Cats extend streak, Bauer breaks recordJanuary 31, 2020
By COREY STOLZENBACH
JASPER — Jackson Kabrick felt no pressure when he stepped to the free throw line with 0.6 seconds to go Friday night, trying to extend a 52-50 Jasper lead.
The senior for the Wildcats (12-2) knocked down both free throws, putting the game against county rival Northeast Dubois to bed. The Wildcats held on, 54-50, to extend their winning streak to nine games, while ending the win streak of the Jeeps (11-5) at five games.
“I’m just going out there, do what I’ve done multiple times, a lot of times in this gym already, and I just was glad to make them,” Kabrick said.
Kabrick’s free throws sealed the deal. What was looking like a potential Jasper blowout in the second quarter turned out to be anything but. However, Kabrick and his teammates went a 13-0 run at one point in the first half after being in an 11-8 deficit early on. The Wildcats stole the ball, and Kabrick took off with the ball in his hand, bringing it home with a two-handed jam. His dunk had members of the Jasper student section besides themselves as they chanted his name. That slam led to a Northeast Dubois timeout with 4:56 to play in the second quarter and facing a 21-11 deficit.
“My teammates did a great job to steal the ball, and they just happened to get it to me,” Kabrick said. “So, I thought, ‘Might as well try something cool,’ and it worked out for me.”
Kabrick had his moments, but those were just two pieces of the puzzle to an action-packed Friday night. Northeast Dubois tried to pull closer in the first half, finding the rim for a layup in the closing seconds, but junior Caleb Burger of Jasper responded by throwing up a three at the buzzer, and it was good. Jasper led, 30-21, at halftime.
The Wildcats seemed to keep building momentum early on in the third quarter, until a 35-21 lead vanished into thin air. They held senior Reece Bauer completely off the scoreesheet in the first half, guarding him closely, and the few chances Bauer got did not go. His first bucket of the game, at approximately 6:25 in the third quarter, resurrected Northeast Dubois. The Jeeps stared down a 14-point deficit and turned it into a five-point lead thanks to a 21-2 run during one stretch in the third.
“I think once he got going, we all got going,” Jeeps coach Terry Friedman said of Bauer, who scored 11 points. “He’s a special player. We got a special team.”
“The momentum of the game changed in the third quarter because we forgot what gave us the lead — defense first,” Jasper coach John Goebel said. “We got a little lackadasical defensively. We allowed Reece Bauer to get loose and get to the rim and get to the foul line a little bit, which we hadn’t done in the first half.”
Goebel said the Wildcats not focusing on defense, along with shots not going in, contributed to that Jeeps run. He pointed out a correlation between the two, as good offense usually starts with intense defense, which Jasper forgot.
Yet, Kabrick and fellow senior Carter Stamm both thought defense played a big role in getting the victory. Stamm’s bucket broke a 50-50 tie that turned out to be the game-winner for Jasper.
“We had a certain play called and it was to try to get some layups to score,” Stamm said. “I thought I saw a little opportunity and tried to take advantage and I got the shot to fall.”
The efforts of Kabrick and Stamm down the stretch propelled Jasper to a 24th consecutive win against Northeast Dubois. The Jeeps are still seeking their first win against the Wildcats since Nov. 21, 2000, but Goebel thought luck has played a big part in such a streak.
“We have beaten them for a lot of years, but there were a lot of years like tonight where it could’ve went the other way,” he said. “We get the ball to bounce our way a little bit down the stretch, but I mean, that’s just part of this rivalry. It’s a great rivalry because it’s a physical game. It’s always an intense game. It’s almost always a close game, and you definitely get your money’s worth when you see Jasper/Dubois, and so I just can’t say enough about how good a job Terry Friedman does with that program, and how tough his kids play.”
“I’m not sure about all those other years, but this year, this is an extremely good defensive team,” Friedman said. “They make it extremely hard to score.”
Friedman thought the Jeeps were fortunate to get into an offensive rhythm in the third quarter, but the Wildcats made it tough the other three quarters, and he commended them for that.
Both of these teams will be back on the road today. The Jeeps look to bounce back at Blue Chip Conference rival Wood Memorial, hoping to improve to 4-1 in conference play and begin a new streak.
“We’re still in the conference fight there,” Friedman said. “All we can do is pick up the pieces and move on and start a new streak tomorrow night.”
The Wildcats will hope to get that winning streak up to double digits when they visit New Albany.
“Against a team like New Albany, you can’t lose focus for two minutes, otherwise the game will get away from you,” Goebel said. “They’re going to run the floor. They’re going to play a fast-paced game. They’re probably going to full-court press us, and if we’re not on our A-game from beginning to end, it won’t even be a game.”
Bauer etches name in record books
The Jeeps could not make it a sixth consecutive win Friday night, but Bauer made history. He got it going with a couple of buckets in the third quarter, closing in on Dustin Wolf’s all-time boys scoring record of 1,150 points. Bauer went up for a bucket, and it went in. The Jeeps student section collectively jumped up in excitement. Northeast Dubois took a timeout while Bauer got a rousing ovation from the fans. He saluted the Northeast Dubois crowd as teammates and coaches alike clapped while he was acknowledged at the game for attaining the record.
“Every day when I walk through that hallway, I saw Dustin Wolf’s name there, 1,150,” Bauer said. “It was never a goal of mine. I never thought I’d have a chance to be a record holder at Northeast Dubois, but it sure does mean a lot.”
Bauer was calm and composed after the game, contrasting the mood from senior teammate Ethan Ziegler, who stepped up when Jasper shut down Bauer in the first half. Ziegler delivered a game-high 17 points in the loss. He noted that not many people score 1,000 points, let alone get the record, and that’s when the emotions started to pour out.
“I played with this guy for a long time, (I’m) very proud of him,” Ziegler said, beginning to tear up. Bauer pulled him in for a short hug to comfort his emotional teammate. Ziegler had to use his shirt to wipe the tears off.
“Ethan moved here in sixth grade from Loogootee,” Bauer added. “We brought him in as a brother. We played basketball since sixth grade. We were tearing it up in middle school and we’ve been at it ever since.”
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