Effingham Daily News
TEUTOPOLIS — The gym inside Teutopolis High School was as cold as it was outside, based on how poorly the Wooden Shoes shot during the third quarter on Tuesday.
Teutopolis missed enough open shots to lose a nine-point halftime lead and Salem took a one-point lead into the final quarter, but the gym warmed up to room temperature.
The Shoes instantly regained the lead and put Salem away, giving them the 60-50 win that could be spelled with a capital “W,” for Bobby Wenthe, as far as Salem head coach Bob Frederick was concerned.
“Well, (number) 24. I don't know his name,” Frederick said. “He happened.”
Wenthe gave Teutopolis a 42-41 lead in the fourth quarter, before scoring back-to-back baskets to give the Shoes a 48-43 lead and then getting a block on transition defense at the other end of the floor.
Wenthe finished with 11 points and eight rebounds, leading the Shoes' 23-12 fourth-quarter blow out.
Brett Mette scored two of his 12 points on a layup that gave the Shoes a 50-43 lead, at which point Salem started the foul with only three team fouls in the half.
“We told the guys that (Salem has) some fouls to give and are going to come at you pretty hard, going for the steal, clawing, scratching and grabbing,” Teutopolis head coach Andy Fehrenbacher said.
Salem's added pressure forced a turnover, quickly resulting in an easy layup that made it a five-point game, but Michael Drees went to the free throw line four fouls later and started the Shoes' 8-for-8 performance down the stretch.
The Wildcats didn't have another choice but to foul, after Wenthe and Mette figured out the Salem zone that had slowed the team down in the third quarter.
Salem outscored Teutopolis 18-8 in the third quarter, grabbing a 31-27 lead with 6:21 on the clock. The Wildcats outscored the Shoes 7-1 in the final 3:23 of the quarter, taking a 38-37 lead.
“We didn't show that we were shooting very well, so I don't blame coach Frederick for going to the zone,” Fehrenbacher said. “I would've done the same thing.”
Fehrenbacher said his team allowed the Salem zone to effect them on both sides of the ball. The Shoes didn't play hard defensively, after missing a shot at the other end, he said.
“We had some defensive breakdowns we just can't have,” Fehrenbacher said.
The Wildcats were operating smoothly offensively, too, led by a pair of 3-pointers by Chance McCay, who finished the game with 10 points.
But the gym wasn't cold enough to help Salem to a win, especially not on Teutopolis' Homecoming. The Shoes were too much to handle, once they straightened out their shooting woes.
“We made a couple shots, actually,” Fehrenbacher said. “That third quarter we really hit a spell there where we couldn't get anything going. We're going to have stretches when we look good for a while, and then not so good.”
The Shoes (5-1) ended on one of the good stretches, taking a 10-point win in their first home game of the season. They will be back in action on the road Tuesday against Effingham.
Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Salem 10 10 18 12 50
Teutopolis 10 19 8 23 60
Salem: McCay 10, Conklin 8, Rush 8, Mercer 12, Maxey 4, Tolliver 8
Teutopolis: Drees 9, Ungrund 5, Will 4, Wenthe 11, Hardiek 13, T Jansen 2, Mette 12, Sandschafer 4