Effingham Daily News
Jake Seidel worked a shot fake to perfection to give Altamont its biggest lead of the game, eight points, before he fouled out on the next possession.
Seidel cut to the basket and caught a pass underneath, before faking a shot to get St. Elmo/Brownstown defenders off of their feet. He absorbed the contact for a foul, made the basket and the free throw.
The Indians' held on for the last two and a half minutes of the game to beat the Eagles 57-50 on Friday, and earned their 20th win of the season to move to 20-2 overall.
The three-point play finished off Seidel's 12-point night as the senior responded to head coach John Niebrugge's halftime challenge; in fact, he and Cole Borders got an earful.
“They didn't tuck their tails,” Niebrugge said. “They came out and played angry. To see Cole Borders and Jake Seidel, two quieter kids, change in one half, that's a big deal.”
All 12 of Seidel's points and seven of Borders' eight came during Altamont's second-half comeback. The Indians trailed the Eagles 26-21 at halftime.
The Eagles came out with a lot of energy against Altamont, who was announced as the top seed in the Nokomis Regional that both teams play in. The Eagles are the fourth seed.
“We've been fighting (for a full game of) effort all year,” Eagles head coach Greg Feezel said. “If they'll take this the right way, we just played the number one seed, on their floor, and lost by seven.”
St. Elmo/Brownstown took the lead into the second quarter, 14-7, but committed four turnovers on their first four possessions to allow Altamont back into a tie for the lead.
The Eagles outscored the Indians, 12-5, until the final play of the half during which Jake Behrends fouled Aaron Goeckner on a long inbounds pass as time expired. Goeckner made two free throws without any time on the clock.
Altamont came out of the locker room with energy in the second half and Seidel gave the Indians their first lead, 33-32, halfway through the third quarter.
Feezel said his team's defense started playing into Altamont's hands as the Indians outscored the Eagles by nine points in the third quarter.
The Eagles' discipline defense, sitting back and “clogging the lane,” disappeared in spurts, Feezel said.
“You just don't need to chase (Altamont) all over the floor,” Feezel said. “As soon as you start running and chasing them, they're going to beat you.”
Garrett Ziegler led the charge with 15 points for the Indians, but their three post players combined for 28 of the team's 57 points.
Seidel's 12 points led the trio, while Derek Jahraus scored 10 and Klaiton Wolff added six more. Sixteen of Seidel and Wolff's 18 points came in the second half.
Niebrugge said the trio finished off the Indians' secondary offensive sets, running them to “perfection.”
The Eagles' defenders were forced to play tighter after putting Altamont in the bonus late in the third quarters, Feezel said, which put the Indians' big men at an advantage.
“I think things got awful tight in the second half,” Feezel said. “When that happens the post players have an advantage.”
Both teams played in the bonus for much of the fourth quarter and Altamont was 9-for-15 from the free throw line to clinch the victory.
The Indians play in the Riverton Coaches vs. Cancer Shootout at 4:30 p.m. today against Pleasant Plains. The Eagles (14-11) return to action at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, hosting Nokomis.
Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or email@example.com.
Altamont 7 14 20 16 57
St. Elmo/Brownstown 14 12 11 13 50
Altamont: McGinnis 1, Ziegler 15, Borders 8, Goeckner 5, Seidel 12, Jahraus 10, Wolff 6
SE/B: M. Maxey 6, L. Maxey 17, Behrends 15, Smithson 4, Feezel 8