the Maroons had been looking for all game in the second half.

"We had some success with the press, causing a few turnovers, and maybe we got a bit happy with it," said St. Anthony coach Cody Rincker. "It was working for us, and that's kind of what we've done all year, find something that's working and roll with it, and it kind of burned us here tonight."

The Bulldogs came out and stifled the Maroon offense early, while taking it to Dieterich offensively. Despite Devin Aherin and Travis Niemerg having a size adavantage, St. Anthony's John Goeckner took it to them offensively in the post, scoring 12 of the Bulldogs' 24 first-half points.

Rincker said the senior played like he has all season, attacking without hesitation and it worked early.

St. Anthony used a number of backdoor cuts against the Maroon zone, which the Dieterich defense adjusted to at the half.

"We were tight, we knew we were tight," Staser said. "I screamed at them you've got to stay home, you've got to stay home. We cut down on the penetration down the middle and that helped immensely."

Goeckner finished with 17 points, while Neil Williams had 10 and Alex Hoelscher had eight.

The season ends for St. Anthony with a 22-11 record with a trip to the sectional title.

Despite the tough loss to a conference rival, Rincker said he knew his team made huge strides through the season and set a foundation going forwards.

"I've got to tip my hats to our seniors who are leaving who really allowed me to come in and coach, and allow me to get on them and put them in different situations and different spots to have the turnaround," he said.

In addition to Feldhake and Bohnhoff's 17 points, Travis Niemerg chipped in 13 points to lead the Maroon offense.

Now, Dieterich heads to face Sesser-Valier at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Southern Illinois Unversity in Carbondale in the school's first ever Super-Sectional game.

"We're going to have fun, we can only play one game at a time," Staser said. "You've got to focus all your energy and put it all on the floor when you come down there, and we'll see what happens, let it fall where it may."

Dieterich     7     9     18     23     58

St. Anthony     12     12     10     17     51

Dieterich: Traub 5, Bohnhoff 17, Feldhake 17, L. Niemerg 2, T. Niemerg 13, Aherin 4

St. Anthony Williams 10, Jansen 5, Greene 6, A. Gardewine 2, Hoelscher 8, Goeckner 17, Hartke 3

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