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NEW QUEENS ON THE BLOCK: St. Anthony defeats Altamont to win NTC Tournament title; Vonderheide named MVP

Jan. 23—BEECHER CITY — Fight.

That was the key word uttered multiple times by St. Anthony head girls basketball coach Aaron Rios after his team received the large traveling trophy honoring the winner of the National Trail Conference Tournament. The Bulldogs defeated Altamont Saturday night, 69-60, in the championship game of the annual mid-January event.

Others echoed their coach, too.

"We've worked really hard in practice and we put in the work," guard Nancy Ruholl said. "We really just wanted to push."

"It feels really nice because we all came together as a team," forward Addi Nuxoll added. "We all fought for it."

With the win, St. Anthony also avenged a loss to the Lady Indians earlier in the year. The Bulldogs snapped the Lady Indians' 19-game winning streak, as well.

"We really prepared with how we want to win and (stay) balanced in the halfcourt," Rios said. "We know we can get in transition; we know we can get buckets off turnovers, but we need to really be disciplined in the halfcourt and not turn the basketball over and that preparation helped."

St. Anthony led 14-13 at the end of the first quarter.

Altamont jumped out to an 8-2 lead. Claire Boehm started with a three-pointer. Ruholl then hit a pair of free throws. Peyton Osteen hit a midrange shot and Grace Nelson knocked down a three-pointer.

Ruholl then connected from deep to cut the lead to three points, 8-5. Stacie Vonderheide then made a pair of free throws to tie the game at 10 apiece.

The Bulldogs then went on to outscore the Lady Indians 20-16 in the second to take a five-point lead into halftime.

Adysen Rios hit a midrange shot to make it 16-15. Vonderheide followed with a midrange look and Ruholl hit a three that made it a six-point contest, 21-15, with 5:18 left.

Ruholl then hit a layup to push the lead to eight points, 25-17.

Altamont would then cut into the lead later in the frame, but a Vonderheide layup extended the margin to seven points, 29-22.

Nelson then hit a three-pointer that made it a three-point lead, 32-29, before the Bulldogs tacked on two more points to close the period.

St. Anthony would then go on to outscore the Lady Indians 15-14 in the third and 20-17 in the fourth.

Rios couldn't help but acknowledge the fan support his team received on the night.

"I was so happy that our fans came out tonight," he said. "It was a great environment for high school basketball."

Each fan got to witness Vonderheide capture the National Trail Conference Tournament Most Valuable Player Award, too. She finished with 26 points but pushed her individual accolades to the side and credited her teammates instead, especially when it came to the defensive end of the court.

"Credit to the wings: Nancy and Ava Faber, they were helping out down there and 'Nux' is a warrior; she's going corner-to-corner. It's awesome to have them."

Ruholl added 25 points.

Adysen Rios finished with seven but proved why her value is far more than scoring.

She talked about what makes her the defender she is afterward.

"Talking on defense is No. 1. I have Addi Nuxoll behind me every single time, telling me where I need to cut, help down, or help over and me being decently fast helps with that, too," Adysen Rios said. "I can shoot the gaps and get the steals."

Nuxoll finished with six points and also played strong defensively, while Addie Lauritzen had five.

Nelson led Altamont with 32 points. Peyton Osteen had 13. Brianna Grunloh had six. Kaylee Lurkins had four. Boehm had three and Kylie Osteen had two.

"These kids aren't going to give up," Lady Indians head coach Craig Carr said. "They're fighters. We've been undersized all year long and they've done nothing but fight."

Joining Vonderheide on the National Trail Conference Tournament All-Tournament Team were Ruholl, Nelson, Peyton Osteen, Lexi Seabaugh and Dayana Haslett (Brownstown/St. Elmo), Macee Rodman (Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City), Brynn Richards (Neoga), Miley Britton (Dieterich), Taegan Webster (South Central), Miah Ballard (North Clay) and Ella Kinkelaar (Stewardson-Strasburg/Windsor).

