Jasper misses game-tying free throw

Photo by Corey Stolzenbach/The Herald
Jasper junior Tanner Erny (11) looks to make a decision with the basketball in the first half Tuesday night at Evansville Mater Dei. Jasper fell to Mater Dei, 50-49

By COREY STOLZENBACH
sports@dcherald.com

EVANSVILLE - Evansville Mater Dei senior Ryan Taylor missed a free throw in the waning seconds of Tuesday's fourth quarter, allowing Jasper junior Isaac Day to take the ball down the court and perhaps replicate his game-tying bucket in his team's 49-44 Jan. 12 overtime win against Southridge.

Day went, the ball didn't go in and the buzzer sounded. However, he was awarded two shots at the free throw line with the game clock reset 0.6 seconds left, with Jasper (5-13, 1-6) trailing, 50-48. Day nailed his first one, but his second one bounced around and Jasper could not put it back in this All-Wildcats matchup. Jasper fell to its Southern Indiana Athletic Conference opponent, 50-49.

"You look at throughout the course of the game, there's always a couple dozen plays that you wish would've went differently, would've went your way - rebounds missed, opportunities to score missed," Jasper coach John Goebel said. "We only went to the free throw line three times tonight...most of it was because of our refusal to take the ball to the rim and try to finish at the rim."

Free throws, or lackthereof, once again played a role in Jasper's outcome to an opponent. Jasper went 10-of-18 at the free throw line in a 56-54 loss Feb. 4 against Barr-Reeve, while only making one of the three free throw attempts that it had Tuesday at Evansville Mater Dei.

"Mater Dei did a nice job mixing zones and keeping us off balance," Goebel said. "And we did a poor job of feeding the post and dribble penetrating versus the zone, and when you combine those together, you don't go to the foul line very much."

Jasper held a 7-6 lead early on in the game against Mater Dei, but getting the lead back eluded Jasper throughout the evening. Goebel told the Herald on Tuesday that everybody will remember the two free throws that Day had towards the end of the game, but there were other plays to point to that could've resulted in a different outcome.

One of those plays happened at the end of the first half, when junior Warren Halbig went for a bucket in the final seconds and missed, but Jasper couldn't come away with the rebound. Mater Dei freshman Blaine Herr picked up the ball and put it in at the buzzer to send Jasper into the locker room at halftime on a 25-22 deficit.

Jasper tried to rally in the fourth, when sophomore Carter Mundy nailed a game-tying 3-pointer from the corner to make it a 46-46 game. However, a bucket from sophomore Mater Dei Isaac Goebel and two free throws from Taylor with 37 seconds left brought Mater Dei to its final point total, and Jasper fell just shy in matching it.

Jasper will have two days to get ready for Friday when it is scheduled to visit another SIAC opponent in Castle.

"They're awfully talented," Goebel said. "They're quick, they can shoot, they have size and we have to go there. Playing on the road in this conference is brutal, and we're going to have to be extra sharp and focused and determined if we want to go down there and be successful."




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