Jasper boys fall to 3-9January 23, 2021
By COREY STOLZENBACH
JASPER — Jasper's boys basketball program isn't used to having seasons like this, but such is the reality for the 2020-21 team.
The Wildcats (3-9, 1-4) welcomed Southern Indiana Athletic Conference rival Evansville Harrison on Saturday, and trailed, 31-27, after junior Gus Heichelbech nailed a 3-pointer for Jasper. However, the Warriors went on a lengthy run after that, and a 22-12 run to finish the game, handing Jasper a 53-39 loss.
"We're reeling," Wildcats coach John Goebel said after Saturday's loss. "We didn't expect to be 3-9, we weren't ready for that, we're not used to that, and it's a new situation that we haven't been in before."
The 14th-year coach noted that losing can be a habit, and that his team has fallen into that right now. He said Jasper lost to a good team, calling the Warriors one of the most improved teams in the area. The other good teams the Wildcats have fallen to led him to denote that his players aren't losing to nobodies, but they are finding creative ways to lose.
Saturday's game proved to be much of the same things that contributed Jasper's loss to Harrison. The Wildcats had a game of 21 turnovers, and Goebel told the Herald that the team won't win another game on their schedule if turn the ball over 20 times. Many of the buckets the Warriors got also off of offensive rebounds. Harrison flaunted its length and athleticism by denying Jasper buckets in the paint, and the Wildcats had one free throw the whole night.
He said that while the aforementioned length and athleticism made it difficult for Jasper to score inside, the 21 turnovers and the points the Wildcats allowed off of second chance and third chance buckets were what cost them the game.
"Our confidence is hurting, and that's got to change," Goebel said. "A little success will change that, but the success is going to come with hard work."
He said that his players have lost the belief that they can win, and that's something they need to rediscover. However, Goebel knows that the Wildcats are going through a lot, and wasn't all negative after Saturday's loss.
"Not only are these kids having a tough time with some tough breaks in some of these losses, we've got political friction in the world, we got the COVID going on, we've got all these things that just add to that anxiety that these kids feel," he said. "When you combine with the fact that they're not playing very well right now, it's a lot to ask these kids they have to deal with. So, I'm proud of them for keeping their heads up."
Yet, as the Wildcats get ready Tuesday to visit another SIAC rival in Evansville Central, they have another obstacle that they are dealing with at the moment.
"We play Friday, Saturday and that Monday's a pregame," Goebel said. "Then Wednesday, we're going to be dog tired because we played Friday, Saturday, Tuesday and then Thursday's a pregame. And then you play Friday (and) Saturday again. We're playing this NBA schedule right now that's going to be real tough to regroup.
"It would be nice to have three or four consecutive days of practice where we could take a day to rest our minds and our bodies and then get after it. Basically, it's just really throwing a wrench in our rhythm as far as being able regroup and focus on the things we need to focus on."
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