Bauer powers Jeeps to victory

By JONATHAN SAXON
jsaxon@dcherald.com

Reece Bauer

DUBOIS — There was one play in the third quarter that summed up the type of game the Northeast Dubois boys basketball team had in their season opener against Pike Central. Senior guard Ethan Scott took his dribble from the top of the key into the lane, hoisting up a shot that was blocked by senior guard Reece Bauer. Bauer then collected the ball, raced down to the court and finished at the rim to complete the coast-to-coast fastbreak play. The whole sequence was sparked by solid defense, which the Jeeps (1-0) used to overcome a slow start and run away from the Chargers for their first win of the season, 47-27.

Jeeps coach Terry Friedman would have liked to see the team shoot better from the floor, especially from beyond the arc where they missed 15 shots, but he was glad that the team settled down and used their defense to create offense in the second half.

“It was a good night for Northeast Dubois,” he said. “We feel pretty good about being able to come out with a win tonight, but it was a first game. The second half we settled in a bit better and stayed more focused, and I can’t say we didn’t play a good defensive game. We gave a good effort.”

Bauer got the scoring started after taking a rebound back across the court for his first layup three minutes into the opening quarter. Junior forward Lane Knies followed with his own scoop shot to give the Jeeps a three-point lead, but junior forward Jaden Guth knocked down a three to tie the game at 4-all. The Jeeps reclaimed the lead behind a 6-0 run from Bauer and junior guard Nick Lueken. Senior guard Ethan Zeigler finished the quarter with a three-point play to give the Jeeps a 13-5 advantage.

Pike Central charged back in the second quarter as shots from Scott and Guth powered a 7-2 run that made it a one-possession game with a little more than two-and-a-half minutes left in the half. Bauer split a pair of free throws towards the end of the second, but first-half shooting struggles left the Jeeps with only a three-point lead at halftime.

The Jeeps opened the third with a salvo of shots from Bauer and Knies, including a lob play from Lueken to Bauer that put Northeast Dubois up 21-14. A pair of free throws from Bauer capped the 8-2 run. Scott tried to break up the run with a three, but Bauer came back with a one-man 6-0 run that culminated in the block that led to the fastbreak layup for a 29-18 lead. The Jeeps were up 31-20 by the end of the third.

Junior forward Logan Mehringer hit a turnaround jumper at the start of the fourth that initiated another six-point run for the Jeeps. Bauer used fastbreak buckets and trips to the free throw line to put up 10 in the fourth and put a cap on the game down the stretch.

Scott led the Chargers with 12 points. Bauer finished with 32 points and seven rebounds on 11-of-21 shooting.

“I knew we were going to have some nerves,” Bauer said. “We only had 15 points at halftime, we were struggling. But, we picked things up in the second half. We picked up our defensive intensity. Shots weren’t falling, but we still found a way to win.”

Friedman said he wasn’t sure if his team was as mentally checked in as they needed to be to start the game, as evidenced by their struggles to finish at the rim in the first half. Yet, stretching out the defense in the second half allowed the team to get some easy offense off of the Chargers’ mistakes, and now with the first win behind them Friedman can get to work diagnosing the tape and figuring out how the Jeeps can proceed from there.

“We’ll take this first game and start breaking it down,” he said. “There were some things that we didn’t do well tonight that we thought we could do. We’ll work on it (and) remain positive after this game. It gets us off to a good start.”

 




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