Not content with knocking off the No. 1 team in the state the night before, the Teutopolis Wooden Shoes added the 14th-ranked Mater Dei Knights to their list of victims at the Nashville Invitational Tournament.
Teutopolis overcame a 12-point deficit in the third quarter and fought back from nine down early in the fourth Tuesday to post a 50-49 victory over Mater Dei a day after defeating top-ranked Nashville.
“Mater Dei’s an extremely talented team, they’ve got a lot of really good players,” Teutopolis coach Andy Fehrenbacher said after his team improved to 17-2 overall and 2-0 at the five-team round-robin event. “They had us on the ropes a couple times and I give credit to our kids. They’ve got a ‘bend-don’t’break’ kind of mentality, but that’s not the first time that’s happened to us.”
T-town guard Devin Smith hit the eventual winning shot with 1 minute, 51 seconds remaining and the ‘Shoes forced eight of Mater Dei’s 22 turnovers in the fourth quarter. Mater Dei (12-7) had the ball working for a final shot, calling two timeouts in the final 52 seconds, but a running shot by Brendan Timmermann was off the mark.
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Fehrenbacher pointed to another comeback win against Mt. Carmel in November when the Wooden Shoes’ only lead came on a last-second game-winning shot.
“We prepare for those moments and guys step up,” Fehrenbacher said. “I thought our three seniors — Jordan Thoele, Tyler Gebben and Brock Mette — those were the three that wouldnt’ let us get beat tonight. “
With 6-foot-5 leading scorer Brett Mette battling an illness and scoring only four points, Gebben tossed in 17 points while Brock Mette had nine and Smith added eight.
Timmermann’s runner in the lane wasn’t the shot the Knights wanted, according to coach Ron Schadegg.
“We were looking for a pick and roll, drive the help (defense) and kick it out to (Zack) Deiters for a three to end it,” Schadegg said. “(Timmermann) just held on to it too long, he didn’t give it to him when he was open. We average about nine turnovers a game, so defensively they applied a little bit more pressure at the end and we didn’t handle it very well.”
T-town outscored Mater Dei 12-4 in the fourth quarter. Knights 6-8 senior center Nolan Gerling hit his first seven shots and was 9-for-11 on the night with 18 points through three quarters, but got few touches in the fourth quarter with T-town applying heavy pressure on the perimeter.
“I think a lot of (the turnovers) were unforced errors as well,” Schadegg said. “We panicked. We’ve got five seniors and experienced guys, there’s no reason for that but it’s as tough tournament and tough competition. It definitely shows we’re not there yet, for sure.”
Mater Dei controlled play for much of the first 3 1/2 quarters, leading 30-22 at halftime, 36-24 early in the second half and still up 47-38 early in the fourth. But T-town’s relentless defensive pressure forced too many mistakes down the stretch and the Knights couldn’t hold on.
A big 3-pointer by Brock Mette cut Mater Dei’s lead to 49-48 with 3:04 remaining and then Smith gave the Wooden Shoes the lead for good.
“In the first 3 1/2 quarters we’re on our toes, we’re applying the pressure,” Schadegg said. “The last four or five minutes of the game they turned up the pressure a little bit, we went on our heels and we backed away from things. That’s not how we got to where we were with a big lead in the game.
“We attacked them and then we just stopped. We just completely stopped attacking, not by choice but by bad decisions.”
Gerling was a force much of the night, scoring eight points in the first quarter and racking up 18 by the end of the third.
“They couldn’t stop him, they had no answer for him,” Schadegg said. “It wasn’t like their guards were applying so much pressure that we couldn’t get it in, we were just making bad decisions.”
Nashville 63, Mascoutah 39: Dylan Mueller and Royce Newman scored 14 points each as Nashville jumped out to an 11-0 lead and never looked back as the Hornets (18-2) improved to 1-1 at the tourney. Mascoutah (6-13) got 11 points from Chris Simmons.