Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL


February 27, 2014

Altamont advances to regional final

NOKOMIS — Top-seeded Altamont didn't necessarily set out to make a statement on Wednesday in the semifinals of the Nokomis Class 1A Regional.

The Indians just wanted to get off to a good start — something they'd struggled to do in recent games.

"We didn't want to come out flat," Altamont coach John Niebrugge said. "We wanted to come out and play a good first half. That was the goal that we talked about in practice — let's have a good start to the practice so that it will translate here in the game."

Did it ever.

The Indians (25-3) forced 10 first-quarter Beecher City turnovers on their way to an early 20-6 lead against their NTC rivals. Altamont never really let up, and in the process showed any skeptical onlookers in the hometown crowd why it earned a No. 1 seed over the host Redskins with an impressive 73-49 win.

Second-seeded St. Anthony (20-10) then re-enforced Nokomis' No. 3 seed by knocking off the Redskins (22-7) 48-35 in the night's second semifinal to set up an all-National Trail championship on Friday.

The key to Altamont's lopsided win was simple: turnovers, lots of turnovers. Beecher City (12-13) finished with 29 of them, and the Indians capitalized far more often than not.

"The first time we played them we got by with 28 and kept it close for 3 1/2 quarters," said Eagles coach Jason Eirhart of a relatively competitive 55-42 loss during the regular season. "I thought we'd matured a little bit since then.

"I don't know if it was the moment or the intensity, but we just got a little free with the ball. You turn the ball over against Altamont and you're going to pay for it. It's as simple as that."

The electric play of Indians guard Garrett Ziegler was also a huge difference-maker. Ziegler scored nine of his game-high 26 points in the first quarter and also grabbed four steals on the night. Altamont has proved pretty much unstoppable when Ziegler is on like he was Wednesday.

"He's starting to shoot the ball real well, which is scary," Niebrugge said. "Because if he's shooting the ball real well then he can get to the middle of the floor, and that just opens up his kickouts to Cole (Borders) and Griffin (Jackman)."

Beecher City actually scored the first two baskets of the game, but then turned it over on five straight possessions, fueling a 10-0 Indians run.

Altamont went on another 10-0 run after an Eagles basket, and Beecher City wound up with 17 turnovers and a 16-point deficit at halftime.

It was just the performance Niebrugge was hoping for in the opening 16 minutes.

"Really, since the NTC Tournament championship, our first halves have been bad," Niebrugge said. "Up at Riverton, we were down 15-4 in the first quarter to Pleasant Plains. We've had some bad first quarters of late. "

But we came out tonight and established our tempo — we like to get up and down — and we scored a lot of easy buckets in that first quarter."

Altamont actually saved its best effort for the third quarter, exploding for 23 points. Beecher City had 24 turnovers entering the final frame.

Jake Seidel flirted with a double-double for the Indians, finishing with 13 points and nine rebounds.

Niebrugge indicated his team had a sense of urgency prior to the game, and he lauded his squad for overcoming a mile second-quarter lull to put Beecher City away.

"I don't have to do a whole lot of talking anymore," Niebrugge said. "These seniors have sort of taken on that responsibility of what needs to be done. We adjusted again in that third and kind of took the wind out of their sails."

Senior Brady Barnes led Beecher City with 16 points and eight rebounds.

Beecher City     11     10     15     13     49

Altamont     21     14     23     15     73

Beecher City: Barnes 16, Giles 2, Kenter 5, Lagerhausen 6, Bales 7, Doty 7, Gardner 6

Altamont: Ziegler 26, McGinnis 8, Jackson 6, Borders 3, A.Goeckner 4, Armstrong 4, Seidel 13, Jahraus 5, Wolff 4


Text Only
  • 7-29NewtonOrientmain.JPG Newton's season ends in 14-4 loss

     Newton Post 20 almost pulled another comeback off against the Orient Miners, cutting a 5-1 deficit to 5-4 midway through Monday night’s game.
    But Newton’s Junior Legion Fifth Division tournament run came to an end, as Orient rattled off nine runs in the sixth inning and clinched a spot in the state tournament with a 14-4 win.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-28NewtonSundaygame2.JPG Comeback win keeps Post 20 alive in 10-7 win