Brownstown/St. Elmo 62, Dieterich 38

Brownstown/St. Elmo (BSE) defeated Dieterich in the third-place game, 62-38.

Seabaugh led the Bombers with 22 points. Presley Williams had 16. Haslett had nine. Danika Ramsey had five. Jayna Ireland and Jaydin Huddlestun each had three and Madi Miller and Abbi Ledbetter each had two.

Addison Miller led the Movin Maroons with 12 points. Britton had 10. Sammi Goebel had eight. Ella Kreke had four and Kady Tegeler and Callie Faller each had two.

BSE led 25-2 at the end of the first quarter, 39-15 at halftime and 52-24 after the third quarter.

Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City 61, Neoga 43

Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City (CHBC) defeated Neoga in the fifth-place game, 61-43.

Rodman led the Bobcats with 20 points. Baya Fingo had 14. Ruby Stuckemeyer had nine. Karlee Smith had eight. Koda Colman had four and Shae Nohren had two.

Richards led the Indians with 17 points. Haylee Campbell had 13. Gracie Eaton, Allison Sampson and Malory Henderson each had four and Natalie O'Dell had one.

CHBC led 17-7 at the end of the first quarter, 30-22 at halftime and 51-32 at the end of the third quarter.

Stewardson-Strasburg/Windsor 57, Farina (South Central) 41

Stewardson-Strasburg/Windsor (WSS) defeated South Central in the seventh-place game, 57-41.

Kinkelaar led the Hatchets with 20 points. Kendra Hayes had nine. Katelyn VonBehrehns had eight. Ellie Wittenberg and Morgan Mathis each had seven and Samantha Hayes had six.

Perceilla Reid led the Lady Cougars with nine points. Webster, Katelyn Swift and Lauren Johnson each had eight. Brooke Cowger had four and Lorelai Rose and Addi Conant each had two.

THURSDAY

Effingham (St. Anthony) 54, Brownstown/St. Elmo 47

St. Anthony defeated Brownstown/St. Elmo in a semifinal, 54-47.

Vonderheide led the Bulldogs with 24 points. Ruholl had 21 and Adysen Rios had nine.

Seabaugh led the Bombers with 18 points. Haslett had 14. Madi Miller had seven. Williams had five and Ramsey had three.

St. Anthony led 17-5 at the end of the first quarter, 35-21 at halftime and 42-40 at the end of the third quarter.

Altamont 49, Dieterich 48

Altamont defeated Dieterich in a semifinal, 49-48.

Nelson led the Lady Indians with 29 points. Lurkins had nine. Peyton Osteen had four. Grunloh had three. Klein had two and Kylie Osteen and Boehm each had one.

Britton led the Movin Maroons with 16 points. Ruby Westendorf had 11. Estella Meinhart had six. Tegeler had five. Goebel and Kreke each had four and Addison Miller had two.

Altamont led 15-10 at the end of the first quarter, trailed 27-23 at halftime and led 35-34 at the end of the third.

WEDNESDAY

Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City 60, Stewardson-Strasburg/Windsor 39

Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City (CHBC) defeated Stewardson-Strasburg/Windsor (WSS), 60-39.

Rodman led the Bobcats with 19 points. Haley Doty and Stuckemeyer each had 10. Colman had six. Fingo had five. Madison Dawson had four and Averie Vaughn, Ines Saez and Smith each had two.

Kinkelaar led the Hatchets with 14 points. Wittenberg and Samantha Hayes each had six. Kendra Hayes had five. Mathis, Cameron Carey and Katelyn VonBehrens each had two and Claire Holland and Leah Kasey each had one.

CHBC led 14-9 at the end of the first quarter, 29-17 at halftime, 45-28 at the end of the first quarter and 15-11 in the fourth.

Neoga 69, Farina (South Central) 39

Neoga defeated South Central, 69-39.

Richards led the Indians with 25 points. Campbell had 17. Eaton had 10. Sampson had nine. Atalie Osborn had four and O'Dell and Kalli Reynolds each had two.

