Game slips from Jasper late

Photo by Corey Stolzenbach/The Herald
Junior Jack Ahlbrand (13) makes a three in the second quarter for Jasper Saturday night against Washington. That shot made it 23-17, but the Wildcats fell to the Hatchets, 50-47, in the Hatchet House. 


WASHINGTON — Jasper found itself seemingly in the driver's seat when senior Jace Goodhue made a pair of free throws for a 36-26 lead with 4:37 to play in the third quarter, but the game proved to be far from over.

Turnovers proved to be problematic for the Wildcats (2-7), who dropped a 50-47 loss to Washington inside the Hatchet House Saturday evening. The Hatchets went on a quick 5-0 run after Goodhue's free throws, thanks a couple of Jasper turnovers. The Wildcats relinquished the ball a couple of more times, and the Hatchets tied it in the fourth quarter, 37-37, on an 11-1 run.

"Right toward the end of the third quarter, we knew we got really careless with the basketball," Jasper coach John Goebel said. "Washington picked up the defensive intensity, got up in the passing lane and we acted like we had never seen anything like that before. We just decided to throw the ball into that passing lane, they deflected it, went the other way and they changed the momentum of the game with their defense, and we just kind of went into our shell.

"Our eyes got as big as silver dollars," Goebel continued. "We couldn't catch the basketball, we couldn't pass to the next man. For some reason, we think we have to inbound the ball on the right wing every time - like a robot. We missed free throws, the list goes on and on."

Goebel credited Washington for deciding not to lose the game and for picking up its intensity against Jasper, but he said the Wildcats decided to let the Hatchets to that. One thing he did credit his team for was that they came back at the end.

Senior Trey Reed, who had a game-high 28 points for Washington, put Jasper in a 44-39 deficit, but the Wildcats responded when junior Isaac Day's bucket made it a game of three points, followed by junior Michael Buechler making one of two free throws to put Jasper within two. Senior Caleb Burger tied it, 44-44, on a steal to a layup.

Day again tied the game, 46-46, but the game came down to free throws. The Hatchets used their free throw shooting to give them their final points of the game, and Jasper trailed, 49-47, with 3.6 seconds left, with Day at the foul line to make his second free throw after he sank his first.

"We missed the free throw on purpose so we could get an offensive board," Goebel said. "It didn't work. They did a nice job."
Reed made one final free throw to bring the game to its final score, and Day couldn't tie it when he threw up a desperation shot at the buzzer.
Goebel noted that losing can be a habit, and he said his players have fallen into that by making mistakes that should kill the team with the game on the line. He added that Jasper has to find a way to change that in a hurry.

The Wildcats are set to be back at it on Tuesday against Corydon Central. Goebel told the Herald on Saturday that they'll have to play tougher and smarter for a better outcome.

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