Jasper drops competitive 55-47 contest to New Albany

Photo by Jimmy Lafakis/The Herald
Jasper junior guard Jack Ahlbrand (13) gets ready to shoot a 3-pointer during the third quarter of Saturday evening’s game
against New Albany in Jasper. The Bulldogs earned a 55-47 victory over the Wildcats.

By JIMMY LAFAKIS
jlafakis@dcherald.com

JASPER — Jasper (4-11) took some time to get its collective engine humming during the first quarter of Saturday evening’s contest against New Albany. The Wildcats battled back in the subsequent three quarters, but ultimately fell by a score of 55-47. 

“We’re disappointed in the way we started the game,” Jasper head coach John Goebel said. “We started pretty flat emotionally. We didn’t execute very well, and we got down 17-2. The positive is, we outscored them the rest of the way. We outscored them in the second and fourth quarters. In the second, third and fourth quarters combined, we outscored them by seven points. Take away that first quarter, and we have a chance to win the game. That’s a lesson that these guys should have already known — you can’t start the game flat against anyone, especially a good team.” 

As the battle of attrition wore on, the Wildcats made a concerted effort to penetrate through the lane and execute an inside-out attack. Junior forwards Gus Heichelbech and Connor Foley established their presences inside the paint. 

“When our guards take the ball downhill to the rim, we’ll either get to the foul line or get good looks,” Goebel said. “We get open shots on the perimeter from guys spotting up. With Gus, Connor and our other forwards, if we feed the post, it creates for other people to score as well. That’s one step we have taken in the right direction over the last few weeks. We’re getting the ball inside much more efficiently.” 

Jasper scored 17 points in the third quarter and 16 points in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats knocked down five 3-point attempts. 

Junior guards Kaden Stanton and Tucker Biven provided New Albany’s backcourt firepower. Stanton scored a game-high 14 points, while Biven added 13 points. 

“There’s no shame in losing to a good basketball team,” Goebel said. “The disappointment is starting a game without any energy and without the proper focus. That’s something we have to correct in a hurry.” 

Jasper senior guard Caleb Burger found success at the rim and posted a team-high 10 points. Heichelbech contributed nine points. After the gymnasium cleared out, several Wildcats stayed on the court and put up shots. 

“They care,” Goebel said. “You can’t take that away from them. They’re good kids, they work hard and they’re doing everything they can. We haven’t been able to get out of our own way in a lot of games as far as execution in crucial times. Losing to New Albany isn’t as disappointing, but we’ve lost to some teams that we should have beaten. They haven’t given up. They haven’t quit. They want to win and be successful, and I don’t have any doubt about that.” 

Jasper will return to the court for a 7:30 p.m. game against Class 1A No. 1 Barr-Reeve on Thursday. 

“Out of the frying pan and into the fire,” Goebel said. “They’re an awfully good team. We better find some energy and have the right focus and attitude, or it could be a long night.” 




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