Effingham Daily News
Dieterich's Tanner Traub entered Tuesday's NTC tournament game against Neoga hitting about 45 percent of his threes.
But through the first 31:50, he hadn't hit a shot or scored in any fashion.
It didn't matter, as Traub had a wide-open look for three in the corner, drilling the game-winner with six seconds to help Dieterich stave off an upset-minded Neoga squad 48-45.
Despite his struggles, Traub had no doubt when the ball entered his hands.
"Of course not. Every time I shoot the ball, I have 100 percent confidence," he said. "I couldn't hit a shot through three quarters. It was awesome, coming out, getting the victory."
Neoga, the eight seed, led top-seeded Dieterich most of the way, and the game was tied 45-45 with 55 seconds left. Neoga waned 30 seconds off the clock, only to have Jake Baker get called for traveling.
The turnover set up Traub's three, and Baker's half-court heave hit the back iron.
It was a tough loss for the Indians, who had won five straight games coming into Tuesday's game.
"I'm just heartbroken for my kids," said Neoga coach Clay Haurberg. "I told them they played with all the heart in the world, which is what a coach asks his kids to do. We were in control of that thing in some fashion the whole way. I can't ask anything else of them."
Neoga came out of the gates with an upset on its mind, using Jake and Michael Baker to great effect as they jumped out a 9-1 lead.
Michael had two possessions early in the game where took three shots, missing the first two and grabbing his own rebound before scoring on the third shot.
Dieterich began to find its offensive stroke late in the quarter, cutting the lead to 11-7 as they entered the second quarter.
A three-point play by Austin Bushe gave Dieterich its first brief lead at 14-13 Maroons. Neoga kept battling despite two fouls to both Bakers, and Jake tied the game with a three pointer at 22-22 with 2:20 left. He committed his third foul shortly afterward and headed to the bench. Dieterich scored the next five points before a Wyatt Krikie three with five seconds sent the game to the locker room with a 27-25 Maroon advantage.Dieterich came back out and grabbed the lead, and looked to be pulling away after a three by Hinterscher gave them a 34-28 lead. But the Indians got contributions from four scorers during an 11-2 run to end the quarter, capped off by a three by Krikie and a steal and layup by Jake Baker to give them a 39-36 lead going into the fourth.The Indians' stifling defense continued well into the fourth, as they held Dieterich scoreless until the 2:46 mark of the frame. Baskets by Jake Baker and Riley Walk extended the lead to 43-36 before a free throw by Devin Aherin and a three by Hinterscher cut the lead to 43-40.Maroons coach Jeff Staser pointed back to an early-season comeback win against Centralia Christ Our Rock Lutheran. "We're seven down, four minutes to go, you've dug yourselves a hole, it's Christ Our Rock time," Staser said. "We got the ball out, got a few steals and they couldn't get set."Jake Baker hit a layup with 2:16 left, but Hinterscher hit a long three and a layup to tie the game at 45-45 with 55 seconds left.Hinterscher led all scorers with 27 points, and hit Traub with an assist for his game-winning shot. "We knew they were going to collapse on him, Tanner slipped out in the corner and buried it," Staser said.Jake Baker had 20 points for Neoga and Michael Baker had seven. Both players, along with Trevor Moore, finished the game with four fouls, but the Indians got along even with the trouble."We keep Michael Baker out of foul trouble, it might be a different story," Haurberg said. "We weathered the storm either way."Neoga plays St. Elmo at 6:15 p.m. Thursday in the consolation bracket. Dieterich advances to play fourth-seeded Cowden-Herrick at about 7:45 p.m. Thursday.