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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mallory, Olivia and Jillian Deters are like three elements in a set.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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