Jasper drops 47-38 decision to Vincennes LincolnDecember 10, 2020
By JIMMY LAFAKIS
JASPER — Although the Indiana high school girls basketball season is still in its early stages, Jasper (2-3, 2-2) and Vincennes Lincoln displayed midseason mettle and resolve on Thursday evening. The Wildcats kept the Alices on their heels, but Lincoln walked away with a 47-38 victory in the Southern Indiana Athletic Conference matchup.
“That’s one of the characteristics of this team that I’m most proud of — they don’t give up when they get down,” Jasper head coach Jessica Mehringer said. “They know what they’ve got to do to be able to cut leads and try to get back in it.”
As the teams navigated the first few minutes of the game, Jasper looked to distribute the basketball through Lincoln’s press. The Alices held an 18-6 lead at the end of the first frame, but the Wildcats clawed back in the second quarter.
“The one thing I told them in the locker room is, ‘It’s fun for me because I know I will come in tomorrow and you guys will be working on the things that you need to be working on,’” Mehringer said. “These kids are going to be watching the game film tonight and getting ready for practice tomorrow. That’s the kind of kids that we have.”
With 2:27 left to play in the first half, Jasper trimmed the deficit to 21-18. Wildcats senior Kendyl Ruhe zipped around the court, grabbed key offensive rebounds and set the tone for the team.
In the third quarter, Jasper handled the pressure. Because Lincoln did not create as many transition opportunities through its press, both teams slowed the tempo and worked out of halfcourt sets.
“Once they settled down and knew what they needed to do to be able to beat it, we were able to get some easy looks out of it,” Mehringer said.
Jasper trailed by a slim 33-29 margin with 4:30 to play. The teams’ physicality permeated through the game’s waning moments, but the Alices found a collective shooting rhythm.
Junior Aspen Sermersheim led the Wildcats with nine points. Ruhe and junior Izzy Hopf chipped in with seven points apiece, while junior Kennedy Matheis added six points. After the final buzzer sounded, Mehringer underscored the potential learning experiences from Thursday’s contest.
“We’re probably going to be moving some people into different spots,” she said. “They can do the things well that we know they can do. We’ll get them more looks at the basket and more touches. We’re trying to get our offense going a little bit more in the positive direction. We see flashes of what we know we’re capable of doing. Those are the positive things that we can look at and take away from a game like this.”
In the midst of this unusual season, the Wildcats prepared themselves for potential curveballs.
“When things happen and somebody gets tagged as a close contact and they’re out, it’s next man up,” Mehringer said. “That’s what teams do. They’re ready to go. They’re ready to step in and take advantage of an opportunity that you might not have gotten before. I just said, ‘That’s what teams do. We work together. We step up when somebody is out. Somebody steps up and does their best.’”
Jasper will return to the court at 7:30 p.m. next Tuesday at Washington.
“They didn’t graduate anybody,” Mehringer said. “They’re really good. They’re very well-coached. Their coach is top-notch.”
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