Mallory, Olivia and Jillian Deters are like three elements in a set.
Together, they’re sisters from a family of tall girls. Individually, each has a skill on the court that makes them unique from their sisters.
Mallory could drive to the basket like a guard, but possessed the physical gifts of a forward. She was the first sister through the Neoga basketball program, then Olivia. Now, Jillian.
“She’s unique in her own way,” Neoga head coach Kim Romack said. “Jillian will step out and hit that 3-point shot. We’ll look back in a couple years and talk about some of the post moves Jillian had.”
Jillian, the youngest sister to play in the program, scored her 1,000th career point against Dieterich last week, after eyeing the milestone for at least four years.
She grew up watching her sisters play basketball, wanting to emulate how they played the game.
People like Romack, who’ve seen the sisters play in high school, will tell you there are definite similarities in their low-post moves and defense.
“They all have a very strong work ethic, are very competitive and love to go out there and play hard,” Romack said. “Good kids, too.”
Jillian, a quietly confident teenager, turns on her competitiveness as soon as she steps on the floor. She flips the switch and said, “I can just get away from things,” outside of the game.
Her on-floor focus made her an integral part of the team from the beginning of her sophomore season, but she remained in the shadow of another dominant post player.
Erica Hotze was Neoga’s senior star when Deters was a sophomore, and was the last player to score 1,000 points in a career at Neoga.
“I feel like I had big shoes to fill out there,” Deters said. “Erica was the other post and was a senior, so I just kind of watched her and learned.”
Romack said Deters never backed down from battle in practice against Hotze in practice, even as a sophomore.
That year was Deters’ first opportunity to compete with the best, after scoring only seven points as a freshman on the varsity squad.
“There were a lot of older girls that were posts ahead of me, so I had to wait,” Deters said.
She scored 1,000-plus points in not even three seasons for the Indians and now she’s the senior leader that the younger players look up to. She’s the only senior.
“She’s a quiet person to talk to, so it’s a big change for her to be a vocal leader,” Romack said. “She has been a huge key to our success this year.”
In due time, Deters said she’ll make a college commitment, following Mallory’s path to next-level athletics.
“I knew, after Mallory went on and played in college, I always wanted to be as good as she was,” Deters said.
Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or email@example.com.
Mallory, Olivia and Jillian Deters are like three elements in a set.
Illini coach Groce stops in Effingham; Speech focuses on team building
A crowded ballroom met for "An Evening with John Groce” Thursday inside the Thelma Keller Convention Center.
Groce has been the men's basketball coach at the University of Illinois since March 2012. Prior to that, he was the head coach at Ohio University, where he led the Bobcats to a Sweet 16 appearance in 2012.
His speech was focused on team building and Groce said it was the a variation of the same speech he will give Sunday evening at his beginning-of-the-year players' meeting.
St. Anthony second at Charleston scramble
In their first meet of the season, the St. Anthony Bulldogs came out firing, taking second place at the Charleston Invitational Thursday afternoon.
The tournament was a scramble at Charleston Country Club, and the hosting Trojans took home the tournament with a combined score of 72. St. Anthony was five shots back, shooting a 77. Effingham finished fourth with an 88, and Teutopolis took ninth with a 98.
Czachorski: Lunt the right man at QB
There haven't been many times I've put pen to paper — or I guess more fittingly finger to keyboard — and written about the Illinois Fighting Illini.
Part of it is due to their football team's struggles, as it's hard to have an opinion on them outside of "man, they went 1-7 in the Big 10 last year" or "I remember that one time they went to the Rose Bowl, but that's about it." Part of it is staying in my wheelhouse, which is MAC football and my alma mater Central Michigan Chippewas, a topic that doesn't concern many, if any, around here.
Neoga prepares for upcoming volleyball season
Another area team finds themselves with a new coach holding the clipboard this season.
Susan Hutchinson is the new volleyball coach for the Neoga Indians, but she isn't new to the game of volleyball. Hutchinson coached at Mattoon for seven years when they were still in the Big 12 Conference. She said her new players had to get used to her coaching style very quickly.
Bulldogs fifth at ISU
St. Anthony took to the links for the second-straight day and had a strong showing at the Raider/Redbird Classic.
The Bulldogs finished fifth among a 20-team field, shooting a 318. East Peoria shot a 312 to win it, Normal U-High and Lincoln each shot 315s with Normal winning the tie-breaker, and Bloomington took fourth with a 317.
St. Anthony will lead with speed
For the last five years, Eric Morales has been the assistant coach of the St. Anthony Bulldogs soccer team. But this season he will have his chance at the helm and try to help lead the Bulldogs to their first regional title since 2010.
St. Anthony is missing six seniors from last years team, including its leading goal scorer and starting goalie.
Flaming Hearts win St. Anthony Invitational
The Flaming Hearts of Effingham were the overall winners and also had the medalist. Effingham shot a team score of 312 to beat the host Bulldogs by nine shots. Hearts senior Jackson Wendling finished with a 72 to take medalist honors.
Teutopolis takes opener against St. Thomas More
Teutopolis took the course with a new coach and four players, but as coach Becky Probst said, it takes four to score.
And those four Lady Shoes took their first match of the year, topping Champaign St. Thomas More 216-227 in both teams' openers at Cardinal Golf Course in Effingham.
Time to tee off, golf season starts fall sports campaign today
The fall sports campaign kicks off in earnest Monday afternoon, with the first area varsity contests being held in Windsor and Effingham this afternoon.
The St. Anthony Invitational boys golf tournament will be held at Fox Prairie Golf Course at 1 p.m. in Windsor, while the Teutopolis Lady Shoes host St. Thomas More at Cardinal Golf Course at 4 p.m.
Flaming Hearts' flexibility a plus; Effingham prepping for upcoming soccer season
Three days into the practice season, Effingham soccer coach Aaron Witges sees a lot of flexibility.
It was something his squad had last year, with 10 seniors but young players forcing their way into the lineup as well.
Coming off a 10-8-3 season, some of those young players will find themselves in new positions for the Flaming Hearts this season.
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- Illini coach Groce stops in Effingham; Speech focuses on team building