Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

March 10, 2014

Shoes "ready to break through"

Seniors ready for first trip past Super-Sectionals

Ryan Czachorski
Effingham Daily News

TEUTOPOLIS — The eight Teutopolis Wooden Shoes seniors have accomplished enough to make almost every other high school in Illinois jealous.

On Tuesday, they'll play in the school's fourth consecutive Super-Sectional, some for the first time and others making a return.

But as much as they've accomplished, they don't want this season to end like the last three have at this junction: they want more.

Coach Andy Fehrenbacher thinks they've got it in them, taking on Nashville at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Class 2A SIU Super-Sectional.

"We're ready to break through. We've been right on the edge, and we're ready to go to Peoria," Fehrenbacher said.

Even with that said, the coach knows what an amazing run these seniors and his program has been on, winning four straight sectionals and playing for the sectional title before that.

"We're proud of our accomplishments and what we've been able to do," Fehrenbacher said. "It's a testament to our program. You look at the number of players that have made this happen for us, our coaching staff, it's a number of people that have made this happen for us."

Like most teams at this juncture, Fehrenbacher pointed out how the seniors have stepped up, like starters like Cody Will, Bobby Wenthe and Reed Hardiek.

But Fehrenbacher also singled out some of the other seniors who don't see the playing time Will, Wenthe and Hardiek do, and the role they've played pushing the Wooden Shoes (21-9) to yet another sectional crown.

"It's been a lot of leadership in practices, on and off the court," Fehrenbacher said. "We've had guys step up and be vocal leaders, like Cody and Reed, but even some seniors who don't play have been vocal, because they want it."

"The attitude has been great with the team. We had a couple tough losses, but we were really pushing toward the postseason, and now that it's here, they've been very focused."

Their road now intersects with a familiar foe in the Nashville Hornets, whose tournament they play in the winter. The schools haven't met in the postseason since 2007, when Teutopolis downed the Hornets in the Class A state quarterfinals.

Nasvhille is 25-7 after downing Mt. Carmel 63-55 to win the Class 2A Du Quoin Sectional. Teutopolis beat Greenville 64-53 in the Class 2A Vandalia Sectional.

The Hornet offense is multi-faceted, with 6-foot-7 Royce Newman anchoring the post play, and 6-foot-6 Dylan Muller and Clint Johannes helping down low and ranging out to the perimeter. Daniel Thorson and Keegan Anderson unleashed a 3-point barrage during the Hornets' win Friday.

Defensively, they'll run a 1-2-2 zone, similar to Nokomis, that will be about finding a way into the holes, just like every zone formation.

"You need to attack through the middle, you're going to have to hit some perimeter shots and hit the offensive glass," Fehrenbacher said. "When you run a zone, you're not in position to block somebody else."

The Shoes practiced Sunday and Fehrenbacher's staff spent the weekend reviewing game film, and now, it's about execution and preparation to break through.

"We've done a lot of work this weekend as a coaching staff, I've seen them a few times live," Fehrenbacher said. "We've got a couple different schemes we're looking at, and I feel like we have a pretty good gameplan."