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|1/19/2013 ||Email this article Print this article |
Diedrich's big shot helps Rebels topple rival Preston
|Northeast junior Damon Diedrich attempts a three-pointer during the Rebels’ game with Cal-Wheat. Diedrich took one shot during Northeast’s game with Big East rival Preston, Tuesday night, but it proved to be a big one as the forward’s banker in the lane with less than five seconds remaining gave the the Rebels’ a 46-44 win over the seventh-ranked Trojans.|
By Ross Eberhart
The Northeast boys basketball team had already proven once that it could adapt during Tuesday night's Big East clash with rival Preston.
So with the score tied at 44-44 and time dwindling down, the Rebels knew exactly what to do when its top option was taken away.
That is exactly what forward Damon Diedrich did as the junior drove into the lane and put up a shot just inside the free throw line.
The attempt was long, but banked off the backboard and through the hoop just before time expired to give the Rebels another dramatic victory, while also providing seventh-ranked Preston with its first loss of the season.
"We held for the last shot and the play broke down," Northeast head coach Travis Eversmeyer said, explaining the final Rebel possession. "Damon made something happen - he drove to the hoop and shot a 13-foot bank shot for the (46-44) win.
"I am extremely proud of the guys for their effort and execution. It was a total team effort - not one player really stands out - they all bought into their roles and made it happen."
The game did not get off to a good start for the Rebels as Preston, who cruised in the first meeting between the two teams 80-47, shot out to an 11-2 lead in just a little over three minutes.
Looking to shake things up, Northeast decided to switch defenses from man-to-man to a triangle-and-two look (two players play man-to-man, the other three play zone).
The move paid off, as the new defense held Preston in check just enough for the Rebels to climb back into the game, and as the first quarter came to a close it was down to a four-point Trojan lead.
"The kids did a great job of executing the game plan," Eversmeyer said. "We felt confident that we could play with them if we stayed with them early in the game.
"We were only down 20-16 at the end of the quarter and I think that fueled the kids into believing they could compete."
The remainder of Preston's advantage was eaten up within the first two minutes of the second quarter and things were tied at 20-20.
The remainder of the first half turned into the equivalent of a three-point shootout as the two teams combined for five threes in the second quarter.
It was the Trojans who hit more, though, and Preston was able to take a 33-28 advantage into the break.
The Rebels' strong performance on defense was really on display in the second half as Preston was held to just 11 points over the final two quarters of play.
Northeast, though, had its own troubles on the offensive end to start the third quarter and, at the halfway point of the period, Preston still led 35-32.
The advantage did not last for another minute as two Northeast free throws coupled with a three-point play from freshman Will Hasken finally put the Rebels in front 37-35.
Ben Hildebrandt added a three-pointer in the final minute of the third quarter for Northeast and the visitors went into the fourth quarter with a 40-38 lead.
Another Rebel bucket to start the final quarter pushed the lead to four, but Preston was able to get within three at 44-41 with five minutes remaining in the game.
A full three minutes went by before the score changed. Unfortunately for the Rebels, it came on a Preston three that tied the game at 44-44 and set up Diedrich's last second shot.
Bo Lingle led the way for the Rebels with 14 points in the game, while also leading the team with eight rebounds.
Hasken added nine points and dished out a team-best six assists, while Hildebrandt scored eight points and had four assists.
Eli Kaczinski chipped in five points with Brendan Butler adding four. Matt Lorenzen and Nick Wall both had two points, while Diedrich's last-second shot was his only two points of the game (it was also his only shot).
Lorenzen brought down three rebounds for the Rebels, while Diedrich came up big on the defensive end with three steals.
Hasken added two steals of his own, while Lingle had a block for the Rebels, who pulled within a game of the conference-leading Trojans.
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