Effingham Daily News
There was a sense of deja vu at Dieterich High School Monday night, with Dieterich and Altamont facing off for the second time in three days.
And while the game played out differently, that sense extended to the final. Altamont bested Dieterich 51-46 Saturday at the NTC Tournament, and beat the Lady Maroons by a nearly identical 52-46 score Monday.
Altamont led by 15 at one point, saw its lead dwindle to two multiple times, but held on for the victory.
Saturday's game was helpful for the Indians, even if they didn't get to practice in between games.
"A point of emphasis was learning what works, learning from one step to the next," said Altamont coach Katie Lurkins. "More times tonight, we did a better job of adjusting and learning and reacting to what happened on the court.
The Indians raced out to the lead early, repeatedly looking to get Madison Ohnesorge the ball in transition, and it worked. After a 4-4 tie, Altamont scored the next 11 points and took a 17-6 lead into the second quarter.
They would keep pushing the tempo until the lead was 23-8 two minutes into the second quarter.
Dieterich wasn't done yet, going on a 14-2 run to tighten the lead to 25-22, behind the offense of Mallorie Vahling and Kallee Rae Heuerman.
The Lady Maroons' success in their big run came from the ability to break down the Indians' zone defense by working the ball inside instead of forcing it into the post.
"I felt like we could have kept the middle harder, which we did every now and then," said Dieterich coach Donetta Ohnesorge. "We found some gaps when we needed to."
Altamont quickly pushed its lead back to eight points midway through the third, only to see Vahling, Courtney Flach and Elizabeth Abbott hit big shots to make the score 38-36. A Danielle Vaughn jumper made it 40-36 at the end of the third.
The teams traded buckets to start the fourth and the score was 44-42 with 4:55 left. Gabby Alwardt converted on a third-chance bucket for Altamont, followed by a big three by Ohnesorge with three minutes left that would prove to be the dagger.
"Playing these close games, it told me they're there, right there on the brink," Lurkins said. "We have to do something as a team to get us to spill over, to play four quarters."
Ohnesorge finished with a game-high 14 points, while her sister Lauren had 10, and Vaughn and Alwardt each had eight points.
Kallee Rae Heuerman led Dieterich with 14 points and had eight rebounds, Vahling tallied 11 points, six steals and 16 rebounds, and Abbott and Flach each had eight points.
The initial deficit was just too much for the Maroons to overcome.
"It was hard for us," Donetta Ohnesorge said. "Courtney wasn't in her shooting game, but she stepped it up defensively. Some nights we're going to be cold on certain things, but the thing is, we were cold on more things than just that."
Dieterich is now 2-5 and 0-2 in the NTC. They host Brownstown/St. Elmo Thursday night.
Altamont improves to 4-2 and 1-0 in conference play, and they host Central A&M Saturday at 1 p.m.
Altamont 17 11 12 12 52
Dieterich 6 18 12 10 46
Altamont: M. Ohnesorge 14, L. Ohnesorge 10, Vaughn 8, Smith 4, Tillman 4, Wendling 4, Alwardt 8
Dieterich: Abbott 8, Flach 8, Schmidt 5, Heuerman 14, Vahling 11