Indians roll past Hillsboro
Eirhart, Jarhaus pace Altamont in 67-50 win; Tribe remains undefeated
ALTAMONT – On Monday night the Altamont Indians triumph over Hillsboro turned out to be “The Kaden and Aiden Show.”

Six-foot-two junior guard Kaden Eirhart and 5-foot-11 senior guard Aiden Jahraus put on an offensive show as they led the Indians past the Hiltoppers, 67-50 in a non-conference contest that was a tuneup for this coming holiday tournament season for both teams.

Eirhart scored 24 points while Jahraus collected 22 in the lopsided win that included a “break away” 23-9 third quarter as Coach John Niebrugge's Tribe remained unbeaten at 8-0 on the season.

“When we get stops that allows our transition to go. We have really, good skilled guards. When we can pass and shoot well, we are going to be tough,” said Coach Niebrugge. “They (Eirhart and Jahraus) are our 'two-headed monster' and everyone knows it. But we got some other kids that can step up and hit shots and score double-digits. Our kids know their roles.”

Coach Joe Vanzo saw his teams' mark slip to 1-9 despite playing a very good first half.

The Hiltoppers (yes, it's one “L”) got 14 points from sophomore Gavin Mataoush and 13 points from senior Nic Ondrey.

Ondrey scored all of his points in the first half as the Hiltoppers trailed just 30-27 at the half.

But the Altamont coaching staff, decked out in “brutally ugly” Christmas sweaters for the occasion, made some adjustments and held Ondrey and the rest of his teammates in check for the most part in the final 16 minutes.

“It (tonight's game) has kind of been the story of our whole season. We have had some really good first halves but teams have gone on runs in the third quarter and we haven't been able to pick up the pieces as fast as we have liked,” said Coach Vanzo. “We track possessions and they (Altamont) scored on 14-of-15 possessions at the end of the third and the start of the fourth. And that was game. Our kids competed well but we had a really bad six possessions in the third quarter.”

Altamont got contributions from seniors Denver Duckwitz and Noah Teasley (six points each) along with five markers from sophomore Noah Klimpel.

Senior Jared Kollmann also tossed in a couple of big baskets for the Indians.

The beginning of the contest for Altamont was a bit inauspicious to say the least.

The Indians were just 1-of-9 from the 3-point arc and defensively they weren't very good, either.

Hillsboro got points in the early going from Ondrey as the Hiltoppers took control with an 11-2 run.

Ondrey scored twice in the run and sophomore Drake Vogel converted a fast break for an 11-6 advantage.

Ondrey added five more points with a pair of shots and 1-of-2 free throws.

His rebound putback beat the first quarter horn for an 18-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Indians were just 5-of-16 from the floor early in the game and defensively they were allowing a lot of easy looks.

“Early in the game we didn't make shots that we can make. But we “ratcheted up” the defense better after the first quarter, 18 points in the first quarter is unacceptable. But we started getting deflections and run outs. When our guards can hit shots we are a tough team to beat,” said Coach Niebrugge. “We have played a lot of 2A teams and it helps. They are teams that we have a chance to beat but if we don't play well they will beat us.”

Following yet another Ondrey score to give Hillsboro its largest lead (20-11) Altamont made its first big offensive push.

A 12-0 run with Eirhart, Jahraus, Kollman and Duckwitz all producing forced Coach Vanzo to burn a timeout.

Mataoush converted a three-point play and two additional free throws late in the frame as the Hiltoppers went to halftime down just 30-27.

A 3-pointer from the top of the arc by Hillsboro senior Brock Bellaver tied the game at 30-all just moments into the third quarter.

It was the final highlight of the night for Coach Vanzo's squad.

An 11-2 run by the hosts got the Indians rolling.

Jahraus, who only had five first half points, scored 12 points in the third quarter.

He hit a pair of step back 3-pointers and also drove to the basket for scores as the offense piled up numbers.

When he split a pair of Hillsboro defenders for a lay in with 3:39 left in the quarter, the Indians were up 41-32.

A 12-2 run closed the period and put and “exclamation point” on the win.

Eirhart added to his game resume with a 3-pointer and a baseline drive for a bucket.

When Jahraus canned his second 20 footer in the quarter just before the buzzer, the Indians led 53-36 heading to the fourth.

Eirhart opened the final frame with a 3-pointer.

Then Duckwitz added a rebound basket.

Two more scores from Jahraus on a cut to the basket and then an offensive rebound kept the rout going.

The Jahraus rebound summed up the Hillsboro defensive problems.

The senior guard followed his own 3-point miss with a rebound and a nice drive to the goal.

His left handed lay in pushed the Indians spread to 62-39 with 5:59 to go.

The Indians cruised home the rest of the way as they improved their overall stock by beating yet another 2A team.

Coach Niebrugge's club has conquered six larger schools on the early season schedule.

Altamont will head to uncharted waters this week as they head south for its holiday tournament.

The Indians are the number three seed at the 39th annual Sesser-Valier Holiday Tournament and will open up with win-less Thompsonville Thursday evening at 6:30 pm.

Altamont is one of two unbeaten teams (Goreville) in the SVHT.

The Hiltoppers, on the other hand, have just a win over Lincolnwood-Morrisonville on December 4th in the victory column as they head to the Carlinville Holiday Tournament this week.

“I thought in the first half we did some things well and the officials let us play, which we liked, but they (Altamont) really dissected us in the third quarter,” said Coach Vanzo. “They got any shot they wanted. They are a good team. They haven't been beat for a reason. They didn't force anything. They ran their offense to get what they wanted.”


Hillsboro (50)
– Small 0 0 0-0 0, Tuetken 1 2 0-0 8, Ondrey 6 6 0 1-2 13, Lentz 0 0 0-0 0, Vogel 2 1 0-0 7, Bellaver 1 1 0-0 5, McCammack 0 0 0-0 0, Mataoush 4 0 6-8 14, Connor 0 0 0-0 0, Blankenship 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-14, 3FG-5, FT-7-10, PF-12.

Altamont (67) – Klimpel 1 1 0-0 5, Budde 0 0 1-3 1, Suckow 0 0 0-0 0, Jahraus 7 2 1-2 21, Eirhart 6 4 0-0 24, Robbins 0 0 0-0 0, Duckwitz 2 0 2-2 6, Winn 0 0 0-0 0, Costa 0 0 0-0 0, Ruffner 0 0 0-0 0, Schulte 0 0 0-0 0, Teasley 2 0 2-4 6, Kollman 2 0 0-0 4.
2FG-20, 3FG-7, FT-6-11, PF-12.

Fouled Out – Eirhart - Altamont.
Technical Fouls – None.