Historic season ends at sectionals

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Simple gameplan allows Dieterich to beat Warriors in Patoka's first sectional contest since 1989

By Andrew Harner

BRIDGEPORT – Dieterich didn’t use any fancy tactics in a rematch against Patoka last Wednesday at the Red Hill Sectional.

And that worked out just fine.

The Movin’ Maroons defense swarmed Patoka’s best offensive weapons, and Dieterich used a balanced offensive approach to avenge a regular-season loss and knock off the Warriors, 61-39, in the sectional semifinals.

“Our entire season has been based on that we’re small, so we have to control the glass, have defensive intensity and take care of the ball, which we did pretty well until the end,” said Patoka coach Joey Eddy. “Dieterich hit shots, and when they didn’t hit shots, they got offensive rebounds.

“When that happens, it’s going to be a long night.”

The Movin’ Maroons (22-8) drilled five 3-pointers in the first 10:27 to build their lead, and scored nine second-chance points on 11 offensive rebounds in the middle two quarters to take control of the game.

Senior Johnnie Clift scored 14 points in the final game of his career, giving him 499 points on the season and 1,357 points for his career.

Freshman Jered Cain also collected 14 points for the Warriors (23-7), adding 12 rebounds to end his first season on a high note.

Otherwise, three players combined for just 11 additional points, as Patoka struggled to score against Dieterich’s defense (28.2 field goal percentage) or answer any of three scoring runs by the Movin’ Maroons, leading to 24 unanswered points.

“We couldn’t stop the bleeding when it started,” Eddy said. “We couldn’t get anything going offensively.

“It wasn’t one person, it was a collection,” he said. “They were running at us as soon as Johnnie or Jered got the ball, because it’s not a secret where our offense comes from.”

Patoka, which beat Dieterich, 60-51, on Jan. 14, was puzzled by the Movin’ Maroons from the start, having to change defensive styles several times during the first half.

There were a handful of lead changes in the first six minutes, but Dieterich hit two 3-pointers as part of an 8-2 run that helped it to a five-point lead against Patoka’s zone defense.

In the second quarter, Dieterich answered a switch to man-to-man defense, with two layups sandwiched between two 3s as part of a 10-0 run that left Patoka behind, 26-12.

“We’ve hung our hat on defense all year, giving up 40-45 points a game,” Eddy said. “When we do that, we usually can win with our offense.

“Tonight, we went man and they got buckets inside, and we went zone and they got open shots from the outside,” he said. “Sometimes, you tip your hat to the other team, because they made plays off of what we were doing.”

Patoka had allowed an average of 47.72 points per game going into the sectional, having given up 60 points just five times (four losses) in the first 29 games.

Dieterich got to the mark with strong shooting, hitting 42 percent of its field goals, and grabbing 13 of its own misses, while adding a 13-for-18 effort from the free-throw line.

Eddy said that was a much better line than when the teams matched up earlier in the season, and that the Movin’ Maroons were able to get so many open looks because they handled the ball with patience.

“They were making the next easiest pass, and you didn’t see a lot of cross courts or diagonal passes,” Eddy said. “It was a simple gameplan that worked.”

The loss ended a historic season for Patoka, which saw the team advance to the sectional tournament for the first time since 1989 and for the third time in school history.

In 1989, the Warriors advanced to the sectional final, but lost to East St. Louis Assumption, and prior to that, Patoka also played in the 1974 sectional tournament.

With two returning full-time starters and several others who saw regular playing time off of the bench, Eddy doesn’t expect it to take another 25 years to get back to sectionals.

“We’ve felt it. We got here once in 25 years, let’s not wait another 25,” he said. “The expectations will still be high.”

Box score
Wednesday, March 5
Dieterich 61
Patoka 39
P: 9-11-10-9—39
D: 16-18-12-15—61
Points: J. Cain, 14; Clift, 14; Seth Allen, 6; Tyler Back, 3; Sheldan Felchlia, 2.
Rebounds: J. Cain, 12; T. Back, 5; Clift, 4; Allen, 1; John Houston, 1; Team, 1; Dead-ball, 1.
Assists: Dylan Back, 2; Clift, 2; Allen, 1; T. Back, 1; J. Cain, 1.
Steals: T. Back, 3; Allen, 1; J. Cain, 1; Felchlia, 1.
Blocks: T. Back, 3; J. Cain, 1.
Record: 23-7