Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Owensville Celebrates First State Semifinal since 1994 for Dutchgirls

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Owensville Celebrates First State Semifinal since 1994 for Dutchgirls

Article excerpt

OWENSVILLE * The shelves at Dutchmen Donuts became totally empty around 9:30 a.m. on Sunday.

A few minutes later, one of the more popular hangouts in Gasconade County closed its doors for the day.

It wasn't a sudden sugar rush that caused the treats to fly off the rack.

Nope. The teenage girl behind the counter was the reason for the record sales.

Owensville High senior winger Hailey Diestelkamp, who 14 hours earlier helped lead the girls basketball team to its first final four appearance in 22 years, began her usual weekend job at 5 a.m.

Only this time, Diestelkamp didn't have to wait long for customers.

A steady crowd, young and old, poured into the shop to congratulate her and have a word with the newest rock star in this basketball-crazy town of 2,676.

"A lot of them were young girls, just wanting to talk to her and see her," said Julie Diestelkamp, Hailey's mother. "It wasn't really about buying donuts."

Dutchgirl mania took over Owensville after a 55-52 overtime win against Carl Junction on Saturday in a Class 4 state quarterfinal at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar.

The Dutchgirls (24-5) carry an 11-game winning streak against St. Joseph Benton (29-0) in a semifinal at 4:15 p.m. Friday at Mizzou Arena.

Owensville, located 71 miles southwest of St. Louis, finished fourth in its only previous state appearance in 1994. The Dutchgirls hadn't won a district title since 2001.

With a successful veteran NCAA Division II men's coach in his first year with girls and a two-time all-state player leading the way, the Dutchgirls are the feel-good story of the postseason.

"This town is going crazy, it's a real electric feel," Owensville coach Steve Tappmeyer said "Everyone seems to be excited."

A good majority of the town attended Saturday's game. A local church televised the game on a giant screen off a computer feed for those not able to go. …

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