For Jeeps, free throws come at a costNovember 15, 2017
BY JONATHAN SAXON
DUBOIS — Fans were treated to a thrilling display of Blue Chip Conference basketball in a back-and-forth affair between Northeast Dubois and South Knox on Tuesday night that required an extra four minutes to reach a conclusion.
In the end, South Knox hit free throws and outlasted Northeast Dubois 64-60 in overtime.
The Jeeps led 56-54 after senior guard Kourtney Quinn scored on a layup with 19 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The Jeeps stopped the Spartans on the ensuing possession before Jeep senior Alex Dodson snagged an offensive rebound, was fouled and sank one of her two free throws, giving the Jeeps a 57-54 advantage.
But South Knox had time for one more play.
Senior forward Jarissa Page was able to get open look at the basket and hoisted a high-arching 3-point shot that fell clean through the center of the net with five seconds left, tying the score at 57. The Jeeps tried one last heave for the basket in regulation, but it was no good.
South Knox came out and scored the first four points in overtime before Northeast Dubois’ Tyla Rasche scored on jumper with 1:15 remaining in the game to bring Northeast Dubois within striking range at 61-59.
But Kristie Williams notched the last field goal and free throw the Spartans needed to seal the game.
“They’re just not quitters,” said Spartans coach Hollie Anson-Eaves. “We’ve been the underdogs for a very long time, and they don’t have quit in them.”
The Spartans (3-1, 1-0) outscored the Jeeps 42-31 in the second half and overtime to complete their comeback. Page finished with 21 points, while Williams and Mykayla Couchenour each chipped in 16 points for the Spartans.
Rasche had 16 points to lead the Jeeps (0-4, 0-2) and Adi Denu added 13 points.
“They definitely did not let up. We had to grind at the end and they took that (pressure),” Rasche said. “They did whatever they could to get to the line, and they chipped away one by one with free throws.”
South Knox made 21-of-26 (81 percent) from the free throw line, while Northeast Dubois shot 27-of-41 (66 percent) from the line.
The Jeeps are 0-4 for the first time in more than 15 years, but coach Andy Chinn was proud of the way his girls competed Tuesday despite the loss. The second-year coach pointed to the missed opportunities at the free throw line as the main factor in the outcome for his girls.
“We missed 14 free throws tonight. They hit their free throws. Really that’s the difference in the game,” Chinn said. “We’ve been harping on that, now it’s just a matter of putting them in. But I’m proud of the way my five seniors competed. They wanted to win and they did everything they could. We just came up a little bit short.”
Chinn said the Jeeps are still growing as a team, and one of the hard lessons they must learn is how to develop their collective situational awareness. But he’s confident that component will come along in time.
“Situation-wise we made a couple bad decisions on fouls. We put some shots up that we shouldn’t have. We didn’t know the clock,” he said. “But that will come. It’s early, we’ll just keep getting better.”
There is one silver lining: The Jeeps did not find themselves down early like they had been in their previous two games — losses to North Knox (42-32) and Paoli (51-31). In fact, the Jeeps shot 10-of-18 from the field to build a 29-22 lead in the first half.
“It’s definitely an improvement,” Rasche said. “We saw many great things, so we’re trying to build off of those things. We need to focus on free throws and finishing late in the game, not looking into the past, and just keep going with it.”
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