Freshman duo stepping up for JeepsFebruary 5, 2020
By COREY STOLZENBACH
DUBOIS — Northeast Dubois' Andy Chinn is excited about the futures of freshmen Rhylan Kalb and Reagan Knies. But for those two, the future is also now.
Kalb and Knies both played a crucial role down the stretch as the Jeeps wound down the regular season. One of those two freshmen either led or co-led the Jeeps in scoring in five of their final six regular-season games. Kalb and Knies especially stepped up their game and transitioned from role players to leading scorers following an injury to Madison Cave on Senior Night against Loogootee. Cave is hoping to play Friday against Springs Valley in the Wood Memorial sectional. She would love to be back on the court with that freshman duo, which Chinn called a big piece of the team.
“You just never know when it’s going to be your time, and these two have done a good job of responding to that mentality,” Chinn said.
Kalb and Knies both felt pressure to step up, but the transition in roles wasn’t terrible for Kalb. Knies has noticed her defense has gotten better. Kalb believes she has grown a lot from the start of summer ball her freshman year until now in taking care of the basketball and also improving her defense. She had a breakout performance with 22 points in a 56-38 win Jan. 25 at Perry Central.
“If I see a place that’s open and I think I’m capable of making that shot, I’m going to take it,” Kalb said.
Chinn noted that the two freshmen were good middle school players, but that doesn’t always transition to the high school game. He pointed out that the two got varsity time last summer, and also got varsity action as volleyball players in the fall. Chinn thinks the two of them relish their roles, and is aware of the mentality, drive and passion that they bring.
“I believe in them, and I think they know that,” he said. “They work hard, and I think they believe in what we’re trying to do.”
Both freshmen talked about games notable to them this season. Kalb thought the Jeeps went out and played their game against the Lions, and highlighted the Jan. 31 game against Vincennes Rivet when taking care of the basketball presented a challenge, but then the Jeeps overcame that.
Knies reflected on her team’s games against county rivals as ones that stood out in her mind.
“We played really good versus Jasper,” Knies said. “We took care of the ball. We got everyone in foul trouble and that helped, and then Forest Park, we just came out and played the game like we should.”
The two of them are set to make their sectional debut Friday night, hoping to avenge last year’s 34-32 loss against Springs Valley. The Jeeps are two wins away from a sectional championship. Knies said the girls cannot make bad decisions if they want to cut down the nets on Saturday.
Kalb looks at last year’s sectional bounce, as well as the volleyball loss to Springs Valley in the sectional semifinals, and it’s business for her.
“They’re coming for us,” Kalb said. “They want that sectional, but we are coming right back at them. From volleyball sectional, they beat us, and I’m just taking this as they’re not winning this year. We all have to go in with that mentality, and we’ve been definitely been working on everything that they have.”
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