Reid and Cowger led the Lady Cougars with 13 points. Webster had seven. Swift had four and Conant had two.

Neoga led 14-12 at the end of the first quarter, 36-24 at halftime and 57-27 at the end of the third quarter. The Indians and South Central were tied at 12 points apiece in the fourth.

TUESDAY

Stewardson-Strasburg/Windsor 59, Louisville (North Clay) 48

WSS defeated North Clay, 59-48.

Samantha Hayes led the Hatchets with 22 points. Kendra Hayes had 11. Kinkelaar had 10. Mathis had six and VonBehrens and Wittenberg each had five.

Ballard led the Lady Cardinals with 23 points. Matia Price had 10. Sydney Kincaid had seven. Leah Wetherholt had six and Mallory Boose had two.

North Clay led 10-9 after the first quarter. WSS outscored the Lady Cardinals 14-10 in the second and 20-10 in the third. North Clay outscored the Hatchets 18-16 in the fourth.

Altamont 63, Farina (South Central) 42

Altamont defeated South Centra, 63-42.

Nelson and Peyton Osteen led the Lady Indians with 15 points each. Lurkins had 12. Grunloh had nine. Kylie Osteen had six and Boehm and Klein each had three.

Webster led the Lady Cougars with 15 points. Cowger had 14. Swift had five. Reid had four and Conant and Johnson each had two.

Altamont led 12-8 after the first quarter. The Lady Indians outscored South Central 22-14 in the second and 20-7 in the third. The Lady Cougars outscored Altamont 13-9 in the fourth.

MONDAY

Dieterich 60, Neoga 54

Dieterich defeated Neoga, 60-54.

Britton led the Movin Maroons with 16 points. Addison Miller had 13. Tegeler had 12. Meinhart had nine. Westendorf had eight and Goebel had two.

Richards led the Indians with 18 points. Campbell had 15. Sampson had 10. Eaton had seven and Osborn had four.

Dieterich led 13-10 at the end of the first quarter. Neoga outscored the Movin Maroons 11-9 in the second and 21-16 in the fourth. Dieterich outscored the Indians 22-12 in the third.

Brownstown/St. Elmo 49, Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City 42

BSE defeated CHBC, 49-42.

Haslett led the Bombers with 31 points. Seabaugh had 11. Williams had six and Madi Miller had one.

Rodman led the Bobcats with 16 points. Stuckemeyer had eight. Fingo had seven. Nohren had four. Saez had three and Smith and Doty each had two.

BSE led 12-5 after the first quarter. CHBC outscored the Bombers 12-9 in the second and tied BSE with 12 points apiece in the third. The Bombers outscored the Bobcats 16-13 in the fourth.

Effingham (St. Anthony) 62, Stewardson-Strasburg/Windsor 23

St. Anthony defeated WSS, 62-23.

Vonderheide led the Bulldogs with 26 points. Adysen Rios had 11. Ruholl had nine. Addie Lauritzen had five. Nuxoll had four. Faber had three and Aubrey Denning and Ali Kollman each had two.

Kinkelaar and VonBehrens each led the Hatchets with seven points each. Kendra Hayes had four. Wittenberg had three and Samantha Hayes had two.

St. Anthony led 19-5 at the end of the first quarter. The Bulldogs outscored WSS 11-4 in the second, 16-12 in the third and 16-2 in the fourth.

Farina (South Central) 61, Louisville (North Clay) 47

South Central defeated North Clay, 61-47.

Webster and Swift each led the Lady Cougars with 20 points each. Johnson had 15. Cowger had four and Reid had two.

Ballard led the Lady Cardinals with 24 points. Price and Alexis VanDyke each had six. Wetherholt had four. Kincaid had three and Boose and Ava Fleener each had two.

South Central led 13-9 at the end of the first quarter. The Lady Cougars outscored North Clay 18-6 in the second and 19-18 in the fourth. The Lady Cardinals outscored South Central 14-11 in the third.

Contact EDN Sports Editor Alex Wallner at 618-510-9231 or alex.wallner@effinghamdailynews.com.