TEUTOPOLIS — Losing a super-sectional game is tough.
Losing two super-sectional games in one year is even tougher.
Missing a buzzer beating shot in a one-point loss and being on the mound during a 3-1 defeat is downright devastating.
That's exactly what happened to Teutopolis athlete Kyle Pruemer in 2012. In March, Pruemer saw a last-second layup attempt roll around the rim, roll off the rim and fall to the ground in a 60-59 loss to Normal University High School. To say Pruemer cost his team the game would be ridiculous. The Wooden Shoes wouldn't have been in contention with Normal University if not for Pruemer's 20 points and 10 rebounds.
“With all the size Normal U had, he was the best post player on the floor that night,” Teutopolis basketball coach Andy Fehrenbacher said. But, Pruemer's competitive nature made the loss tough to stomach. “I think about it every day,” he said. “It really, really weighs on you.” With 0.6 seconds left, down by one point, the Shoes had the ball out of bounds at their end of the court.
Fehrenbacher wasn't confident that his players would have enough time to take a decent jump shot, so he called a play where Jared Waldhoff would toss the ball towards the rim and Pruemer would try to quickly tip the ball into the basket. “Jared put one heck of a pass at the rim and Kyle went and got it,” he said. “Nine times out of 10, that ball falls.”
Unfortunately for Teutopolis and Pruemer, March 6, 2012, was the one time out of 10 the shot didn't fall, ending the Shoes' season earlier than they had hoped. In May, Pruemer's super-sectional demons re-emerged, this time on the baseball diamond.
Against an underdog Trenton-Wesclin team, Pruemer gave up two first-inning runs before settling down and getting in his rhythm.
The two runs proved to be enough for the Warriors. Pruemer only allowed one more run in a complete game performance while striking out eight Warriors. But, the Teutopolis bats never got hot against Alex Wilken, and T-Town lost 3-1. While the outcome was less than ideal for the Shoes, baseball coach Justin Fleener said he'd trust Pruemer to take the mound if Teutopolis makes it back to the super-sectional this spring.
“If we're back in that position, I'd put him back in there again,” he said. “Kyle's our No. 1, he deserves that.”
For Pruemer, the 2012-13 basketball season and 2013 baseball campaign will be quests for redemption.
Once again, he'll play a key role for both squads. This time, he anticipates a different outcome.
“I'm definitely looking forward to getting back up there and hopefully breaking through the super-sectionals,” he said.
Pruemer, along with fellow team leaders Waldhoff and Derek Smith, will try to ensure that the Shoes are playing in Peoria in March and in June, at Carver Arena for the basketball state championship and at O’Brien Field for the baseball state title.
“I’m just going to try even harder than I did last year,” Pruemer said.
He’ll get his first chance on the basketball court. The Shoes’ first game is on Friday, November 23, in the Capital Classic Tournament. The tournament will be played in both Lawrenceville and Red Hill, but T-Town will be playing at the Red Hill location.