    Newton Post 120 didn’t let a 4-1 deficit get to them against Highland Post 439, using a patient approach in the face of an elimination game.
    Three bases-loaded walks in the bottom of the third tied the game at 4-4, and with the bases loaded down 5-4 in the fourth, Tim Weber broke the game open with a two-run double and an error.
    By the time the dust settled, Newton led 10-5 heading to the sixth inning and would hold on to a 10-7 win to keep its season alive.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-28NewtonSundaygame1.JPG Salem deals Newton first divisional loss

    Mitch Bierman started off Newton Post 20’s game against Salem Post 128 with a bang Sunday afternoon, hitting a leadoff triple and scoring on the next batter.
    Post 20’s offense didn’t follow his lead from there, as Newton had just three more hits and no runs, and falling in a Junior Legion Fifth Division winner’s bracket game to Salem 12-1 in seven innings.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0725.JPG Newton Post 20 bests Belleville Post 58 in opener 6-1
    After a 9-3 loss to Breese Post 252 Gray Monday night, Newton Post 20 coach John Grunloh predicted the five-day break until the Junior Legion Fifth Division tournament would be good for his players, especially his pitchers. 
    Mitch Jansen proved his coach right, spinning a gem in Newton's opener Saturday afternoon as Post 20 made short work of Belleville Post 58 6-1. 

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • daughertyfootball.jpg Hearts to prep with Mattoon 7-on-7

    Two weeks ago, Effingham was supposed to start shaking off the rust with a 7-on-7 football tournament in Mattoon. Naturally, it rained and was canceled.
    So Saturday, the Flaming Hearts will head up to Mattoon and play their first 7-on-7 event of the season, taking part in an 10- team field with Mattoon, Rochester, Robinson, Marshall, Cahokia and Pleasant Plains from Illinois, with Terre Haute North and Northview coming from Indiana. Rochester is bringing two squads.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mammoser3.jpg Newton Post 20 plays Belleville Saturday

    With the District 23 tournament behind them, Newton Post 20 now knows its fate for the Fifth Division Junior Legion tournament this weekend in Bethalto.
    Newton will play Belleville Post 58 at 2:45 p.m. Saturday afternoon in Bethalto, in the third game of six on the day.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bateman.jpg Effingham's season comes to a close with 11-1 loss to Salem

    A 1-0 lead for Effingham Post 120 rapidly evaporated, and the post’s Junior Legion season came to an end with a 11-1 loss in five innings to Salem Post 128 Tuesday night.
    The game was for the final spot of District 23 in the divisional tournament, with Newton Post 20 and Breese Post 252 Gray punching their tickets by winning their district divisions.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bierman.jpg Newton Post 20 falls short against Breese Gray 9-3

    While the District 23 title ultimately exceeded Newton Post 20’s grasp, their season will continue in Bethalto.
    Newton took on Breese Post 252 Gray for the Junior Legion District 23 title as the two division winners, but Breese’s bats proved too much for Newton in an 9-3 loss for Post 20.
    “The innings where they put some runs on us, we gave them some extra outs,” said Newton coach John Grunloh. “You’ve got to make the plays when you play better teams.”

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Barnes3.jpg Barnes' one-hitter boosts Post 120; Effingham beats Dieterich 1-0

    Ryan Barnes hasn’t seen a lot of time with Effingham Post 120’s junior legion team this season, but he showed up in a big way Monday night in a 1-0 win over Dieterich Post 628.
    The win kept Effingham’s season alive one more day in the Junior Legion District 23 tournament, as the post will face Salem Post 128 at 5:30 p.m. today for the district’s final spot in the divisional round. Salem Post 128 downed Mt. Vernon Post 141 1-0 in the West Division loser’s bracket, setting up the final with Effingham today.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mammoser2.jpg Newton Post 20 tops Effingham Post 120 7-5 late

    Most of the games at the Junior Legion District 23 tournament have seen pitching take control, but the pitchers in Sunday night's Effingham Post 120/Newton Post 20 game faced an uphill battle.
    While Brock Mammoser started the game for Post 20 on the hill and struggled, he came through with the biggest hit in the game, putting Newton up for good in a 7-5 win over Effingham.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

AP Video

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.